• Fresh-caught and ready to travel
    July 30, 2020

    As those in the apple supply chain would likely tell you, getting an apple to retain its texture and taste through harvesting, processing, storing, transporting, and selling is difficult. The same goes for getting a live lobster from the Gulf of Maine to Leo’s Seafood Restaurant and Bar in Grand Rapids, Michigan, or across the world to Beijing. However, the calculations for each are quite different, and the supply chain results in value being added at each step.

    Data and Research, Aquaculture & Marine

  • July 24, 2020

    If you've been fortunate enough to live in a small community, then you understand how much local support matters. Supporting your community, it’s small business owners, and buying as much of your goods and services locally helps everyone. The dollar spent at one local business causes a ripple effect that benefits other businesses and organizations in the same community. For many people, the pandemic is creating new local connections and a better understanding of the importance of supporting local, small business owners.

    Economic Development

  • July 10, 2020

    The Maine Primary Election for several state and local offices is now on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. This election—originally scheduled for June 9, but delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis—is about choosing nominees for U.S. Senate and U.S. House seats, as well as seats in the Maine state legislature and local offices. If you don’t vote, you are leaving it up to others to make these choices for you.

    Community Engagement, Economic Development

  • July 7, 2020

    In this episode, we talk with Mark Osborn, the owner and innkeeper of Topside Inn in Boothbay Harbor. Recently, Facebook released their State of Small Business Report, citing hospitality as one of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic, and unfortunately, the Topside Inn is no exception. With a record low number of reservations this year, Mark and his husband Brian have decided to use this time to get creative, and think of ways to both deal with the current situation and rethink their business model.

    Media, Economic Development

  • Senator Angus King congratulates the Outer Islands Teaching & Learning Collaborative on its 10th anniversary in a special video message shown during a virtual celebration held May 21, 2020.
    June 29, 2020

    The trajectory for this school year has been so unexpected, and in many ways so hard, which makes long-standing, successful collaborations even more valuable. On May 21, 2020, students, alumni, teachers, and families gathered together for a virtual celebration marking the 10-year anniversary of the Outer Islands Teaching and Learning Collaborative, or TLC. Even though the pre-planned party couldn't take place in person, the TLC is very good at making virtual celebrations fun and funny, and this one was no exception.

    Education & Leadership

  • June 26, 2020

    On May 26, 2020, the Island Institute formally welcomed the fourth cohort of the Mentoring, Access, and Persistence (MAP) Program and celebrated the achievements and next steps of the MAP20 graduates. This annual event, usually held in person on a college campus as a kick-off to the MAP Summer Leadership Intensive, took place virtually on Zoom, and despite being online, still created a wonderful opportunity to connect and celebrate.

    Education & Leadership

  • June 25, 2020

    As we grapple with the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic on our businesses, there can be comfort in finding that we are not alone. That what we are seeing along Maine’s coast mirrors what is happening nationally, even internationally. The Small Business Roundtable, with Facebook, recently released their first State of Small Business Report, surveying 86,000 business owners to understand what is working for them, and where they are struggling. What isn’t covered in this report is something we are seeing on a regular basis: businesses taking a new course, offering new products, or shifting to new services. It’s these stories of resilience that keep us going.

    Economic Development

  • Sam Richman of Sammy's Deluxe
    June 18, 2020

    As global food systems break down due to the pandemic, we see that the restaurants thriving are the ones who were already advocating for and supporting local food systems. In this episode, we talk with Sam Richman, owner and chef of Sammy’s Deluxe in Rockland, Maine. As many restaurants have done, he has shifted to the curbside takeout model and is just trying to figure out the best, and safest, way to run this restaurant in the months to come.

    Economic Development

  • June 13, 2020

    Running a restaurant in the best of times is a tricky business model to make work. Margins are slim, supply chains are delicate, and the hours are brutal. And that’s not during a pandemic. In this episode, we hear from Melissa Kelly, executive chef and owner of Primo Restaurant in Rockland, Maine, who talks about embracing innovation, her new business model, and community.

    Economic Development