• 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

  • 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

  • Dylan and Mandy Metrano own La Nef Chocolate on Monhegan Island.
    May 28, 2020

    We've been having so many great conversations with local small business owners, and we're always trying to think of ways to share them whenever we can. In our first mini-episode, we have a short, 10-minute conversation with Mandy and Dylan Metrano of La Nef Chocolate on Monhegan Island to talk about the ways in which they're pivoting right now, the challenges of running an exclusively e-commerce business on a remote island, and the importance of cultivating a community with their customers.

    Economic Development

  • May 21, 2020

    As small business owners keep navigating the ever-changing landscape of how to safely do business in Maine, we continue to check in with them to hear how they are doing. In this episode, Peter Piconi, marine business specialist at the Island Institute, chats with Brendan Parsons of Black Stone Point Oysters LLC, about the potential economic impacts of running a tourism-dependent business and the importance of building networks with fellow oyster growers right now.

    Economic Development, Aquaculture & Marine

  • May 13, 2020

    The coronavirus, the pandemic, the lock-downs, the general disruption to our lives and those of our neighbors, the severe impact on businesses (especially the small and extremely small): all of these developments are entwined and are wreaking havoc on our communities and our ability to plan for the future. Unlike other economic downturns, the economic fallout from the coronavirus was sudden and steep. Like other economic downturns, the amount of time it will last—and which is the right path out—is unknown.

    Data and Research, Economic Development