• August 19, 2019

    We've been paying close attention to how some of this year's biggest issues in the lobster fishing industry might play out for our coastal communities. As peak lobster fishing season approaches, fishing communities are faced with extra challenges this year—the herring bait shortage, impending right whale rules, and the ongoing opioid crisis continues to concern us. Community members have been anticipating how and when these issues might converge, who will be affected, what resources are available, and we are keen to connect people with supportive networks and needed resources.

    Community Engagement, Economic Development, Aquaculture & Marine

  • August 14, 2019

    This month, we decided to share some of our favorite business-themed podcasts. Not necessarily educational resources, but more inspirational. August isn’t the time to step away from your business and learn something new. It’s insane, and we know it’s hard to keep your head above water and not completely burn out. So, if you’re in need of some inspiration to keep you motivated this month, check out some of these business and start-up related podcasts.

    Economic Development

  • July 26, 2019

    This legislative update, provided by the Maine Broadband Coalition, highlights the most noteworthy advances for broadband in Maine and summarizes the final outcomes of bills passed and bills that have become law during the first regular session of Maine's 129th Legislative Session. It also highlights bills to watch for during the second regular session beginning in January 2020.

    Economic Development

  • July 25, 2019

    Last month, we wrote about the business structure of B-Corporations (Benefit Corporations), also known as a B-Corp. B-Corps are businesses that go through a voluntary certification process to ensure that the company not only maintains a healthy bottom line, but is also responsive to the community and the environment in which it operates. Craig Olson of our Small Business team notes that through his experience of running various nonprofits in the past, he knew about B-Corps, but he hadn’t heard much about social enterprises until recently.

    Economic Development

  • June 29, 2019

    The first session of the 129th Legislature wrapped with a flurry of activity. This blog post captures few of the important energy and climate change related outcomes for island and coastal communities.

    Economic Development, Energy

  • June 24, 2019

    Residents from five Maine islands and two coastal communities joined the Island Institute in May 2019 for a community broadband tour of the Cranberry Isles. During the exchange trip, members of the Cranberry Isles Broadband Group shared what it took to connect their five islands, and guests exchanged ideas with the other island and coastal communities represented. In this guest blog post, Keith Harriton of the Swan's Island broadband group reflects on the trip and the benefits of building connections and learning from each other.

    Economic Development

  • June 21, 2019

    On a recent trip to Scotland, Craig Olson of the Island Institute’s Small Business team was inspired by the Social Enterprise businesses in the UK. So, we decided to use the next few Commercial Currents to explore the concept of “business for good.” This month, we are going to talk about Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, and then next month, we’ll tackle the Social Enterprise concept.

    Economic Development

  • May 31, 2019

    Much has been written about why Maine needs to expand access to broadband, but less has been written about where the state has made investments and where they are likely to be made. In our latest policy update, Senior Policy Officer Nick Battista looks at why state funding is a critical piece in bringing broadband to the rural parts of our state and investing in infrastructure that is critical to their future.

    Community Engagement, Economic Development

  • May 30, 2019

    According to the Center for Workforce Research and Information, Maine sees a 3% spike in employment for June, July, and August. To put a number on it, Maine’s seasonal businesses are employing around 20,500 more people each month in the summer. As anyone who runs a seasonal business in Maine knows, that number is not high enough.

    Economic Development