• 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

  • June 9, 2020

    During a time when seafood markets have plummeted and businesses are searching for innovative ways to stay afloat, cost-saving innovations may be critical, and climate adaptation and mitigation can be good for business. As the Maine Climate Council works to propose strategies to meet Governor Mills’ ambitious mitigation and adaptation goals, they are assessing the impacts of ocean climate change on ecosystems and businesses in our state and looking to marine businesses like Mook Sea Farms as a model for adopting innovative resiliency strategies to address the challenges posed by climate change.

    Aquaculture & Marine

  • 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 22, 2020

    Equity. It’s a concept that many value but can struggle to put into practice. When it comes to the state of Maine’s efforts to develop strategies to aggressively respond to climate change, what does it look like to design with a commitment to equity and to meeting the needs of all Mainers at the center? While much of the world came to a screeching halt this spring, members of the Maine Climate Council’s working groups doubled down on their efforts to develop recommendations on how to reach the state’s climate goals.

    Community Engagement, Education & Leadership, Energy