- 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.
- 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.
- May 13, 2020
In Maine’s seasonal economy, many rely on what we like to think of as the three-legged stool of seasonal work: a mixture of summer, winter, and year-round employment—or small businesses that contract and expand as the season allows. A downturn in one means that we try to increase sales in another. One leg gets a little wobbly, and we strengthen the others. We never planned for all three legs to be swept out from under us. Now, resilience has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s now about adaptation for survival.
- May 8, 2020
I am one of the lucky ones. I am one of the people in this vast world who has had the true privilege to be greeted by Ashley Bryan at his front door and invited into his home. Ten years ago this spring, Peter Ralston and I traveled by mail boat from Northeast Harbor to Islesford to see Ashley is his studio, hear his stories, and tour around the island. It was my dream to put together a show of his work for the Archipelago Fine Arts Gallery, and we were blessed to be able to do a studio visit. Teri, Peter’s wife, joined us as well as Leo, my seven-month-old son.
- May 8, 2020
Most donors give from the heart. They support organizations they care about deeply and whose missions make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. Very few donors are looking to have their names on a building or for a return on investment beyond the wonderful feeling that comes from helping others. Tax law changes in 2017 took away another motivation to give—a tax deduction for your charitable contributions. The good news: the tax incentives for giving are back (for most us)!
- May 7, 2020
In this episode, we talk with Liz Lovell of North Haven Brewing Company on North Haven Island. She talks about how they’ve rewritten their business plan and are doing whatever they can do keep the lights on—but also be safe and help keep their community healthy. And along the lines of staying open, we also chat with Rebecca Falzano, co-founder of Helm Digital, the marketing firm that started Maine Open Online, a website database that any Maine business who sells online can and should join for free.
- April 30, 2020
Maine’s creative economy is an important driver in many coastal communities which, according to the "Waypoints: Livelihoods" publication, have an average self-employed rate of 23%. Therefore, since the shutdown in late March, we have been doing several things earnestly: listening to artists, providing resources to support the self-employed, and sharing stories.
- April 27, 2020
If you are a small business owner in Maine you’ve probably seen all of the emails whizzing by about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program funds being replenished. We just wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with information and links, both new and updated, to help you navigate this new funding landscape.
- April 24, 2020
With Maine’s Stay Healthy at Home mandate and an executive order in place closing hotels except for a few very limited purposes, what do you do if you live on one of the offshore islands with limited ferry service and need to go to the mainland to get food or other supplies or visit a doctor? The co-chairs of the Maine Islands Coalition (MIC), the heads of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Mount Desert Chamber of Commerce, and the Island Institute recently sent a letter to Governor Mills requesting clarity on exceptions to the executive order's closing of lodging operations.