• March 19, 2019

    Success in our Island Fellows program comes from many different areas. One such area is our intentional integration of Fellows as full members of the communities in which they live and work. We all understand that this process takes time, requires patience, and that it looks and feels different for each fellow in each community. We support the fellows in this community integration by helping them focus on it as a goal in the first quarter of their fellowship. Fellows reflect, in writing, about that experience at the end of their first three months on their island. Learn more about what becoming a part of these communities means to three Fellows as they reflect on their experiences.

    Community Development

  • March 13, 2019

    Most small business owners feel isolated—there is rarely an opportunity to share questions, concerns, or ideas around what works for others in a non-competitive environment. At the Island Institute, one of our goals is to connect island and coastal business owners with peers so that they can have those conversations. Connecting with peers and colleagues is one of the many ways we help address this and other challenges these new small business owners face. A good example of this type of networking is the annual "Industry Day" event that our ABD program hosts for its participants. This marketing-focused day provides an opportunity for these aspiring aquaculturists to establish relationships with buyers, wholesalers, restaurants, and retailers.

    Economic Development, Aquaculture & Marine

  • February 28, 2019

    Broadband has been receiving a lot of attention in Augusta lately due to the valuable role it plays in helping communities thrive. From K-12 and college education to health care, tourism, and even farming, access to high-speed internet is vital in ensuring that Maine communities can thrive in today's national and global marketplace. What is the role of state leadership, and where do communities need support to drive action? Learn more in this latest policy update from Senior Policy Officer Nick Battista.

    Economic Development

  • February 15, 2019

    Yes, it’s that time of year. Funny how vacations seem to take forever to arrive, but tax season is suddenly here again. If you’re like most people, you don’t listen to the news with baited breath waiting for the latest information on recent tax changes. As a business owner, taxes are always in the back of our minds. In a retail situation, it’s sales tax; but annually we all also have to think about our business and personal taxes. While many of the changes that take place in our tax laws over the course of a year have no impact or effect on us or our businesses, this year there have been some changes that may affect business owners on Maine’s islands and coastal communities.

    Economic Development

  • January 31, 2019

    Have you ever wondered what aquaculture was about or what it would be like to have your own farm for mussels, oysters or kelp? Now is a great time to begin your own aquaculture business right here in Maine. Through the Aquaculture Business Development (ABD) program, the Island Institute is working to help fisherman and people from coastal communities diversify into shellfish or seaweed aquaculture. Join the Island Institute's fourth Aquaculture Business Development cohort—Applications open February 1, 2019!

    Economic Development, Aquaculture & Marine

  • January 25, 2019

    Last month, we talked about the dilemma of most small business owners and how a business can take over your personal life. We hope the piece gave you pause to think about parts of your life that may be out of balance and some steps you might want to take to re-align your business and personal lives. This month, as we close out the calendar, take a breath, and begin to think about tax season, it’s a great time to talk about some business management practices that may help your business—and your life—run a little smoother.

    Economic Development

  • December 21, 2018

    The holiday season is hectic for everyone but even more so for small business owners. If you own a retail business, this may be your biggest month of the year. For some businesses, much of their year-end profit is realized in the month of December. Other business owners have just come off of a hectic summer and fall season, and now they just want to rest and recover. So, it stands to reason that, at the end of the year, many small business owners often find themselves wondering how they can achieve better work/life balance. Now is a good time to step back from the daily operations of your business and reflect on how you manage your personal time.

    Archipelago Store & Gallery, Economic Development

  • December 19, 2018

    Earlier this fall, we caught up with Josh and Shey Conover, owners of Islesboro Marine and founders of Marshall Cove Aquaculture. Shey worked at the Island Institute from 2004-2017, and we helped her and Josh start their mussel farm on the northwest side of Islesboro through the second round of our Aquaculture Business Development program in 2016. Since then, they have expanded their work and took a moment to fill us in on their upcoming plans.

    Economic Development, Aquaculture & Marine

  • December 17, 2018

    Credential of Value. It’s a fairly new term in the world of education and workforce development and can mean different things depending on where you live and what vocational opportunities you have access to. According to MaineSpark, a statewide workforce development initiative powered by a coalition of education and business leaders, a credential of value is training or education beyond a high school diploma that leads to a job in the current economy.

    Education & Leadership