- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- May 30, 2019
Last week I was fortunate to experience my first ever TLC field trip. The Outer Islands Teaching and Learning Collaborative, or TLC, is a group of one- and two-room school houses whose teachers support each other on curriculum and problem solving and whose students meet for virtual reading groups, student council, and science classes. Based on my experiences the past few months, the highlight of the TLC is the biannual field trip. Each fall and each spring, the TLC schools join together for multi-day field trips off island, a chance for socialization and off-island experiences, not to mention overstimulation, play, packed schedules, and possibly a college campus dining hall buffet (dessert, anyone?).
- 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.
- May 14, 2019
If you spend enough time in Rockland, Maine, you may have seen a woman of medium stature walking up and down Main Street, tending the pollinator garden by the harbor, or sipping a cappuccino at Rock City Coffee. She is artist, gardener, educator, and Rockland resident, Susan Beebe. This past winter, I asked Susan if I could interview her at her “studio” space. While her true studio space is outdoors and she knew I wouldn’t get an authentic view into her working space during one of Maine’s coldest months, she agreed, and we spent a little time talking about art and midcoast Maine.
- April 25, 2019
If you were out and about in Rockland on Friday, March 29th, you might have seen groups of students from Islesboro, North Haven and Vinalhaven visiting different area businesses and organizations to learn about available career options and educational opportunities. From the arts and retail to marine trades and finance, students got an in-person look at some familiar and new ideas about work options in the Midcoast during the Career Day event.
- April 18, 2019
As a small business owner you try to do it all: producing a product or service, marketing to attract new clients, running a retail operation, and keeping on top of the books and financial reporting. It’s a lot, and there never seem to be enough hours in the day. However, the important part of any small business strategy should be the ability to step back and look at your business as a separate entity, not simply an extension of your life—that’s a strategy for burnout. The key, to quote Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth, is to learn how to “work on our business, not in your business.”
- March 28, 2019
Maine has food festivals dedicated to the clam, oyster, salmon, lobster—even the lobster roll. Don’t you think it’s time that seaweed got its own? Seaweed can hold its own tastewise, it's packed with a wide array of minerals and vitamins, farmed seaweed is a zero-input crop—plus, Maine is leading the nation in the number of kelp farms, which support shellfish growers, lobstermen, and others on the working waterfront. There’s a lot to celebrate, and that's why Josh Rogers created Seaweed Week.