• March 24, 2020

    How are you? We don’t ask that enough these days, and it’s the most important question we can ask in troubling times. This is a hard time for everyone, but we know as Mainers we will get through this. It won’t be easy, but we will come out on the other side. As you work through the impact of this international shutdown on your business, know that there are resources available at the federal, state, and local level. In this blog, we highlight some of these and invite you to contact us with any questions regarding access to funding, what might be right for you, or what type of assistance you should be looking for.

    Economic Development

  • Members of the Maine Islands Coalition and Island Institute staff held a virtual meeting on March 20 to discuss island responses to COVID-19 and the resources they still need.
    March 20, 2020

    In times of crisis, those most prepared can quickly activate established networks to deploy resources and provide support. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to reach Maine, the Island Institute turned to the Maine Islands Coalition (MIC), a network with a 17-year history of helping to solve problems in the year-round islands of Maine. While there are always one or two remote participants in the coalition’s quarterly meetings, Friday, March 20th was the first time in MIC history when the entire coalition came together virtually. The MIC Representatives, joined by other island officials, were asked to answer the questions, “What is your community doing well in responding to the threat of COVID-19, and what resources do you need?”

  • March 19, 2020

    On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Governor Mills signed emergency legislation to help the state respond to the coronavirus crisis. The legislation included provisions for delaying town meetings and allowing remote meetings. A separate bill put a $15 million broadband bond on the June ballot. Learn more about the provisions relevant to Maine's towns as well as all of the pieces recently passed.

    Community Engagement, Economic Development

  • February 21, 2020

    Whether you're talking about your business, your community, or life in general, it's all about networks. Most small business owners feel isolated. Running a small business is something you take home with you and on vacations—it’s always in the back of your mind. Now, imagine running a business out on the water where there is rarely an opportunity to share questions, concerns, or ideas around what works for others in a non-competitive environment.

    Economic Development

  • January 28, 2020

    Having lived in midcoast Maine for more than 40 years, it is quite possible that you know Joe and Mary Devenney, full-time artists living in Jefferson. Maybe you had Mary as your art teacher or saw Joe’s name credited for a photograph in a New England magazine. Or perhaps, you haven’t met them in person, but you have a sense of them through their pottery. Those that know them, know how love surrounds them—a love for their art, love for each other, and a love for life. Thus, I wanted to the know their story—the whole story—the story that brought them to be the artists and couple they are today.

    Archipelago Store & Gallery

  • January 23, 2020

    Anyone who has collaborated with others on a project knows that it usually takes a lot more time than simply going it alone does. And if the collaboration involves multiple schools and nonprofit organizations, you're going to need a healthy dose of patience, persistence, and probably some money. This is one of the many reasons why the staying power of the Kelp4Kids after-school program on Peaks Island, run by high school students from Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, is so remarkable. Now in its third year, Kelp4Kids was started by Baxter alum Emma Christman and allows students’ creativity to flourish, while still educating themselves in hands-on, self-motivated ways.

    Education & Leadership, Aquaculture & Marine

  • January 22, 2020

    Since this month is full of New Year’s resolutions, Craig Olson and Claire Donnelly from the Island Institute's Small Business team put together a list of six business habits they would like to start—or break—in 2020.

    Economic Development

  • December 20, 2019

    I love my job. I especially love the 60% of my time that is allocated to supporting and coordinating the Outer Islands Teaching and Learning Collaborative, or TLC, as we affectionately call it. Monhegan, Matinicus, Frenchboro, the Cranberry Isles, Isle au Haut, Cliff Island, and Massachusetts’ Cuttyhunk are all home to small island schools. This year, the Cranberries have the largest student population of the TLC, with nine students in their K-8 school. A network of one- and two-room schoolhouses in Maine and Massachusetts, the TLC connects teachers and students, both virtually and in person.

    Education & Leadership

  • December 19, 2019

    An often-quoted phrase when it comes to life is, “It’s all about the journey.” I would like to share a journey I’ve taken over the last year with 28 Mainers looking to start their own aquaculture business. I’m fortunate enough to be at the intersection of aquaculture and business in Maine, managing the Aquaculture Business Development Program for the Island Institute. This key piece of work revolves around helping fisherman diversify their income by starting a business in aquaculture that allows them to continue working on the water.

    Aquaculture & Marine