Commercial Currents: Business Inspiration—Our Favorite Podcasts

This month, we decided to share some of our favorite business-themed podcasts. Not necessarily educational resources, but more inspirational. August isn’t the time to step away from your business and learn something new. It’s insane, and we know it’s hard to keep your head above water and not completely burn out. So, if you’re in need of some inspiration to keep you motivated this month, check out some of these business and start-up related podcasts.

September 27

Many Maine communities have identified climate-related vulnerabilities to their homes, businesses, and natural areas due to the impacts of sea level rise and increases in severe storms. Finding funding for adaptation solutions is often a major barrier to addressing these concerns and moving forward. Join the Island Institute, Maine Coastal Program, the New England Environmental Finance Center, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, and Resilience Works, LLC in Belfast on Friday, September 27th, for a daylong conference that will highlight innovative strategies for how to pay for infrastructure projects to increase a community’s resilience.

State and Local Leaders Address the Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis is ever-present along the coast of Maine, though it can be hard for many to see or pay attention to, especially during the busy summer season when our towns, peninsulas and islands teem with visitors. Not so for Dr. Jeanne Lambrew, Maine’s newly appointed Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) who, along with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, recently spent a hot summer day touring the medical centers and elder care facilities on the islands of North Haven and Vinalhaven.

Preparing for Potential Impacts on Maine Coastal Communities: The Opioid Crisis and Challenges Facing the Lobster Industry

We've been paying close attention to how some of this year's biggest issues in the lobster fishing industry might play out for our coastal communities. As peak lobster fishing season approaches, fishing communities are faced with extra challenges this year—the herring bait shortage, impending right whale rules, and the ongoing opioid crisis continues to concern us. Community members have been anticipating how and when these issues might converge, who will be affected, what resources are available, and we are keen to connect people with supportive networks and needed resources.

Commercial Currents: Business for Good, Part 2—Social Enterprises

Last month, we wrote about the business structure of B-Corporations (Benefit Corporations), also known as a B-Corp. B-Corps are businesses that go through a voluntary certification process to ensure that the company not only maintains a healthy bottom line, but is also responsive to the community and the environment in which it operates. Craig Olson of our Small Business team notes that through his experience of running various nonprofits in the past, he knew about B-Corps, but he hadn’t heard much about social enterprises until recently.

Commercial Currents: Business for Good, Part 1—B Corps

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.

Commercial Currents: Maine's seasonal workforce

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.

Commercial Currents: Small business training on us

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.”

Visit to Isle au Haut offers unique glimpse into island community

For anyone unfamiliar with this area of Maine, Isle au Haut is a small, island community in Penobscot Bay in Knox County, accessible by ferry from Stonington. With a year-round population of around 71 inhabitants, the island is home to portions of Acadia National Park and boasts a landscape made up of blooming trees and oceanfront views. During a recent trip to Isle au Haut, Island Institute summer intern Anastasia Sapirstein takes us on a tour, shares her experience visiting the island for the first time, and highlights some of the key features of this community and its residents.