Cliff Island Community Hall broadband
September 11, 2020

Spark! grant helps communities tackle energy efficiency projects

During the summer of 2019, I took the Casco Bay Lines ferry to Cliff Island. Upon arrival, I noticed small trenches dug up on the sides of roads and properties, with thin fiber-optic cable laid out on the ground next to the trenches. This was part of an effort to bring reliable high-speed internet to Cliff Island and would set the stage for an energy project the next year. Sustainable Cliff Island, which works to sustain a year-round community on Cliff, has been a driving force for getting broadband infrastructure on…
Robin Chernow
Deer Isle - Kayak
August 28, 2020

If something is important to you, you should care for it

If something is important to you, you should care for it. As I sit down to write about the Island Institute and the Maine Island Trail Association, this is the statement that comes to mind. In many ways, this idea embodies both organizations and Maine’s coast more broadly.
Nick Battista
Maine 200
August 25, 2020

What you need to know about Maine's $200 million Economic Recovery Program

Last Friday, Governor Janet Mills announced a $200 million program that will provide grants to Maine businesses with less than 50 employees that have been deeply impacted by the ongoing pandemic. There is a tight window for applications, so we wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about the grant. 
Craig Olson
August 21, 2020

Commercial Currents Podcast: Business in Uncertain Times—LooHoo


In this episode, we talk with Cyndi Prince, founder and CEO of LooHoo, an environmentally-minded company based in midcoast Maine that makes wool dryer balls. Cyndi started LooHoo in her home and now leverages her local supply chain to meet a global market. A market that, it turns out, is fairly resilient during this tough time. As a proud, black female business owner, Cyndi also talks about the role of the Maine’s business community in addressing racial injustice, and offers her thoughts on how organizations can help amplify black voices in an intentional way that strengthens both our businesses and our communities.
Claire Donnelly
August 14, 2020

Our Favorite Podcasts: August 2020

Last August we shared our first Business Podcast round-up, so it felt like a good time to update the list. First of all, a lot has changed in the world and the business landscape, and there are some great podcasts to help you make sense of the current climate. And second, we are about to re-launch our own Commercial Currents podcast, and our series "Business in Uncertain Times."
Craig Olson; Claire Donnelly
Sea Level
August 12, 2020

Sea level rise affects everyone on the Maine coast

The Maine Climate Council needs your help! Whether you’re a municipal official, a volunteer on a local sea level rise committee, or a resident concerned about sea level rise in your own town, your feedback is valued, and we invite you to have your voices heard.
Susie Arnold, Ph. D.
July 30, 2020

Lobsters and apples: Preserving freshness and quality through the supply chain

About 20 years ago, a family friend from California told me while she was visiting northern Michigan that she didn't bother to eat seafood in the Midwest, because being able to enjoy the freshness and taste of seafood in her home state—a state that sits on the ocean—meant her palate didn't appreciate the lesser quality that us land-locked citizens were forced to accept. At the time, I thought her comment was rude and pretentious, but then I started thinking about the fresh food I had access to. 
Meghan Grabill, Ph.D.
Social Network
July 24, 2020

Commercial Currents: Making Connections

For the past 37 years, the Island Institute has worked in, and become a part of, Maine's island and coastal communities. Once you’ve lived in a small community for a period of time, the interconnectedness of everything and everyone begins to be revealed. If you grew up there, it’s simply in your DNA. If you move there from “away” like many of us, it takes some time to begin to understand. I’m a firm believer in the theory that those who understand it stay, and those who don’t leave.
Craig Olson
July 10, 2020

Maine Primary Election: Please vote on July 14th!

The Maine Primary Election for several state and local offices is now on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. This election—originally scheduled for June 9, but delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis—is about choosing nominees for U.S. Senate and U.S. House seats, as well as seats in the Maine state legislature and local offices. If you don’t vote, you are leaving it up to others to make these choices for you.
Nick Battista
July 7, 2020

Commercial Currents Podcast: Business in Uncertain Times—Topside Inn


In this episode, we talk with Mark Osborn, the owner and innkeeper of Topside Inn in Boothbay Harbor. Recently, Facebook released their State of Small Business Report, citing hospitality as one of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic, and unfortunately, the Topside Inn is no exception.
Claire Donnelly