November 23, 2020

Commercial Currents: Four Ways to Find Community this Winter

It seems like there is a general unease as we head into another Maine winter. The days are getting colder and shorter, COVID cases are starting to rise again. Like us, you are probably starting to worry a bit about the isolation of getting through the winter. Add to that the fact that many of the small business owners we work with are the sole employee/owner of their business. In the best times, being a small business owner can be lonely and isolating, and living in a pandemic only amplifies…
Craig Olson and Claire Donnelly
November 13, 2020

Rapid COVID-19 testing available for island communities

State of Maine and partners work to ensure islands have adequate access to coronavirus testing

Since March, Maine’s island communities have faced a variety of logistical and other unique challenges in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. But thanks to a new state effort to distribute…
Nick Battista
October 30, 2020

A Personal Reflection on Learning to Face Race

Adapted from the opening remarks at the 2020 Island Teachers Conference

Twenty-five years ago, I made a conscious choice to avoid the issue of race. And because I am a white woman, living in a majority white community, I had the…
Yvonne Thomas
Nicole Ouellette
October 26, 2020

Commercial Currents: Getting Your Small Business Ready for Online Marketing this Holiday Season

It might feel early, but right now is a great time to lay the groundwork for the holidays. Here’s how to make your online marketing painless but profitable so you…
Nicole Ouelette, Guest Contributor
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,…
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 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.