Ryan Hawkes had 13 years of experience on every level as a telecommunications contractor before deciding to strike out on his own doing fiber-optic cable splicing and installations in business and campus environments. He met with Business Advisor Larry Giroux to find out if he needed a license or certification to start this kind of business and to find out about financing his startup.
The Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC), a state-wide program that helps entrepreneurs to start and expand their businesses, is pleased to announce its annual results.
In 2015, fourteen certified business advisors across Maine helped 1,633 clients to:
- Save and create 619 jobs
- Launch 102 new businesses
- Access $37.6 million in capital to start or grow their businesses.
Return on investment for the Maine SBDC is evaluated annually through an independent study of the program conducted by Dr. James J. Chrisman at Mississippi State University. His findings are based on information provided by a sampling of clients meeting with a Maine SBDC business advisor for at least five hours.
Dr. Chrisman’s most recent report indicated that for every dollar invested in the Maine SBDC, $2.87 was returned in incremental tax revenue.
“We’ve had another strong year working to help entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed. As Dr. Chrisman’s report confirms, the program continues to demonstrate its value to taxpayers by generating incremental tax revenue,” said Maine SBDC State Director, Mark Delisle.
View our entire 2015 Annual Report:
The Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC) has received funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Portable Assistance Grant Program to develop a program that will provide entrepreneurial advising and training for potential and existing business owners in the Bucksport Bay Area who have been adversely affected by the closure of the Verso Paper Mill.
The program will be a collaborative effort of the Maine SBDC in association with CEI, New Ventures Maine and other local economic development organizations. This program will be designed to equip entrepreneurs and anyone interested in starting a business with a broad range of knowledge necessary for successfully developing and growing a small business.
The grant will provide essential entrepreneurial training to help current businesses and those who may be interested in starting a business explore the opportunities in the area. Maine SBDC will staff a business advising outreach office, located at Bangor Savings Bank in Bucksport, where a certified business advisor will be available to meet with new and existing businesses to discuss challenges and opportunities confidentially and at no cost.
“This grant will provide targeted critical resources to enable us to enhance services to this struggling area,” explains Mark Delisle, Maine SBDC State Director.
Beyond business advising, Maine SBDC plans to organize an entrepreneurial tourism-focused workshop series, provide ‘mini-grants’ to select small business clients for professional services, host a small business resource breakfast and put together a business plan competition. These activities will be paired with online content that will be available to business owners.
The SBA awards SBDC Portable Assistance Program grants to provide services and/or assistance to increase small business success and viability in communities suffering economic hardship attributable to the impact of a major disaster or economic downturn in their area.
Individuals interested in working with the Maine SBDC can visit www.mainesbdc.org or call 207-780-4420.
“We really enjoyed working with Josh, he was very knowledgeable and if he didn’t have the answer he was quick to get one.” Amanda Crane, Business Co-Owner
Jake Ryan initially contacted the Maine SBDC for assistance in writing a business plan, determining the appropriate form of business ownership and management issues. His concept was to create a shared learn/work facility that would, for a membership fee, provide access to work space, tools, resources, instruction and guidance to members for use with their projects. Read More
Protect your business and your customers from growing cybersecurity threats. Small businesses are an easy target for cyberattacks as they have weaker security and therefore it is easier to gain access to their information, systems and networks.
Small Business Cybersecurity Defensive Measures:
Train and educate employees
Establish basic security practices and policies for your employees such as strong passwords, internet use guidelines and established rules detailing the handing and protection of customer data. Train employees to be alert for email and phishing scams. Be clear on the consequences if these policies are not followed.
Protect computers and networks from cyber attacks.
Secure your company computers by ensuring each have malware, spyware and firewall software installed. Prevent access to networks on non-business computers. Also consider encrypting all sensitive data and emails. Keep computers updated.
Back up Data Regularly
Be sure to back up data regularly so that if information is lost or compromised it can easily be recovered.
Why is this important for your small business?
Most businesses are dependent on the internet for day-to-day operations. Just one breach could potentially put you out of business.
A small reminder — cyber threats are not always outside your business. Be sure to have appropriate internal controls in place to prevent employee fraud.
Looking for more info on protecting your business from cyber threats?
Each year, America’s Small Business Development Centers recognizes top performers from programs around the country at its annual conference. A special reception was held Tuesday, September 8, 2015 in San Francisco, California to honor this year’s award winners.
“In no small part, the ability to leverage this funding and bring the business into pilot production has been a result of the support and resources that Janet Roderick, and more broadly the Maine Small Business Development Centers have provided.”
– Joel Alex, Owner
After eighteen successful years in business, Kenny and Ronnie Jacques came to see Maine SBDC Center Director and Business Advisor Jane Mickeriz for assistance expanding their business, Ski Depot. With a reputation for quality customer service and expert knowledge, Ski Depot includes a retail and web shop, full service tuning, boot fitting and rentals to meet all of a skier’s needs.Read More