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Business Highlight: EterNav – Verona Island

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eternav-logo-and-backgroundKasey Smith, founder of EterNav, wants to change the funeral and death care industry.

With a background in technology startups and personal experience dealing with loss, she saw an opportunity to help those experiencing one of life’s toughest challenges, navigating the unexpected loss of a loved one.

She has created 21st century technical tools and a step by step process that helps guide families through the practical tasks and action steps that follow the loss of a loved one. Her solution, called EterNav (short for eternal navigation), offers affordable, personalized and convenient bereavement solutions — working either with and without a funeral home.Read More

Business Highlight: Autotronics – Frenchville & Bangor

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logoAutotronics, a family-owned business that specializes in the building and restoration of emergency vehicles, has been in business since 1958 and serves customers within Maine, New England and even internationally. Business Owner Lita Daigle approached Maine SBDC Business Advisor Josh Nadeau looking for help in restructuring some current loans as well as obtaining funds to help build a new state of the art paint facility at their headquarters in Frenchville, Maine.

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How To: Create a working business plan

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Many small business people think of the business plan as that thing they had to do to obtain financing for their business. While that is one way to describe a business plan, it isn’t the right one.

Business plans are not something that should be seen as a hurdle. Think of it as a ladder. The business plan is part of a process that helps you achieve your goals. It leads you onward and upward. Sometimes the steps go quickly and sometimes they don’t. If you have done your research you should be well prepared and have a sound basis for your business decisions. You don’t need a business plan that is from a 30-page template you found on line. You need a working business plan.

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Business Highlight: Lost Valley – Auburn

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12247088_10150572329809950_1312391115200000601_nLost Valley, a small ski area located in Auburn, Maine, has been a staple of the area since 1961. The first ski area in Maine to make artificial snow, the business features 15 trails and a terrain park, offering something for skiers of all abilities. It also boasts one of the largest ski schools in Maine.

When the potential for purchasing the business arose, Scott Shanaman and his wife April jumped at the opportunity.  Familiar with the ski industry (they also own and run a ski lift maintenance business) but seeking guidance on obtaining financing and executing the purchase, they reached out to Jane Mickeriz, Maine SBDC business advisor at the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG). Together they spent many hours working on a business plan, financial projections and loan packaging which Shanaman presented to several banks. 

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Client News: Vintage Maine Kitchen in Freeport cooks up old-fashion potato chips

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Maine SBDC client in the news…

“Hang on, I’ve got to pull a rack of chips from the fryer,” says Kelly Brodeur — co-owner with her husband Scott of the startup Vintage Maine Kitchen — before settling into a recent phone interview.

Celebrating their first year in business on Aug. 1, it seems the Brodeurs are pulling countless racks as their small-batch, hand-made potato chips soar in popularity. From a first run of 12 cases produced from 100 pounds of potatoes for a local store, they are today producing chips for about 100 locations in Maine and beyond, and enjoy robust online sales.

They decline to cite revenue, but say their sales figures are twice the start-up loan amount they received from Coastal Enterprises Inc., the Brunswick-based nonprofit that assists with rural business development.”

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