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
Pictured (left to right): Steve Lovejoy, Center Director and Business Advisor (Portland)* Pete Harriman, Business Advisor (Portland) * Roy Hebert, Business Advisor (Saco) *Tom Leach, Business Advisor (Portland) * Chris Long, Administrative Manager (Portland) * John Sanders, Business Advisor (Portland)
Steve Lovejoy Named Center Director
Business Advisor Steve Lovejoy was recently named to Center Director at the Portland office located at the University of Southern Maine. Within this new role, Lovejoy will oversee operations at both the Portland and Saco offices, including the management of 4 business advisors. He will also continue to advise entrepreneurs and small businesses in the greater Portland area.
You may recognize Steve, as he’s has been a business advisor with the Maine SBDC for over four years, most recently serving the York County area. He specializes in small business banking, finance and marketing. Lovejoy, who comes from a family of entrepreneurs, holds advance degrees in International Business and Marketing and has over 20 years of experience in banking and finance. He can be reached by calling 207-780-4949 or emailing email@example.com.
New Advisors in Portland, Saco
Last week we welcomed two new advisors to the University of Southern Maine offices (Portland and Saco). We are happy to introduce Peter Harriman and Roy Hebert…
Peter Harriman has joined the team in Portland at our offices located at the University of Southern Maine. Harriman will provide business advising to new and existing entrepreneurs and small businesses in Cumberland County.
Harriman has an MBA with a focus on Finance from the University of Maine and a certificate in Accounting from the University of Southern Maine. His most recent work was as a Loan Specialist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He can be reached by calling 207-780-4949 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roy Hebert will be in our Saco office located at the Biddeford-Saco Area Economic Development Corporation. Hebert will provide business advising to new and existing entrepreneurs and small businesses in York County.
Hebert has a Bachelors degree from the University of Maine and completed the Executive Management Program at Northeastern University. He founded and ran a consulting business that helped businesses with new product development, strategy, business planning, sales and channel development and mergers and acquisitions. In addition, he is a former New Hampshire SCORE councilor and mentor. He can be reached by calling 207-282-1748 or emailing email@example.com
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?
The U.S. SBA has compiled a ton of helpful information. The National Cyber Security Alliance also has some helpful information for businesses.
Meet Josh Nadeau, Center Director/Business Advisor at Northern Maine Development Commission serving all of Aroostook County.
Born and raised in Caribou, Josh is the son and former employee of a small business entrepreneur who successfully owns and has run a business for over 20 years. His past experience includes serving as a Commercial Lines Underwriter for MG Insurance Company and sales and management at a car dealership. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Maine at Orono.
In his spare time he enjoys riding his Polaris Ranger with family, fishing, being outside, and playing basketball. He is looking forward to serving the residents of Aroostook County in reaching their entrepreneurial goals.
The Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC) has selected Ann McAlhany as the 2015 State Star. The award, given annually, recognizes a member of the Maine SBDC staff that has shown exemplary performance and a strong commitment to small business success.
“Ann is an incredible asset to our program and role model among her peers. She is well connected within the small business community and works closely with our partners to ensure the success of her clients,” said Maine SBDC State Director, Mark Delisle.
McAlhany is a certified business advisor at the Maine SBDC at CEI in Bangor. She works with entrepreneurs and small businesses in Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties to start and grow their businesses. In the 10 years that McAlhany has been with the Maine SBDC, she has spent 9,649 hours working with 909 clients. She’s helped to start 57 businesses, create/retain 296 jobs, and generate almost $17 million in capital. In addition, McAlhany works closely with related small business programs such as Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and Maine Technology Institute.
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
“It was great to be able to utilize the resources of the Maine SBDC and to tap into John’s knowledge. Without the Maine SBDC, I wouldn’t have known about the bank I eventually ended up receiving the loan from, and without John I would have never heard about the Libra Future Fund Grant.”
– Zachary Schmesser, Owner