Facing Challenges
Finding Opportunities

Year In Review

AS WE REFLECT ON THE PAST YEAR, it is impossible to ignore the struggles that the pandemic brought to so many. Thousands of distressed business owners turned to the Maine SBDC for guidance during this uncertain time. We were there to help them address their concern and confusion. We were there to help them sustain and survive.

We have seen the heroic response of small businesses in navigating the pandemic. Maine’s business owners stood strong in the face of adversity. They made difficult financial decisions, provided invaluable support to those who depend on them, and got creative in order to safely keep their doors open and business afloat. We have seen their resilience and determination.

Our team is dedicated to supporting Maine’s courageous business owners as they continue to respond, relaunch and recover from a very difficult year.

Working remotely with our clients in 2020

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Mark Delisle
State Director

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Jennifer Boutin
Associate State Director of Operations

Carol Papciak
Associate State Director of Finance

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Shannon Byers
Center Director & Business Advisor

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Peter Harriman
Center Director & Business Advisor

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Raynor Large
Center Director & Business Advisor

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Brandon McDonald
Center Director & Business Advisor

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Lori Allen
Business Advisor, Auburn

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Christine Cole
Business Advisor, Portland

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Susan Degrosseilliers
Business Advisor, Portland

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Anne Lancaster
Business Advisor, Biddeford

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Alison Lane
Business Advisor, Bangor

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Ann McAlhany
Business Advisor, Bangor

Grace Mo-Phillips
Business Advisor, Wiscasset

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Christina Oddleifson
Business Advisor, Portland

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Peter Piconi
Business Advisor, Waterville

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Jenn Stein
Business Advisor, Brunswick

Bradshaw Swanson
Business Advisor, Brunswick & Augusta

Jared Tapley
Business Advisor, Houlton

Christine Long
Administrative Manager

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Kelsey Riordan
Project Coordinator

Keenan Hendricks

Nargiz Alizada


Serving and Supporting

Serving & Supporting

Serving and supporting more entrepreneurs and small businesses than in any other year in the program’s history. In 2020, Maine SBDC’s team of business advisors helped a record number of businesses to navigate the pandemic through its advising and webinar programs.

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Pandemic Relief

Pandemic Relief

Helping 507 Small Businesses Reclaim Financial Balance.
During 2020, Maine SBDC business advisors helped 507 small businesses access a total of $17.9 million in pandemic relief loans & grants. Popular programs offered by the US Small Business Administration and Maine’s Department of Economic & Community Development include the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan, Maine’s Economic Recovery Grant, and the Micro-Enterprise Grant program through the Community Development Block Grant program.

Making an Impact

Making An Impact

In 2020, Maine SBDC made a significant impact in local communities all across the State of Maine.

Women In Business

Women In Business

1,549 women turned to the Maine SBDC for assistance in 2020. Business advisors across the state helped to support a record number of Maine’s women-owned small businesses.

You listened, you heard me, you supported and encouraged, you reminded, you inspired, you educated, and you guided.

Sally Jaskold, The Only Donut in Belfast

Recovery and Relaunch

Recovery & Relaunch

Equipping small businesses with the tools they need to navigate the pandemic. Maine SBDC’s new Recovery & Relaunch Resource Center provides business owners with enhanced resources that will help them more confidently navigate the challenges and next steps as they respond, relaunch and recover from the pandemic. Enhanced services include access to no-cost market research and financial benchmarking tools, in-depth expertise, online educational content, and a comprehensive website.

Our mission is simple: To guide and support Maine entrepreneurs in the success of their small businesses. We are dedicated to helping as many Maine businesses as possible through this trying time. We want entrepreneurs and business owners to know they are not alone. We are here and we can help them navigate the right next steps for their businesses.

– Mark Delisle, State Director

By The Numbers

Return On Investment

Return on investment for the Maine SBDC is evaluated, analyzed, and reviewed annually through an independent study conducted by Dr. James Chrisman at Mississippi State University. His findings are based on information provided by a survey of clients meeting with a Maine SBDC business advisor for at least five hours. Dr. Chrisman’s most recent report indicates that for every dollar invested in the Maine SBDC, $5.52 was returned in incremental tax revenue.

Graphic - per $1 investedGraphic - Incremental Tax Revenue

For every dollar invested in the Maine SBDC, $5.52 was returned in incremental tax revenue.

– Dr. James Chrisman, Mississippi State University

5-Year Trends

Almost 3,000 entrepreneurs turned to the Maine SBDC in 2020 to help navigate the process of starting, managing, or growing their businesses. With the guidance and expertise of business advisors located throughout Maine, these entrepreneurs develop the skills necessary to meet their goals, create successful businesses, and improve the local economies in which they reside. The program’s impressive results year after year stand as proof of the strength of these advisor-client relationships.

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“Our work with Maine SBDC only expanded on the pride we have being a Maine Small Business. It’s encouraging to know such a great resource is available to us while we remain lean moving forward in uncertain times.”

– Jeff Davis, Maine Fly Company

Client Composition



Results By County

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“I would like to thank you for what you are doing for me and for all the businesses you are helping. You do a fantastic job and we are lucky to have someone like you.”

– Lucas Roldan Rozas, CrossFit Black Bear

Financial Overview

Excludes USM cost share and in-kind contributions of $209,269

*Various project years normalized to calendar year format

Client Stories

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The SBDC is a cooperative effort that leverages federal, state, and higher education resources to help individuals and small businesses to start, grow and succeed.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration funds and administers the nationwide SBDC program to assist current and prospective business owners. Working with local SBA district offices, SBDC offers services tailored to local communities and individual clients to help promote entrepreneurship and small business growth.

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The State of Maine provides funding through DECD support to the Maine SBDC program. Maine SBDC and DECD work together to support business development and economic growth throughout Maine by ensuring entrepreneurs and small business owners can confidently navigate the process of starting and growing their businesses.

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Over 40 years ago, the University of Southern Maine (USM) piloted the Maine SBDC to provide essential management assistance and education to Maine’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. Since those initial days, USM has continued to provide critical support and guidance on the operation of the SBDC program across the State.

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The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) provides funding to the Maine SBDC program. Maine SBDC and MTI share common goals, including the development of individual entrepreneurs within the State of Maine towards sustainable economic growth.

Critical to the Maine SBDC’s success are the partner organizations that staff our business advisors across Maine. These long term partners include:

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Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG) has two SBDC business advisors. AVCOG is a regional planning agency serving Western Maine communities including Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford Counties.

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Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) has seven SBDC business advisors located throughout Central Maine. CEI is a Community Development Corporation that helps grow good jobs, environmentally sustainable enterprises, and shared prosperity in Maine and other rural regions.


Northern Maine Development Commission staff has two SBDC business advisors. NMDC is a regional planning and economic development organization serving Aroostook and Washington Counties.

Download 2020 Annual Report