Year In Review
Small businesses sought stability as the business landscape continued to evolve in 2022. With the lingering effects of the pandemic and the possibility of an economic recession on the horizon, plenty of challenges still lie ahead. But, for the first time in years, business owners were able to look forward and create a plan with confidence, giving them a sense of control over their futures.
In 2022, Maine SBDC worked with thousands of small businesses to strategize and navigate this next phase with confidence. While common challenges like high inflation and tight labor markets persist, business owners are eager to get back to the basics, focusing on their business plans, marketing strategy, and financial projections.
Our team of business advisors is enthusiastic to help and guide these resilient entrepreneurs. Business advisors are a trusted resource for business owners, helping them to more confidently navigate the challenges and rewards of business ownership and guiding them in making critical decisions that impact their futures.
As we move into a new year, you can count on our team to be here, working alongside business owners to build a stronger and brighter future for Maine’s economy.
THE MAINE SBDC TEAM
Serving over 2,000 entrepreneurs in 2022
Associate State Director of Operations
Center Director & Business Advisor, Auburn
Center Director & Business Advisor, Portland
Center Director & Business Advisor, Brunswick
Associate Center Director & Business Advisor, Bangor
Business Advisor, Portland
Business Advisor, Biddeford
Business Advisor, Bangor
Business Advisor, Portland
Business Advisor, Waterville
Business Advisor, Auburn
Business Advisor, Wiscasset
Admin & Data Manager
Director of Finance & Grant Management
Making an Impact
Making an impact in communities across Maine: With the guidance and expertise of business advisors throughout Maine, entrepreneurs develop the skills necessary to meet their goals, create successful businesses, and improve the local economies in which they reside. In 2022, business advisors provided one-on-one guidance to entrepreneurs and business owners which resulted in…
Serving & Supporting
Serving all of Maine’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, including those in underserved markets: Business advisors work with each entrepreneur to provide the unique assistance needed in order for them to achieve their goals. In 2022, Maine SBDC also developed new, no-cost resources for non-English speaking entrepreneurs on essential topics of owning and operating a small business in Maine.
In 2022, Maine SBDC clients consisted of…
- 53% Women Entrepreneurs
- 34% Rural Entrepreneurs
- 30% Young Entrepreneurs (35 years or younger)
- 12% Minority Entrepreneurs (Nonwhite/Hispanic)
- 10% Entrepreneurs with Low-to-Moderate Income
- 9% Entrepreneurs with Disabilities
- 7% Veteran & Military-Connected Entrepreneurs
Working Together to Better Serve Small Businesses: In 2022, nearly 15% of clients met with more than one business advisor. Virtual meetings allow clients to seek guidance and expertise from multiple business advisors across the state. Maine SBDC business advisors are qualified professionals with diverse education and business backgrounds. While every Maine SBDC business advisor has the expertise to provide general business guidance, they each have unique experiences and skill sets that deepen our ability to serve clients.
Learning & Empowering
Providing access to free educational opportunities on subjects that matter to entrepreneurs and business owners: Maine SBDC is dedicated to empowering and educating business owners to start and operate sustainable businesses. In addition to on-demand eCourses, Maine SBDC offered live webinars and an expansive YouTube library to provide accessible information to business owners across Maine. In 2022, four eCourses and two resource guides were translated into Somali and French for non-English learners.
Business advising inspires clarity and confidence to build sustainable businesses: More than 95% of clients said they would recommend their business advisor. Clients comment on the insightful, helpful, and knowledgeable advising services. After meeting with a business advisor, they feel supported, encouraged, and inspired to more confidently run their businesses.
As I learned very quickly, starting a business can be difficult and overwhelming in the beginning, especially when you don’t have much of a business background. However, being able to connect with the Maine SBDC and work closely with Tina helped to make the process go much smoother. Tina was very patient and always willing to meet with us and answer our many questions. She helped break things down in a way that made everything seem more manageable and gave me the confidence to keep moving forward on this new journey. I’m so glad to have had the Maine SBDC as a resource in starting Groove 207!
Haley Bauman, Groove 207
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, $3.80 was returned in incremental tax revenue.
For every dollar invested in the Maine SBDC, $3.80 was returned in incremental tax revenue.
– Maine SBDC Economic Impact Study: 2020-2021
Over 2,000 entrepreneurs turned to the Maine SBDC in 2022 to help navigate the process of starting, managing, or growing their businesses. With the guidance and expertise of business advisors, these entrepreneurs develop the skills necessary to meet their goals, create successful businesses, and improve the local economies in which they reside.
“SBDC was a great sounding board, they gave advice when asked for as well as ideas, suggestions and options for the things I needed. SBDC has been a great partner to have next to me while I grow.”
– Dani Rockey, Seacoast Senior Advisors
Results by County
“Peter H. and the SBDC were absolutely essential in helping me organize and develop the formation of my business.“
– Philip Browne, Skipper Services LLC
Excludes USM cost share and in-kind contributions of $526,713
*Various project years normalized to calendar year format
The SBDC is a cooperative effort that leverages federal, state, and higher education resources to help entrepreneurs and small businesses to start, grow and succeed.
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.
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.
Over 45 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.
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:
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.
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) has six 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 one SBDC business advisor. NMDC is a regional planning and economic development organization serving Aroostook and Washington Counties.