Blog

Grants for Micro-Enterprise Businesses

MICROENTERPRISE GRANT

The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) in partnership with the Maine Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) will provide grants of up to $5,000 for businesses with five or fewer employees, with an owner whose income is in the low to moderate range as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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Circle Two Disc Golf – Bradford

Circle Two Disc Golf Logo

Disc golf has been rapidly growing in popularity as both a recreational activity and a professional competitive sport. Andrew Kahl is an active member of Maine’s disc golf community and wanted to create his own course on his family’s land. He reached out to the Maine SBDC at CEI for assistance understanding what is involved in starting his own business.

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Maine SBDC Releases 2020 Results: Supporting more small businesses than ever before

The Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC), a statewide program that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, announces the annual results for 2020.

In 2020, business advisors across Maine provided virtual, no-cost business advising to 2,956 entrepreneurs and small businesses, nearly double the number of businesses assisted in the previous year. This support helped them to:

  • Access $38.3 million in capital to sustain, start or grow their businesses
  • Start 93 new businesses
  • Save and create 514 jobs

During an especially difficult year, Maine SBDC stepped up to support a record number of entrepreneurs and small business owners, including serving more women than ever before.

Maine SBDC business advisors helped 507 small businesses access a total of $17.9 million in pandemic relief loans and grants to help sustain their businesses.  In addition to advising services, Maine SBDC hosted 63 webinars and events which reached over 2,200 attendees.

Access the 2020 Digital Annual Report:
www.mainesbdc.org/annual-report/2020/

“Our team is dedicated to supporting Maine’s courageous business owners as they continue to respond and recover from a very difficult year. We want entrepreneurs and business owners to know they are not alone. We are here and we can help them navigate the next steps for their businesses,” commented Maine SBDC State Director Mark Delisle.

Trailside Gardens – Abbot

 

Display of Trailside Gardens flowers within a canopy

Trailside Gardens evolved from a lifelong interest in the natural world surrounding us, particularly plants and landscape design. For eight years, Trailside Gardens in Abbot has offered an impressive selection of healthy plant material. As a small nursery selling plants, business owner Pauline Eldredge was facing supply issues and decided she was ready and needed to expand her business. She was ready to increase her inventory and to purchase her own greenhouse where she would grow her own products. She had the vision and the skills, she just needed funding to support this growth. Read More

Wandering Goat – Union

Wandering Goat - Logo

Since 2013, Tanya Rudy and her mother Cheryl have been making handcrafted soaps from their family farm in Midcoast Maine. This mother-daughter team located in Union makes their soaps in small batches and uses only the finest quality ingredients. They combine fresh goat’s milk from their own herd with organic oils to create naturally scented and colored products.Read More

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG)

IMPORTANT UPDATE (4-23-21): Application portal reopens Saturday, April 24

Businesses can now apply for both a PPP loan after Dec 27, 2020 -and- the SVOG! 

The purpose of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program is to provide aid to small business owners who have been hit hard by COVID-19 related shutdowns. The bill allows for $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues which can cover 45% of gross earned revenue for eligible businesses. Grants are not to exceed $10 million.

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Environmentally Conscious Cost Savings

By: Jared Entwistle, Maine SBDC Intern

Environmental Conscious Cost Savings In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important for small businesses to think about ways to conserve cash flow. This often presents a dilemma for those who want to be conscious of their carbon footprint: how can I reduce my business’s environmental impact while maintaining a budget? 

Many businesses are aware of the impact of things like switching to LEDs. In this blog, we’ll focus on ideas that will produce immediate cost savings with a minimal investment which can also help maintain your commitment to the environment. 

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Unmatched Apparel – Lewiston

Unmatched Apparel

Alexis and business partner Tawni have a shared passion for using creative tailoring skills to upcycle thrift-based clothing into unique and expressive apparel. While originally only doing so for themselves and friends, and an appreciation for their environmental movement, a vibrant brand quickly grew. They name their unique business Unmatched Apparel. As the two experienced greater demand for their products, Unmatched Apparel’s presence on social media started to gain a lot of traction. While launching an online platform for promotion and utilizing E-Commerce, they wanted to make sure they fulfilled the correct steps to become an official business. The two reached out to the Maine Small Business Development Centers for assistance. 

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Sew Rugged – Sedgwick

Sew Rugged - Logo When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Liz Meadows was forced to close the doors of her 17-year-old successful massage therapy business. She could not, in good conscience, put her clients or herself at risk of exposure to the deadly virus. An entrepreneur at heart, Liz took it as an opportunity saying, “there is nothing like the end of one career to kick-start another.”

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Am I an Entrepreneur?

By: Jared Entwistle, Maine SBDC Intern

How do I know I’m an entrepreneur?

Am I an Entrepreneur - Blog Post

Thinking about starting a business? Have an idea but unsure if you have what it takes to be a business owner? Maybe you’re one of the many people who are tired of working for someone else? Whatever the case, before you start a business, you’ll want to ask yourself if it’s the right move for you. Below we’ve broken down some of the key attributes of successful business owners and entrepreneurs so that you can decide if this is the right move for you.

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