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Experience Maine – Cumberland, Maine

Rachel Sagiroglu is passionate about all that Maine has to offer. That is why she decided to start Experience Maine, a new full-service travel concierge and event planning company. Rachel knew that tourism is Maine’s largest industry, but noticed that the corporate meetings and events segment of the industry has only grown by 50,000 business-related travelers in the last three years. With over 20 years of experience in event planning, she wanted to help expand Maine’s corporate meeting and events market.

For guidance on the steps to starting this exciting new business, Rachel contacted Business Advisor Susan Desgrosseillers from the Maine Small Business Development Centers. Together they worked to price Rachel’s services, create financial projections and develop a business plan that would help understand her business and obtain a loan from Coastal Enterprises.Read More

New Workplace Violence Prevention Training for Retail Small Businesses

Maine SBDC has partnered with the University of Southern Maine’s Cutler Institute to create a FREE, self-paced online training just for retail and foodservice small businesses!

DID YOU KNOW?

As an employer, you are legally responsible for safety in the workplace.

Workplace violence is the 2nd leading cause of workplace fatalities in the U.S. overall and the leading cause of death for women. In 2016, cashiers and retail sales supervisors had the highest homicide rates of any occupation, occurring most commonly during a robbery (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).

The training includes information on the types of violent threats in retail workplaces, including robbery, shoplifting, unwelcome walk-ins, and threats from customers or employees. Employers and employees will learn how to respond to violence or the threat of violence by reading body language and using de-escalation techniques. Employers will learn how to establish a workplace violence prevention program. 

This training focuses on recognizing risks and different types of violence, warning signs of violence, de-escalating violent situations, creating a workplace violence prevention plan, and reporting to OSHA. The online program is free and accessible from any computer or mobile device.
Participants may login when convenient and complete the training at their own pace. After
successful completion, the staff member is awarded a downloadable certificate.

Access the training herehttp://www.mainesbdctraining.org

The Cutler Institute, a part of USM’s Muskie School of Public Service, was awarded a $116,000 OSHA grant to help create the online training. The funding is part of the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. The grants provide educational and training programs to help employees and employers recognize serious workplace hazards, implement injury prevention measures, and understand their rights and responsibilities.

Purple Shed Woodworks LLC – Portland, Maine

After losing their father to cancer in 2016, Renée Ledoux began to question her career choice as an emergency room nurse. Jason Ledoux began to question his career path after spending time working a desk job, quickly realizing pushing papers was not for him. Neither felt passionate about their career paths and wanted more. One night over dinner with their mother, they were discussing how their father had worked for himself for many years and they got an idea. Why couldn’t they start their own business? The business could combine Jason’s talent and knowledge of woodworking with Renée’s outgoing personality and attention to detail, it would be the perfect partnership. They decided to give it a shot!Read More

Swanson Consulting & Associates – Trenton, ME

Swanson Consulting & Associates LogoTerri Swanson has successfully held several professional roles over her career. In March 2018, she decided it was time to fulfill her dream and utilize her experience in a new way. With a passion for helping people, she started her own Human Resources consulting business, Swanson Consulting & Associates.

Terri was in the beginning stages when she met Certified Business Advisor Shannon Byers.  In Shannon, Terri found someone who could give feedback, ask questions that would generate ideas and be supportive of her new business.  Together, the pair worked through the Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition. This work together provided a visual guide to better understand the business and helped identify critical areas of focus in order to be successful.Read More

Maine SBDC names Ann McAlhany as 2019 State Star

Bangor, Maine –The Maine SBDC has selected Ann McAlhany as the 2019 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 dedicated to the success of her clients and the Maine SBDC program. She is a leader and role model among her peers and we are lucky to have her as part of our team,” said Maine SBDC State Director, Mark Delisle.

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Transcapsule – Gorham, ME

Tobey Tozier recognized a need in the transgender community. Through personal experience, he has found that this market of 1.4 million transgender adults in the U.S. lacks easy ways to document their transitions and track the effects of Hormone Replace Therapy (HRT) over time. Changes are usually tracked through photos, video, audio clips, body measurements and journaling on various apps and devices.

As a graphic designer and social entrepreneur, he wanted to create an all-in-one app that allowed users to easily document transitions in a single place.  Once the app is launched, users will be able to upload photos and videos, record audio and record body measurements, track mood changes and write journal entries. Transcapsule provides a private and secure platform to document all aspects of the transition. Tobey sees Transcapsule as a way to help people in the trans community find peace and happiness in who they are, and a way to collect anonymous data that can be shared with medical providers to further research on trans health.Read More

Four Maine SBDC Business Advisors Receive Certification

Top: Marc Anton, Susan Desgrosseilliers Bottom: Raynor Large, Allison Watson

The Maine Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC), a state-wide program that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, recognized Marc Anton, Susan Desgrosseilliers, Raynor Large and Allison Watson who received their Core Competencies Professional Certification from the New England Professional Development (NEPD) group on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.  

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