Blog

Washburn Trailside – Washburn

Prior to former Washburn police officer Jarad Carney purchasing the Washburn Trailside in 2020, it was just another struggling small town gas station. But thanks to Jarad’s strong ties to Washburn, his values around community, and his understanding of the local seasonal industries the Washburn Trailside has become a true “one-stop” experience for locals and tourists alike. Improvements included successfully merging the local redemption center into the gas station and breathing new life into the associated restaurant, offering new and changing menus at the only restaurant in Washburn while staying true to the hometown-style Maine charm that has come to be expected. Read More

KV Tooling Systems – Augusta

Specialty products are produced using special tools, but when each of those tools is made up of extremely specialized parts, you’ll need the help of someone like Brian Beland from KV Tooling Systems in Augusta to make them for you! Beland started working with Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor Brad Swanson in 2001 when KV Tooling Systems was just him in a basement.

Over the past twenty years, they have developed a supportive working relationship and during that time Brian has created a thriving business producing tooling to meet a wide variety of industrial needs including those used in the production of COVID rapid tests! Swanson was working with Beland on the process of navigating his financing sources and uses for a business expansion when the pandemic hit, and everything was put on hold. Read More

Happy Retirement to Business Advisor Brad Swanson

Bradshaw SwansonAs a Master Certified Business Advisor at CEI located in our Brunswick & Augusta offices, Brad has been an integral part of the Maine SBDC staff for 30 years. He’s helped over 2,977 entrepreneurs and small business owners to start 158 new businesses, save or create 1, 682 jobs and obtain over $85 million in capital to start and grow their businesses.

Brad’s vast knowledge in business growth, development and strategic planning plus his management experience have been invaluable in the advising services he’s provided to his clients. Read More

Lessons Learned: Top 6 Trends Impacting Businesses

The fifth part of an ongoing series of blog posts on lessons learned from COVID 19. The pandemic created new trends and business models that changed priorities and planning for small business owners. These are the top 6 business trends that will impact your business in 2021 and beyond.

As the pandemic hit and in the months after certain terms have popped up in the news with growing frequency – Supply Chain Disruption, Worker Shortage, Inflation, Social Distancing, Remote Work, and Cyber Security to name a few. As a business owner, you’re always trying to predict trends in order to prepare for or get ahead of the market.   Read More

Rick Osann Art – Bar Harbor

When Rick Osann retired as an art/theater/film schoolteacher in Southern Maine, he knew he wanted to continue creating art.  He began painting watercolor landscapes in the 1970s and painted professionally in the stage, film and TV industry.  Today, he focuses his work on Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park which provides endless inspiration. When he realized he had more paintings than wall space, he decided to start a business selling his work. Read More

Maine Tasting Center – Wiscasset

Andrew Gross and his family have one goal in mind: to bring together individuals and groups active in Maine’s food ecosystem. This is the inspiration for the Maine Tasting Center, a destination attraction featuring Maine-made foods and drinks through a tasting room, learning center, discovery center, and events. The Maine Tasting Center will allow tourists and residents to enjoy Maine’s unique food and drink offerings while expanding the educational awareness of Maine’s food associations. Read More

Temple Cinema – Houlton

 An Aroostook county classic for over 100 years, the Temple Cinema in Houlton is one of the oldest continuously operated movie theatres in the state of Maine. Multiple renovations kept the original charm and stayed true to the historic value even after the switch to modern digital projection.

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Lessons Learned:  Online Sales and Marketing 

The fourth part of an ongoing series of blog posts on lessons learned from Covid 19. This week we focus on how the pandemic created new opportunities for small businesses to expand their customer base and increase sales.

E-commerce has been steadily increasing for years, but when the pandemic hit in 2020 this trend went into overdrive.  When it comes to online sales, we are years ahead of schedule and customers across all age groups and demographics are buying online.  Read More

New Frontiers Chiropractic – New Gloucester

Will Barlett, a Mainer who attended chiropractic College in California, had one goal in mind: Return to Maine to set up a practice in one of the towns surrounding the metro Portland area.

Bartlett, interned for a variety of chiropractors both on the west and east coasts, developed a deep passion for working with families, athletes, and clients of all ages. Because of that desire to care for and heal his patients complete self; He chose to study the Gonstead chiropractic technique, which looks at the whole person and searches for the source of a patient’s pain or discomfort by examining spinal misalignments, nerve dysfunction, foundational imbalance, and motion disturbances. Adjustments are then made to help restore natural spinal alignment and optimal movement. Read More