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Acupuncture Clinic of Rhonda Feiman – Belfast, Maine

Rhonda Feiman, AcupuncturistLike many small business owners, Rhonda Feiman, acupuncturist, wonders how long it will be before her clinic experiences some level of normalcy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Concerns of safety, logistics, and compliance prevent Rhonda from reopening her practice to in-person care.  She’s been serving her clients through telehealth for several months, but a lack of personal contact left a void in her offerings and her bank account.

Rhonda has been meeting with Business Advisor, Alison Lane, regularly via Zoom since early April.  Alison helped Rhonda understand and apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, a Paycheck Protection Program loan, and Pandemic unemployment.  With Alison’s help, Rhonda freed up mental energy to focus on what is important in running her business: How to best help her clients.

Acupuncture Clinic of Rhonda Feiman, Drive InCreative juices flowing at full capacity, Rhonda developed a solution in the form of “drive-in acupuncture”.  If retail shops and restaurants can offer curbside service, why not a healthcare provider?  Clients can pull into the driveway of her clinic, be greeted in-person (in full PPE, of course) by Rhonda, and receive an acupuncture treatment without leaving the front seat of their car.  She has even provided full body treatments with clients laying on mattresses in the back of their hatchback vehicles.  Rhonda‘s clients have reported appreciation and comfort at the new service.

Rhonda was featured in the Bangor Daily News for her creativity.  The story can be viewed here.

For more information or to request an appointment, visit Rhonda‘s website at www.rhondafeiman.com or call her at (207) 338-4454.

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Local Relief for Maine Small Businesses

cash icon, local relief programsThere are many local relief programs across the state of Maine that are offering small grants, loans, and resources to help you and your small business stay afloat as you cope with the impacts of Coronavirus. There are municipalities, banks, and non-profit organizations offering small business assistance programs throughout the state. If you’re impacted by Coronavirus in any way, it’s likely you are eligible for most of your local programs. Every little bit helps – we encourage you to seek as many opportunities as possible. Read More

Business Owners – the SBDC needs your help.

Help us help you.

The Maine SBDC, in partnership with the University of Southern Maine, has developed the  Small Business COVID Crisis Survey . The goal of the survey is to help us better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses throughout Maine.
We need to hear from business owners, like you, to better understand your challenges and needs going forward. Your feedback will help determine future programming and service offerings.
 
The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Please click HERE to take the survey.

We know you are busy, and we thank you for your time and support. Together – with your input – we can help Maine businesses better manage recovery, reopening, and future resiliency.

PPP Forgiveness Application Videos

One program, two forgiveness application forms. Which form is right for your business? Where do you find the forms? How do you fill out the applications properly? 

Maine SBDC has created walk-through videos to help small businesses understand the Paycheck Protection Program Forgiveness Applications. This is a three-part series that first helps business owners identify which application form they should be filling out. The additional two videos walk businesses through each of the applications: 3508EZ Short Form and 3808 Long Form.

Access the video here.

If you need further assistance, please visit www.mainesbdc.org or email mainesbdc@maine.edu.

 

 

 

 

Serving Customers – Mask or No Mask

By: Keenan Hendricks, Maine SBDC Intern

Customer service looks different these days. As a business owner, you are in control of how your customers see you through this shift. While it is vital to try your best to enforce and follow CDC safety guidelines, there are opportunities to serve and develop relationships with your customers amidst the pandemic.  Maine SBDC - Mask Signage

Here are some tips from a recent webinar hosted by Business Advisor Susan Desgrosseilliers:Read More

COVID Stories: Farmington Underground Escape Room | Events & Entertainment

COVID has caused massive disruptions in the way we all do business. Businesses throughout Maine are finding unique and interesting ways to connect with their customers, find new revenue streams, and keep their businesses afloat. Want to share how your business is pivoting? Contact us here.


Farmington Underground - LogoJoseph Musumeci and Mary Ellms own Farmington Underground Escape Room Center, which offers residents and visitors to the area a chance to fully immerse themselves in one of two (soon to be three!) themed rooms.  Guests have one hour to use puzzles, clues, hints, teamwork, and intuition to figure everything out and achieve victory.  The business brings much-needed recreation to Western Maine and has established a loyal following.  

Farmington Underground Treasure Hunt

In early March, the pair recognized the evolving situation of COVID-19 and temporarily closed their doors. They worked with Maine SBDC Advisor, Alison Lane, to analyze their financial situation and develop viable solutions to maintain a pulse while closed.  With a bit of financial relief and understanding the importance of staying connected to customers, they set to thinking about how to pivot operations.  

Treasure Hunt

Today, Farmington Underground offers Choose-Your-Own-Adventure outdoor walking excursions around the Downtown Farmington area.  Small teams traverse the streets and parks in search of clues and puzzles to solve a mission just as they would inside an escape room.  Every team has a different experience depending on their choices.  Locations were selected with social distancing in mind, bookings are limited, and nothing needs to be touched, so participants can be safely entertained.  Breathing fresh air and getting a bit of light exercise is the icing on the cake to this experience.

Joe and Mary are eager to reopen the escape rooms when safe and allowed.  They will continue to work with the Maine SBDC to establish safety protocols and ensure their next indoor visitors are comfortable and well-entertained!

More info: www.farmingtonunderground.com/

Maine SBDC Business Advisor:  Alison Lane 

COVID Stories: TuneTown Music Gear | Retail & Service

COVID has caused massive disruptions in the way we all do business. Businesses throughout Maine are finding unique and interesting ways to connect with their customers, find new revenue streams, and keep their businesses afloat. Want to share how your business is pivoting? Contact us here.


John and Pam Edwards - TuneTownJohn and Pam Edwards have owned TuneTown Music Gear for 16 years in Wells. They bring generations of musical industry experience with the vision of providing a positive and nurturing experience in music instruction, service, and sales. Their business features nine large state of the art lesson studios, a recording studio, and a live performance stage. In the showroom, they offer a selection of instruments, keyboards, amplification, PA and recording gear, audiovisual installations in schools, churches, and military bases, print music and accessories at competitive prices. TuneTown also provides repair and maintenance on instruments and electronics.Read More

COVID Stories: Wine Wise in Portland | Events & Experiences

COVID has caused massive disruptions in the way we all do business. Businesses throughout Maine are finding unique and interesting ways to connect with their customers, find new revenue streams, and keep their businesses afloat. Want to share how your business is pivoting? Contact us here.


Erica Archer - Wine Wise Owner Erica Archer owns Wine Wise. In normal times, Wine Wise provides wine, food, and spirit-based experiences. She and her team host group events that help connect customers to Maine’s vibrant food and beverage scene. Wine Wise hosts these wine and food events on sailboats and on walks through Portland’s bustling downtown. She also hosts trips to wine regions around the World.

Wine Wise - Sailboat Trips

How Wine Wise Pivoted:

Erica worked closely with her Maine SBDC business advisor to brainstorm ideas on how her business could maneuver the COVID-19 crisis. Using her extensive connections with local restaurant chefs/owners and wine distributors, Wine Wise began offering virtual wine brunches and dinners with incredible local chefs. These packages include carefully curated local food, wine pairings, delivered locally, and virtual event experience with the Chef and other community members. Erica has seen a tremendous response to her events, with most selling out. She is helping her customer relax and enjoy a nice night out, all from the safety of their own home.

Wine Wise - Virtual Events

Key to Success: Partnerships with other local businesses

More information: www.winewiseevents.com

Maine SBDC Business Advisor: Susan Desgrosseilliers