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Lessons Learned: Disaster & Crisis Planning

The sixth and final part of an ongoing series of blog posts on lessons learned from COVID 19. Nobody likes to think about a disaster or crisis impacting their small business.  But the Covid 19 global pandemic brought the importance of disaster planning to the forefront.  Properly preparing for a crisis means your business will survive, recover and even thrive when times are tough.  

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  –Benjamin Franklin Read More

Just-In-Time Recreation – Lewiston

When Justin & Samantha learned that the old Sparetime Recreation location in Lewiston was for sale, they had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn a longtime hobby into a career. They were familiar with the business and with the intricacies of business ownership, but faced an uphill battle in funding the work necessary to revitalize the bowling alley. To develop a reasonable debt structure and financial projections for their “new” business, they turned to the Maine SBDC at Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments. Working alongside Business Advisor Raynor Large, they tweaked their business plan, developed a set of financial projections, and re-launched!  Read More

Game Fish Guide Service – Cumberland Center

When Hallye Anderson contacted the SBDC in February, she and her partner Glenn Richardson were working on a plan to launch their new business, Game Fish Guide Service. They were looking for an outside review of their plan and needed help obtaining a loan to fund their startup costs.  Glenn is an avid fisherman and licensed Maine Guide and Hallye has the skills to manage the operations side of the business. Their plan was to start offering trips on the inland lakes and coast of Maine with an eye toward expanding to other New England states over time.  Like many people just starting out, the two will continue working other jobs until their business is fully established. Read More

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