Maine SBDC Releases 2019 Small Business Client Results, Helps Start a New Business Every Three Days

Maine SBDC Annual Report CoverThe Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC), a statewide program that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, is pleased to announce its annual results.

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In 2019, certified business advisors across Maine provided no cost business advising to over 1,500 entrepreneurs which helped them to:

  • Start 133 new businesses
  • Save and create 600 jobs
  • Access $26.8 million in capital to start or grow their businesses.

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Dandelion Catering – Yarmouth, Maine

Dandelion Catering Logo

For ten years, Dandelion Catering has been providing fresh, quality prepared food that celebrates the local resources that Maine and New England have to offer. The business had
experienced a surge in growth due to their focus on top-shelf service and creative, attractive food offerings. Business the garrison Logoowners Christian and Christine Hayes had big plans to scale up the operation and reached out to Brad Swanson, business advisor at the Maine SBDC at CEI, for guidance.Read More

New Research: Maine SBDC Clients Are More Likely to Succeed

Maine SBDC recently conducted an internal study to analyze the survivability of businesses that started with the assistance of an SBDC business advisor. The study included clients who started their businesses in 2016 and assessed whether these businesses were still in operation after three years.

graphic with still open sign and text "a recent study found that more than 72% of Maine SBDC client businesses were still in operation after three years, higher than national averages" - maine sbdcThe study found that more than 72% of Maine SBDC client businesses were still in operation after three years. This is higher than the national average of 61.3% from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.Read More

Contractor or Employee?

IsDiana Grandoni, Maine SBDC Graduate Assistant your worker a contractor or employee?

By: Diana Grandoni, Maine SBDC Graduate Assistant


The important differences between these two roles might surprise you.

Specific standards determine if your worker is legally an independent contractor or an employee of your business, and it’s up to the business owner to make sure these relationships are classified correctly.Read More

Hiring & Managing Your First Employees

Diana Grandoni, Maine SBDC Graduate AssistantHiring and Managing Your First Employees

By: Diana Grandoni, Maine SBDC Graduate Assistant

Making the first new additions to your team is an exciting milestone and a sign that your hard work is paying off! For many small business owners, hiring can also be overwhelming and stressful.

business owner talking to employees - maine sbdc

These four tips will help you make the most out of this important process:

1. Identify the role you need to fill.

What made you decide you need to hire a new employee? Outline the specific tasks and responsibilities you need support for and what aspects of the business you envision this person taking on in the future. Develop a clear picture of what skills this person should have to be a good addition to your team. Use this to create a job description which you can share in the job posting and with candidates in interviews. Refer to your budget to determine the pay including the cost of benefits. Offering a competitive wage can make you stand out among job seekers and could land you a more motivated applicant, but payroll shouldn’t be so costly that it leads to financial problems. In other words, don’t pay more than what the job is worth to youRead More

Maine SBDC’s Business Plan Guide

Writing a business plan is an important step in starting or expanding any business. A business plan provides an essential roadmap for your business that outlines goals and provides details on how you plan to achieve these goals. It is also a great tool in communicating your business’ potential to investors and financial institutions.

We’ve developed a step by step guide to help you write your business plan. 

Maine SBDC’s Peter Harriman walks you through each section of a business plan. He highlights the important parts and provides helpful tips & tricks. Read More

True North Beauty – Milo, Maine

True North Beauty LogoHeather Lux was disappointed with the skincare products on the market. She wanted a natural, effective, and luxurious product that would help her skin look its best. This is why she created True North Beauty.

True North Beauty is a blossoming skincare and lifestyle brand that utilizes the unique benefits of Chaga, a wild Maine mushroom. Chaga grows on birch trees in cold weather climates and is especially prominent in Northern New England. It is known for its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and is dense in anti-oxidants. True North utilizes a patent-pending process to extract these diverse properties to create a Chaga Infused Formula™. The formula reduces acne and redness, helps with fine lines, boosts elasticity and collagen, and helps repair sun damage.Read More

Bub ‘n Muthas – Winter Harbor, Maine

Family of John Fuhrman, Owner of Bub N' MuthasEver since he can remember, John Fuhrman’s “mutha” had a real knack for cooking. In DownEast Maine, her kitchen skills were almost legendary. One day, after tinkering around with spices in the kitchen, “mutha” developed a special blend of spices that needed to be shared. The blend combined a Maine attitude with local ingredients such as organic blueberry powder, maple crystals, and even Raye’s Mustard (the oldest mustard company in America made right here in Maine). Read More

Science Dogs of New England – Ellsworth, Maine

Science of Dogs of New England - Logo Lindsay Ware has a passion for wildlife and conservation. That is why she started Science Dogs of New England. This new business creates opportunities and solutions for conservation and environmental research in New England using highly trained dogs for efficient, low-impact data collection and conservation processes. Read More

Grasshopper Academy – Houlton, Maine

Business owner Lacey Clark, Grasshopper AcademyLacey Clark had been a co-owner of a successful daycare in Houlton, Maine for a number of years. From her experience, she understood that childcare in Aroostook County is extremely limited with most providers at 100% capacity. When she saw that another existing daycare across town was going to be closing its doors, she understood what this would mean for families and the community.

Happy baby, Grasshopper AcademyLacey made the decision to leave her business partnership and go out solely on her own. She wanted to purchase this existing daycare and keep the doors open. She turned to Josh Nadeau, Maine SBDC business advisor located at Northern Maine Development Commission. Josh helped her craft a business plan and accompanying financial projections. With seller financing and some owner investment, she was able to purchase the Grasshopper Academy. Located on Hillview Ave in Houlton, Grasshopper Academy provides childcare for children ages 6weeks to 12 years of age. Read More