Blog

Reflections on 2021: It’s Okay To Just “Be”

By: Alison Lane, Business Advisor & 2021 State Star

I used to own a restaurant, and January meant a lot of slow days.  When there weren’t any coffees to pour, dishes to wash, or Quickbooks to update, I would ask myself:

“How can I not waste this time?” 

“What else can I try to generate more business?”

I’d be spinning my wheels and stressed.  Then, before fully forming any one idea, I’d get interrupted or distracted and not have accomplished a darn thing.

I often felt like if I wasn’t DOING SOMETHING, I was failing my business.Read More

Minimum Wage Increase in 2022

Get Ready for the Minimum Wage Increase: 3 Practical Tips

Minimum wage is increasing to $12.75 on January 1, 2022. (Maine law requires minimum wage adjustments annually based on the cost-of-living index.)  Here are some practical tips to help you get ready: Read More

West Bay Lawn Care – Gouldsboro

John Davis was thinking about starting a business and reached out to the Maine Small Business Development Center for some guidance.  He began the business as a side hustle doing jobs with his tractor and partnering with another person doing lawn care.  Fast forward two years and John is the owner of West Bay Lawn Care and is running a successful business serving Hancock and Washington Counties.  Read More

Mackenzie’s Mannered Mutts – Kenduskeag

When Mackenzie MacDougal came to Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor Alison Lane, she had a big dream! She knew she loved working with dogs from her experience at a local kennel and felt like she was ready to branch out on her own to offer in-home dog training. She was inspired by a mentor who started their own animal-based business with little to no actual business knowledge and felt like she was ready to take the same plunge. The fact that she had no idea how to start but was ready to hit the ground running only highlighted her true entrepreneurial spirit! Read More

Taco Trio – South Portland

Karen Rasmussen and her husband, Manny Peña, have been long-term owners of Taco Trio, a Mexican Restaurant in South Portland. The quality of their food and service have become a benchmark in the community and an ongoing reason for their continued growth. When they outgrew their first location, a perfect opportunity presented itself – as a much larger space just down the street, that would fit both their needs and the needs of their customers, plus some. Read More

Gathered Minds Media – Rockland

The most successful businesses are based on a problem that needs solving, oftentimes coming directly from the lived experience of the owner. For Branden Densmore, his journey through recovery and a near-death experience gave him the push to fully develop Gathering Minds Media, a coaching and consulting business for others in recovery who want to start and grow businesses. He also provides spiritual counseling to help people in recovery find and better follow their purpose in life. Read More

Rising Sun Adventure Tours – Bass Harbor

When we think about what it takes to run a small business, things like bravery, strategy and forward-thinking come to mind; many qualities found in our veterans and active military members. Kareem Dieng, an active Soldier in the United States Army Reserve, is an inspirational example of all three. Kareem wanted to combine his love for adventure, nature, and connection with his nearly decade of experience leading groups in the outdoors – from there came Rising Sun Adventure Tours. Read More

Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant

The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) has launched the Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant. This funding is available to businesses who were open before the COVID-19 pandemic began AND to new businesses who were in business as of January 1st, 2021. 

The full grant description is available on the DECD Maine Economic Recovery Grants page and the grant application is here.

The application opened Wednesday, November 3rd. The application deadline is 11:59 PM November 26, which is the Friday after Thanksgiving. Read More

Bath Ale Works – Wiscasset

Pepper Powers and his wife Jean have been vacationing in Phippsburg, Maine for years. Originally from Maine, Powers moved to the Washington D.C. area where he worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Like many who vacation here, the couple had dreamed of making Maine their home again.

In late 2016, they decided it was time to create a plan to make it happen. Powers, a longtime homebrewer, wanted to start a brewery in Midcoast Maine. For guidance on the process to make this happen, Powers turned to Brad Swanson, recently retired business advisor at the Maine SBDC at CEI in Brunswick. Read More

Exporting Series

Considering “Small and medium-sized companies account for almost 97 percent of U.S. exporters, but still represent only about 30 percent of the total export value of U.S. goods”, you may have asked yourself…

  • How do I even start? I don’t know what I don’t know!
  • How do I write an international business plan?
  • Where do I find the best possible places to export to?

In this three-part series, Maine SBDC Business Advisor and Center Director Peter Harriman spoke with partners throughout Maine to provide tools and resources to get started with exporting! Read More