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

Infinite Wellness & Aesthetics – Yarmouth

Brandi Barden and her husband have both worked in the medical field for many years, which is how they came across a very specific niche in the market; Medispa, also known as aesthetics. They found that this could be a unique opportunity to shift to a different area within the medical field. They envisioned this business would be named Infinite Wellness & Aesthetics, offering various aesthetic services: Non-Surgical Body Contouring, Cellulite Reduction, Skin Resurfacing, Skin Tightening, Microneedling, Laser Hair Removal, and Botox to the Greater Portland Area. Brandi and her husband however needed assistance in the business planning process, so they reached out to the Maine Small Business Development Centers for help. Read More

Wild Cow Creamery – Belfast & Bangor

Wild Cow Creamery makes all-natural ice cream from scratch. Each small batch is made with simple, high-quality ingredients and add-ins are mixed in by hand. Their shop in Belfast and stand on the Bangor waterfront are local summer staples. The pandemic hit just as business owners Sarah Wilder and Ryan Cowan were getting ready for the upcoming season.Read More

Kiss Creations – Raymond

It’s always a fascinating occurrence when someone experiments with a new hobby and finds that not only do they enjoy it but they have the capability to turn it into a profitable business! Crystal Tidwell did just that, amidst the pandemic she started playing around with laser cutting; creating topo maps and other designs made out of wood using the laser cutting device. Crystal found herself genuinely enjoying the work in addition to receiving positive feedback and decided to turn this hobby/side hustle into a small business, naming her business Kiss Creations. To officially start her new business, she had to find ways to access some additional capital for start-up costs such as acquiring a larger laser device. She began the process of applying for the CEI Wicked Fast Loan, and that’s how Crystal found herself being directed to the Maine Small Business Development Centers. Read More

Lessons Learned: What Does it Mean to “Pivot”

Graphic showing trees growing tall over text that says ""Most small businesses are used to being resourceful and making do with less. But a resourceful mindset means taking stock of what you have and thinking of new ways to use it."The second in a series of blog posts of what the small business community learned from COVID-19. This week we are exploring what it takes to pivot successfully?  And why can some businesses in the same industry do this better than others?  

The word “pivot” was heard repeatedly throughout the pandemic.  And while sometimes overused, it accurately describes the ability of a business to change course and adapt to a shifting environment.Read More

Northern Lights Hearth & Sports – Farmington

Josh and Alicia in front of their Northern Lights StoreJosh & Alicia had worked for the previous owner of Northern Lights Hearth & Sports for more than a decade before they were approached about the possibility of stepping into an ownership position. Josh & Alicia were familiar with the business and were strongly positioned to take over the responsibilities of ownership but had never thought about the logistics of an acquisition. To understand the different stages of the transfer and develop a reasonable debt structure 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, understood and negotiated their purchase structure, and closed on the deal. Read More

Maine Fly Company – North Yarmouth

A Maine Fly Company fly-fishing reel laying on mossJeff Davis had one goal in mind to celebrate his late father: to share his passion for Maine’s fly fishing culture. Jeff wanted to provide high-quality, affordable small batch rods that are carefully crafted to reflect the beauty of Maine’s waterways. Since opening in 2019, Jeff and his team have experienced promising growth and have plans to continue to expand the business. Jeff found the Maine Small Business Development Centers while seeking advice on the best approaches to expansion. Read More