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Wandering Goat – Union

Wandering Goat - Logo

Since 2013, Tanya Rudy and her mother Cheryl have been making handcrafted soaps from their family farm in Midcoast Maine. This mother-daughter team located in Union makes their soaps in small batches and uses only the finest quality ingredients. They combine fresh goat’s milk from their own herd with organic oils to create naturally scented and colored products.Read More

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG)

IMPORTANT UPDATE (4-23-21): Application portal reopens Saturday, April 24

Businesses can now apply for both a PPP loan after Dec 27, 2020 -and- the SVOG! 

The purpose of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program is to provide aid to small business owners who have been hit hard by COVID-19 related shutdowns. The bill allows for $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues which can cover 45% of gross earned revenue for eligible businesses. Grants are not to exceed $10 million.

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Environmentally Conscious Cost Savings

By: Jared Entwistle, Maine SBDC Intern

Environmental Conscious Cost Savings In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important for small businesses to think about ways to conserve cash flow. This often presents a dilemma for those who want to be conscious of their carbon footprint: how can I reduce my business’s environmental impact while maintaining a budget? 

Many businesses are aware of the impact of things like switching to LEDs. In this blog, we’ll focus on ideas that will produce immediate cost savings with a minimal investment which can also help maintain your commitment to the environment. 

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Unmatched Apparel – Lewiston

Unmatched Apparel

Alexis and business partner Tawni have a shared passion for using creative tailoring skills to upcycle thrift-based clothing into unique and expressive apparel. While originally only doing so for themselves and friends, and an appreciation for their environmental movement, a vibrant brand quickly grew. They name their unique business Unmatched Apparel. As the two experienced greater demand for their products, Unmatched Apparel’s presence on social media started to gain a lot of traction. While launching an online platform for promotion and utilizing E-Commerce, they wanted to make sure they fulfilled the correct steps to become an official business. The two reached out to the Maine Small Business Development Centers for assistance. 

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Sew Rugged – Sedgwick

Sew Rugged - Logo When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Liz Meadows was forced to close the doors of her 17-year-old successful massage therapy business. She could not, in good conscience, put her clients or herself at risk of exposure to the deadly virus. An entrepreneur at heart, Liz took it as an opportunity saying, “there is nothing like the end of one career to kick-start another.”

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Am I an Entrepreneur?

By: Jared Entwistle, Maine SBDC Intern

How do I know I’m an entrepreneur?

Am I an Entrepreneur - Blog Post

Thinking about starting a business? Have an idea but unsure if you have what it takes to be a business owner? Maybe you’re one of the many people who are tired of working for someone else? Whatever the case, before you start a business, you’ll want to ask yourself if it’s the right move for you. Below we’ve broken down some of the key attributes of successful business owners and entrepreneurs so that you can decide if this is the right move for you.

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Mills Market – Andover

Mills Market - Andover Maine Mills Market has been a staple of Andover since the 1890s. In its 4th generation of family ownership, this local country store provides a variety of grocery items as well as homemade prepared foods. Located in a prime location for tourists, many local customers have been coming into the market for years as well as their children and grandchildren.

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NEW: Marketing & Bookkeeping Specialists Now Available

Maine SBDC clients can access free, in-depth expertise in digital marketing and accounting and bookkeeping.

 

SBDC advising specialists group picture

Digital Marketing Specialists provide guidance in areas such as:

  • Websites & Ecommerce
  • Social media and email marketing
  • Advertising and measuring success
  • Digital marketing strategy specific to your business

Our Accounting & Bookkeeping Specialist provides guidance in areas such as:Read More

Small Business Support in the American Rescue Plan

On March 12th, the third stimulus bill called the American Rescue Plan passed into law. The bill consists of $1.9 trillion to help people and businesses struggling with the pandemic. Here’s what you can expect from the bill for your small business.

Please note: Updates to these programs are likely as details are finalized. As always, Maine SBDC will keep you posted as details unfold. Sign up for our newsletter  or follow us on Facebook to get the latest updates.

Paycheck Protection Program Update

An additional $7.25 billion was added to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Remember, if you are a sole proprietor, single-member LLC, or qualified joint venture and you file a Schedule C (and whether or not you have employees), you may now opt to use your Gross Income (Line 7 on your Schedule C) instead of your Net Income to calculate your maximum PPP loan amount.  

Deadline for this program is currently March 31, 2021. Congress is considering a deadline extension, and we’ll update as that information becomes official.  More details on PPP here. 

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Update

You may now receive both the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) and the PPP loan. The SVOG program also received additional funds with this new stimulus bill. If you intend to apply for SVOG when it is ready in early April, we highly suggest you begin gathering your materials now. More details on SVOG can be found here. 

Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Update

The Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance received an additional $15 billion in funding as part of the bill, including $5 billion to be allocated for the businesses that have been the hardest hit which includes those with a 50% decrease in revenue and those located in low-income communities. No action is required – SBA will reach out to those that qualify. 

NEW! Restaurant Revitalization Fund

This new stimulus allocated $28.6 billion in grants specifically for restaurants and bars. This program will be available through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Official details have not been announced. Like with all federal grants, you should start preparing now by registering for a DUNS number and in the SAM registration system. You must have a DUNS number in order to register in the SAM system. You can also start gathering documentation to help demonstrate your losses.

Unemployment

Unemployed workers will continue receiving an additional $300 in weekly federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) through September 2021. This extension continues to provide benefits to the self-employed.

In addition, the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits will be tax-free.

Stimulus Checks

Direct payments will be made for up to $1,400 per person including dependents based on adjusted gross income (AGI). While this benefit is not tied directly to businesses, it’s an important element to help small businesses and their families. 

As always, the Maine SBDC will keep you posted on elements of this stimulus that are most important to your business. To get notified when we have more information, follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our newsletters.


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The Only Doughnut – Belfast

The Only Doughnut Logo

Sally Jaskold, then owner of “The Only Doughnut” in Belfast, came to the Maine SBDC feeling stressed and overwhelmed:  Her successful farmer’s market bakery had morphed into a full-fledged brick-and-mortar operation with multiple employees, and she was feeling limited in her business-savvy skills.  Connecting with Business Advisor Alison Lane allowed her to take a deep breath and think proactively about her next steps. 

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