The Love Card – Penobscot

Even before the pandemic changed the way we interacted with each other, people were looking for deeper connections. Joanne Steenberg found a way to create those shared moments with something called a “Love Card” A simple green circle with a pink heart in the middle and a message on the back saying ‘You are holding this card because you are loved…” They quickly became an easy way for people around the world to make a positive impact in someone’s life. 

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Why Business Planning Matters

Business planning is an essential aspect of your business and can help guide your business’s success. Your business plan is not just a document that you compile and put on a shelf. It’s a living, breathing roadmap that outlines goals and provides details on how you plan to achieve those goals.

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5 Steps To Keep Moving Forward

By: Anne Lancaster, Business Advisor

Feeling overwhelmed? Exhausted? 

2020 has been a year of accentuated anxiety, seemingly endless stress, and unparalleled uncertainty.

Keeping a positive outlook can be challenging with daily updates of COVID-19; local, state, and federal mandates; personal and professional changes. We live with this dynamic tension ALL the time.  It’s natural, it’s real, it’s everpresent. 

How we deal with this tension makes all the difference.  

We can react to this tension with fear OR we can respond to this tension with a choice.   

Adapted from David Emerald’s Power of TED* and the 3 Vital Questions, below are 5 steps you can take at any moment in time to move you forward.  Read More

Wilcox Wellness & Fitness – Brunswick

Wilcox Wellness & Fitness Inside - BrunswickThey say the first year of a small business is the hardest, but for Allison Hopkins year 2 hasn’t been without its challenges as small business owners adapt to COVID-19. In January 2019 she worked with friends Paige and Mike Wilcox to open her own franchise of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick. All things considered, things were going really well. She certainly faced her fair share of challenges and difficulties but while working with Brad Swanson, a Maine Master Certified Business Advisor from the Maine SBDC at CEI, she met her sales goals and a profitable business was well within her sights. She had big plans for the upcoming year.

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My-Fit-24 : Gorham

My Fit-24 Logo Stacey and Jesse Coleman own My-Fit-24, a 24-hour fitness facility located in Gorham, Maine. Started in 2007, My-Fit-24 provides access to fitness equipment, personal training, and group classes. The couple and their team are passionate about creating sustainable fitness solutions for their clients and community. Their programs are based on science to provide safe and effective workouts. 

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Grants for Micro-Enterprise Businesses


The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) in partnership with the Maine Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) will provide grants of up to $5,000 for businesses with five or fewer employees, with an owner whose income is in the low to moderate range as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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What the New Stimulus Bill means for Small Businesses


Help is on its way! We’ve highlighted what the new coronavirus relief bill might mean for your small business.

Please note: Updates to these programs are likely as details are finalized. Once passed, agencies may require some time to launch and implement these programs. As always, Maine SBDC will keep you posted as details unfold. Read More

CrossFit Black Bear – Orono

CrossFit Black Bear Owner - Lucas Lucas Roldan Rozas first came to a business advisor, Alison Lane, for help starting his own CrossFit business but was quickly discouraged by the significant costs involved with starting from scratch.  Alison urged him to keep his eyes open for opportunities, since “crazy things can happen.”  Within a week, a great opportunity presented itself when the CrossFit business the client worked for went up for sale.  Lucas and Alison worked together to craft a business plan and financial projections and, within a few months, he had negotiated a Purchase and Sale Agreement and secured financing through the bank and the seller.Read More