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COVID Stories: Acacia House Inn in Bar Harbor | Lodging & Hospitality

Acacia House InnCOVID has caused massive disruptions in the way we all do business. Businesses throughout Maine are finding unique and interesting ways to connect with their customers, find new revenue streams, and keep their businesses afloat. Want to share how your business is pivoting? Contact us here.


Anna Durand and her husband own Acacia House Inn located in downtown Bar Harbor. Housed in a 10th-century building, this classic B&B features 9 rooms with soft linens, private baths, hardwood floors, and some with balconies. Full breakfast is served every morning with local ingredients.Read More

Tips to Prepare for Reopening

Tips for Preparing to ReopenBy: Business Advisor Susan Desgrosseilliers

Though your business may be closed, now is the time to start preparing for your next chapter.  We recommend you develop a well thought out plan for when you can open again. While not all businesses are brick and mortar, many of these tips can be applied to your business.

Focusing on the highlighted areas below will help make the transition easier for you, your employees and your customers. People across the country are rooting for the small business community, making this an opportunity for you to solidify existing customer relationships and to welcome new customers. 

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Round 1 of the Paycheck Protection Program

Revised 1/20/2020: Important updates to this FIRST ROUND of PPP in the Economic Aid Act, passed December 2020.

  • NEW Forgiveness Application for loans of $150,000 or less can be found here
  • SBA EIDL Advance amount will no longer reduce the amount that can be forgiven. Previously, if you had received an SBA EIDL advance/grant (which was $1,000 per employee up to $10,000 maximum), this amount was deducted from your forgiven amount. This meant that you would be left with a loan amount equal to the EIDL Advance amount. The new legislation repeals this practice for both rounds of PPP.
  • Expenses covered by PPP loan funds ARE deductible. Previously, the IRS had advised that expenses paid for by non-taxed income could not be deducted. This clarifies this issue. This means that any expenses in which you used PPP loan money to pay can also count as a deductible expense in calculating your net profit. 

Paycheck Protection Program

The application period for the first round of the PPP program has closed.

For info on the second round of PPP, click here.

What is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?
The PPP provides small businesses with funds to pay payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Read More

Sealander Architects – Ellsworth, Maine

Sealander Architects Mike Sealander and his wife Robyn have been running their business, Sealander Architects, since 2007. Sealander Architects is an architecture and interior design firm specializing in well-designed environments that allow people to do their best work.  They design buildings to reflect an organization’s mission and culture, and strive to design places where people can thrive.Read More

Spa Voyage – Biddeford, ME

Spa voyage logoEliza Conley-Lepene had a dream. She wanted to start a spa in Southern Maine. Not just any spa, she wanted to create a high-end, Hawaiian-themed experience that helped her customers escape and relax.

Eliza - Spa VoyageEliza was experienced in her practice but had never started her own business. For assistance in these uncharted waters, she worked with Raynor Large, business advisor at the Maine SBDC at Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments. Raynor helped Eliza as she pitched her idea as part of the Maine Center for Entrepreneur’s Top Gun program. He helped her with her business plan and financial projections.Read More

The Cutting Edge Hair & Tanning Salon – Presque Isle, ME

Cutting Edge LogoWhen Karen Cox stopped her car at a stoplight on Main Street in Presque Isle, she knew that the former GiftSmart location would be the ideal place to begin her own hair and tanning salon.

“I actually wasn’t looking to start a business. I was pretty content with where I was,” Cox said. “But then I looked over at this building and it seemed like the perfect location.”Read More

The Mustard Seed Bookstore – Bath, Maine

The Mustard Seed - Bookstore

Six years ago, Julie and Mike Shea approached Maine SBDC with a dream. They wanted to purchase a small bookstore in downtown Bath. They reached out to Brad Swanson, a business advisor at the Maine SBDC at CEI, for assistance in developing a business plan and financing proposal.

Julie and Mike worked diligently with Brad to make sure each aspect of the plan was carefully thought through and that the financial projections were realistic and obtainable. Securing the financing they needed, the couple opened their dream business, The Mustard Seed Bookstore, in February 2015.Read More