Wild Cow Creamery, a small-batch ice cream shop in Belfast and on the Bangor waterfront are local summer staples. When the pandemic hit business owners Sarah Wilder and Ryan Cowan were getting ready for the upcoming season. They had been working for years with Ann McAlhany, a Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor, to explore expansion plans, review financials, create business plans, and much more. Ann answered their questions and helped guide them through the uncertainty as new information was made available. She kept them informed and helped them apply for multiple pandemic assistance grants and loans. Ultimately, they received relief funds from multiple programs, including the EIDL and RRF, and then were able to update their spaces to remain open.
Overall, the feeling of support from all levels, including Belfast and Bangor local governments, and the SBA at local and federal levels, has been a relief throughout the pandemic. It has been difficult to navigate for so many reasons, but the effort put forth to make sure small businesses aren’t left out to dry is hugely appreciated. And just in general, we encourage anyone starting a business to make the Maine SBDC your first stop. Their consulting is free and in addition to funding opportunities, there are so many things they can help you plan for and think about. Our business couldn’t have made it through the pandemic without the Maine SBDC.”