They 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.
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.
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
Daniel Daigle dreamed of owning his own Powersports dealership. This is why he bought, remarketed, and opened Mountain Side Powersports in Wilton. Located near some of the best trails in Maine, this family-owned and run business will continue the long tradition of selling and servicing snowmobiles, ATV’s and UTV’s, snowblowers, and landscaping equipment.
After first being denied, Dan worked with his bank, Infinity Credit Union, and the Maine SBDC to make needed improvements. Working alongside Business Advisor Peter Harriman, Dan worked to re-analyze his original proposal, together they did more research, and dug deeper to really understand what was going to be involved and what it would take to make it work. The results – a business plan that Infinity Credit Union could trust and back with the loan approval.Read More
The Long Shot Revival Homestead, in Orland, is a family farm owned and run by Joe and Haley Brown. Joe is an Army National Guard veteran and initially thought farming and raising pigs would be a good therapeutic outlet as he transitioned back to civilian life. Starting off with just a few piglets, Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor Shannon Byers helped them get organized and explored options for expansion, leading to the addition of poultry to the farm. Joe also gained support through a nonprofit called United Farmer Veterans of Maine, aimed at helping Maine veterans navigate and succeed in agriculture and business success. Throughout this growth, he has continued to show commitment to this community in a variety of ways including a 10% discount to fellow veterans.
Derek DeFelice is a decorated Purple Heart veteran and owner of Hero’s Pizza & Breakfast in Skowhegan. Derek and his wife Aaron have worked hard to build this local pizzeria since they purchased it in 2018. Through long hours and sheer determination, they have rebranded and remodeled the restaurant, increase sales, and hired new staff.Read More
Michelle DeBlois and Kathryn Lariviere, both full-time middle school teachers, tri-founded LiteracyTech, Inc. with Peter Janett, a web application developer in December 2019. Their vision was to create a web-based application that would bring educators and students together in the independent reading process. The app, which they named ReMo, streamlines the cumbersome and obsolete data management associated with literacy education and helps students engage with books they’ll love.Read More
On June 5th, G-Force Adventure Center & Laser Tag in Brewer reopened its doors for the first time in three months, following a mandatory shutdown due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The business has been operating in the “new normal” for nearly a month now, and while business isn’t back to pre-COVID levels by any stretch, the small weekly increases in calls, visitors, and birthday party reservations bring hope for the future. While the past four months have been a challenge, owner Brian Plavnick considers himself one of the lucky ones.Read More
COVID 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.
Joseph Musumeci and Mary Ellms own Farmington Underground Escape Room Center, which offers residents and visitors to the area a chance to fully immerse themselves in one of two (soon to be three!) themed rooms. Guests have one hour to use puzzles, clues, hints, teamwork, and intuition to figure everything out and achieve victory. The business brings much-needed recreation to Western Maine and has established a loyal following. Read More
Marcia Wiggins founded Cape Whoopies, Maine’s Gourmet Whoopie Pie in 2012. Located in South Portland, Maine, Cape Whoopies offers gourmet, unique whoopie pies that feature ingredients from all over the globe, such as chocolate from the Netherlands and vanilla from Madagascar. Cape Whoopies has seen explosive growth, outgrowing their space multiple times.