BANGOR, Maine — The USDA Rural Development office in Bangor has announced it is awarding New Ventures Maine $50,000 to support business assistance to new and emerging businesses in northern Maine.
The grant funds will bring targeted technical assistance, training and networking to child care and other service and retail businesses in Aroostook County and the Katahdin Region.
The USDA Rural Development Funds are intended to benefit small and emerging businesses in rural areas, particularly those experiencing economic need.
NVME will work closely with local and regional chambers and economic development groups in reaching out to and assisting small businesses in gaining the skills, confidence and the connections to succeed.
“Empowering our business owners to think about customer attraction, building a brand, and cultivating an image is crucial in this day and age, where many times a customer no longer steps foot in a facility, but conducts transactions electronically,” noted Tim Goff, former executive director of the Fort Fairfield Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m looking forward to working with the creative and dedicated people who are starting and operating businesses in Aroostook County,” said Karin Petrin, microenteprise specialist at New Ventures’ Presque Isle office. Petrin will be assisted by Jane Searles and her colleagues in the Bangor office.
With a focus on helping local retail and service businesses, the project fits well with the objectives in the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy developed by the Northern Maine Development Commission and aligns with efforts there and in the Katahdin Region to encourage home-grown enterprises, promote local and regional attractions and bring more visitors to the area. Support for quality, affordable child care businesses helps existing working families and provides critical infrastructure for attracting new workers to an area.
Representative Steve Stanley of Medway, who represents District 143 in the Legislature, in lending his support of the project, acknowledged that the people of his district have the talent and the vision and are working hard to rebuild the region but could use a little help. “Every new business has a learning curve; with the right tools and resources, start-ups can grow and thrive, bringing new life into our towns.”
For more information and to find classes see newventuresmaine.org or call 1 (800) 442-2092.