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Chamber of Commerce hosts August ‘Eggs n’ Issues’ meeting to discuss developing small businesses in Maine

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Aroostook Chamber of Commerce hosted its monthly meeting for “Eggs n’ Issues,” as part of its Breakfast Series program, by welcoming James Pineau, the senior area manager of the U.S. Small Business Administration, to Presque Isle on Tuesday, Aug. 7. 

Pineau, who works out of Bangor, travels around the state providing resources and support to local entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their small businesses. He primarily serves the Aroostook, Waldo, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock and Washington counties. 

He began by introducing the work of the SBA and the support they offer to people who aspire to own their own businesses. In his presentation, Pineau spoke about the need for entrepreneurs to create a business plan, and mentioned that the SBA and other local agencies provide help in creating these plans, besides offering various kinds of support through the lending process. 

“Nobody should give you money … unless you have a business plan,” Pineau stated. He spoke about the importance of entrepreneurs writing down their plans and goals before seeking out loans for their small businesses.

Entrepreneurs also need to learn about maintaining and growing their unique businesses. They need to understand the various aspects of running a small business, like recognizing when they need a cash flow and what their consumer demographic is, said Pineau. 

Pineau said the key to success for operating a small business is working with statewide partners who can offer support and advice. Through connecting local entrepreneurs with statewide agencies, people can receive the support they need to grow their businesses, Pineau stated.

 “We’re all just trying to do the best we can,” he said. 

LaNiece Sirious, executive director for the Chamber of Commerce, said that the chamber is working on releasing a packet with information for local entrepreneurs about starting small businesses in the area. 

The next “Eggs n’ Issues” will feature Joan Dolan, the director of apprenticeship and strategic partnerships for the Department of Labor. The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 4 at Cafe Sopresso.

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