Greetings from DECD!
Last week we had the privilege to present the 2010 Governor's Awards for Business and Nonprofit Excellence at Colby College on behalf of Governor Baldacci. It was a pleasure to honor these Maine companies for their high level of commitment to
their communities, employees and service excellence.
I also want to commend Colby on the outstanding event they hosted.
We Mainers should be proud to know we have these truly remarkable companies in our state. They are not only providing many people with great jobs with good benefits, but they are contributing to their communities and making a real difference. To read more about the 11 award winners, check out the 3rd article in this issue of Connections.
We've added a new, easy way to access all of the State's business assistance programs - just click the red button to the right!
All the best,
Thaxter R. Trafton
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26th Annual New England Products Trade Show
26th Annual New England Products Trade Show (NEPTS), the country's only trade
show featuring products exclusively from New England, ran March 13-15, 2010, at
the Portland Sports Complex. NEPTS attracts around 2,000 retail buyers from
across the country and showcases over 150 exhibitors. "It
was excellent this year. I went Saturday, didn't finish and spent the whole day
Monday finishing up. I ordered from most everyone since the quality and
products were exciting and marketable. Great show!" said Diane Campbell,
of Yikes! American Craft Gallery in Center Harbor, NH.
show presents a juried selection of giftware, home furnishings, and specialty
food from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and
Connecticut. The New England Products Trade Show is owned and managed by
Giraffe Events, LLC.
Better Than Average - 2010 Best New Booth Honorable Mention.
"The 26th Annual New England
Products Trade Show illustrated what those of us in this area already know so
well - New Englanders stick together and support one another," says Stefa
Normantas, Show Producer. "Even in a challenging economic climate the
majority of our exhibitors reported even greater sales than last year, some
ranging as high as 50% increases. Overwhelmingly, our buyers let us know that
this is one of their favorite shows due to the high caliber, local products
that we showcase. Their customers are demanding top quality locally made
products, and NEPTS is known as the tradeshow that delivers those products. We
are so proud to organize a marketplace where some of New England's finest
manufacturers meet with quality buyers from throughout the region and beyond to
support small business and our local economy."
The 2010 Best New
Product Giftware winners are:
- Lorna's Wool, Spofford, New Hampshire (First Place)
- ShellStone Inc., Portland, Maine (Second Place)
- Laceypots, South Portland, Maine (Honorable Mention)
- CHART metalworks, Portland, Maine (Honorable Mention)
- Ikebana Ware LLC, Belfast, Maine (Honorable Mention)
The 2010 Best New
Product Specialty Food winners are:
- Sizzlin Sauces, LLC, Conway, New Hampshire (First
- Haven's Candies, Westbrook, Maine (Second Place)
- The Nut Lady, LLC, Agawam, Massachusetts (Honorable Mention)
There are posted snapshots and booth photos
from the 2010 trade show and award reception on the NEPTS Facebook Fan Page.
Maine Built Boats Holds Annual Meeting
Maine Built Boats organization held its annual meeting at the Maine Boatbuilders show March 20th.
The marketing organization continues to grow its membership and has a
Board of Directors, representing Maine's
important boat building industry. Founded in 2004, with support from
organization encourages companies to collaborate and jointly promote
industry. The organization and its membership has received national
recognition as a successful example of what can be done to promote
economic growth on a local level.
French & Webb's innovative 29' Diesel/Electric launch "zogo" with carbon canopy, solar panels and Steyr Motors Hybrid Drive unit.
On March 19- 20, 2010,
Boatbuilders Show was held at the Portland Company Complex. The
Maine Boatbuilders Show provides a local
outlet for Maine
boat builders of all sizes to showcase everything from small rowboats to
boats of every make and size, and supports the state's 400-year-old
The Board is made up (left to right) Paul West,
West Bay Boats; Todd French, French & Webb; JB Turner, Kenway; John
ME Boats, Homes, Harbors Magazine; Steve Rowe, Great Island Boat Yard;
Bennett, Hinckley Yachts; John Kachmar, Wilbur Yachts; Steve White,
Boat Yard; Bentley Collins, Sabre Yachts; Chip Miller, Six River Marine;
Spaulding, Sea Glass Capital; Cyler Morris, Morris Yachts; front row: Elaine Scott,
Wellehan, Maine Built Boats and Kerri Russell, John Williams Boat
Maine Built Boats' Board of Directors at their annual meeting, held at the Maine Boatbuilders Show.
Governor's 2010 Awards for
Commissioner Thaxter Trafton presented the 2010
Governor's Awards for Business Excellence and the Governor's Awards for
Nonprofit Excellence at Colby College on April 1. The Award for Business
Excellence, administered by the Maine Department of Economic and Community
Development (DECD) and sponsored by FairPoint Communications, recognizes Maine
companies that demonstrate a high level of commitment to their community,
employees, and to manufacturing or service excellence.
The Governor's Awards
for Nonprofit Excellence, sponsored by Healey & Associates, Inc., are
presented by the Maine Association of Nonprofits to the three Maine nonprofit
organizations that have achieved significant results by utilizing ingenuity
combined with sound management practices.
year's Business Award recipients were Gifford's Ice Cream, Maine Manufacturing,
Old Town Canoe Company - Johnson Outdoors, Sprague & Curtis Real
Estate and Yankee Marina & Boatyard.
The Nonprofit award winners were
Health Access Network; Woodfords Family Services; Portland Symphony Orchestra;
Spruce Run Association; Hardy Girls, Healthy Women; and Youth Arts.
Maine Food Producers Alliance
The Maine Food Producers
Alliance was formed in 2006, after a Maine Food for Thought Forum at Bowdoin
College. With the help of a Maine Technology Institute Cluster Initiative
award and DECD and the Maine Extension Partnership, a new association was created. Alliance members are Maine entrepreneurs
and manufacturers who work together to create and sustain a collaborative
environment for the development and growth of markets for value-added food and
beverage products made in Maine.
Specialty foods are seen as an emerging cluster in Maine. Portland was recently named the "foodiest
small town" by Bon Appetit and the trend towards buying locally produced goods helps cut down on the carbon footprint. It also means people receive the freshest food available. Consumers like to buy products emblematic of Maine, knowing their purchase is fresh and of the finest quality.
Before the Maine Food Producers
Alliance was formed, individual entrepreneurs worked on their own but now through the Alliance, they're able to create a partnership that better positions them in the industry.
Members of the Alliance have
direct access to buyers and markets, marketing and media opportunities, an easy
way to connect with colleagues, contacts, referrals, resources and services and
more. To learn more about the Maine Food Producers Alliance, visit http://www.mainefoodbiz.com/.
Governor's Jobs Summit Follow-Up
The 2010 Governor's Jobs Summit was a great success. Over
100 businesses, stakeholders, and policy advisors attended to discuss, listen,
and recommend how the Governor can best assist with ensuring that business
achievements in this down economy can continue. As a result of the Summit,
there are four areas that need continued attention:
Some of the requested actions that the Governor will put into motion include:
- We will review use of DEP permit by rule with the goal of expanding it to additional,
appropriate business activities.
- DECD will designate a point person to facilitate business interactions with state agencies.
- Following the Maine Chamber's lead, a link will be established between higher
education students seeking internships/jobs and businesses needing
As next steps, there will be similar forums set up on a
regional basis, which the Governor, DECD and the Maine State Chamber will organize and attend to help drill
down on needs and ideas on a more regional level.
The Governor will continue to communicate with you providing updates on
these actions through his Web site http://www.maine.gov/governor/baldacci/index.shtml.
Click on on the "It's Easy" button for more information on business assistance programs:
Something exciting happened in Eastport recently that will put downeast Maine on the map for green, renewable energy. On March 2, 2010, Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) launched their pilot tidal
turbine generator unit or TGU. The TGU has a capacity rating of
60 kilowatts, which means the generator could provide renewable energy to up to 85 Maine households. The TGU is the largest ocean energy device ever deployed in U.S.
waters and nearly all of the TGU's parts were made or assembled in Maine
as well. These are all things Maine can be proud of.
ORPC's Turbine Generator Unit launch in Eastport, ME on March 2, 2010
Headquartered in Portland with a development office in Eastport, ORPC is a recent Maine
Technology Asset Fund (MTAF) awardee. MTI investments have
provided the much-needed capital to research and develop their proprietary
technology. MTI's support
was also instrumental in the company's decision to locate their headquarters
in Maine, and ORPC is benefiting from that decision by partnering with over 40 local businesses to fabricate, assemble, deploy and maintain their
equipment and make ocean energy a viable industry here.
ORPC employs 19 people full and part-time staff in
Eastport. The company is still
expanding and is responsible for over 80 positions being created or retained
across eight Maine counties since 2007. The company believes that support for project development
starts and ends locally.
Institute (MTI) has released a new request for applications for a third round
of awards from the Maine Technology Asset Fund (MTAF). Universities and
colleges, nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses are invited to
apply. MTAF was financed by $50 million of the research and economic
development bond that Maine voters approved in November 2007 and that MTI
manages. In 2008 and 2009, the
MTI Board awarded approximately $46 million to fund 26 projects in two
competitive application rounds. This third round will award approximately $4
million in unused funds from the second round as well as position MTI to award
an additional $3 million that may become available as a result of a bond
referendum in June.
A request for
applications for the third round of MTAF awards is available on the MTI Web site
at www.mainetechnology.org along with information about the program and application
process. The required notice of intent to apply is due to be submitted
electronically to MTI by May 4, 2010. The deadline to submit paper applications
to MTI for this third round of awards is June 1, 2010.
Maine Technology Institute (MTI) has scheduled workshops across the state
beginning this month on how to apply to the Maine Technology Asset Fund
(MTAF). Eligible are universities, non-profit research organizations and
businesses looking to finance equipment, facilities renovation or construction
focused on bringing technology to the marketplace. For the full schedule, click here.