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Maine Connections   June 2010
Thaxter Trafton

Greetings from DECD!

I recently attended the 30th Annual Maine Trade Day in Rockport on June 3. We heard that this year's exports are up 20 percent in the first quarter of 2010. The pulp and paper industries (up 200 percent and 72 percent, respectively) are doing especially well.

Maine has so much to recommend itself to visitors and residents alike. From our exports like our paper and wood products, and electric machinery, to unsurpassed natural beauty - there are countless opportunities for us to enjoy our state and share its wealth with the world.

Maine is poised to be a key player in the global economy and I look forward to sharing upcoming news on our progress. Summer has arrived in Maine - I hope you enjoy all that the state has to offer you: from our beaches, lakes, rivers, to farmers markets, lobsters and more!

All the best,

Thaxter Trafton signature
Thaxter R. Trafton

In This Issue
Mark's Business Tip
The Office of Tourism Promotes Maine at Pow Wow
MTI's Angel Investor Luncheon
Maine Trade Day
Upcoming Events
DECD assistance programs
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Mark's Business Tip of the Month:
Mark Ouellette, Office of Business Development Director.
Mark Ouellette

Maine's Business Resource Guide: A cheat sheet for Maine's business resources. Did you know you can download DECD's Business Resource Guide? You can, right here. This pocket guide lists the possible business financing and assistance available to Maine companies, with contact information and clear, qualification guidelines.

You may be surprised at all the opportunities Mainers have to help grow their business - from marketing partnerships, to tax incentives like Employment Tax Increment Financing (ETIF). The Business Resource Guide is an excellent starting point if you're interested in learning more about what resources are available to business folks and how to access them easily.


The Office of Tourism Promotes Maine at Pow Wow


The Maine Office of Tourism recently attended the U.S. Travel Association's International Pow Wow, which is the country's largest international tourism marketplace with
The Maine Office of Tourism booth at Pow Wow, 2010.
Pow Wow 2010
approximately 5000 attendees.

During the marketplace, tourism staff and their PR representative participated in over 50 appointments with tour operators, commercial services representatives and media from the UK, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Korea and Japan. The travel trade reported that for the most part, international travel to New England is increasing and advance bookings for 2010-2011 were ahead of last year at this point. 


Product offerings to New England, with expansions into Maine, have increased slightly and requests for additional itinerary, activity and Maine destination ideas were frequent during the marketplace

Maine Companies Attend WINDPOWER 2010 Conference

Maine's Exhibit at WINDPOWER 2010
Exhibit at AWEA


The Maine Wind Industry Initiative (MWII) organized a major presence for the State of Maine at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) WindPower 2010 Conference in Dallas, Texas, on May 23-26.  WindPower is the world's largest wind energy conference (and largest energy trade show in the US) with over 20,000 participants this year.


DECD's Dr. Cathy Renault, director of the Office of Innovation, attended the event. The Maine Wind Industry Pavilion hosted 11 Maine companies and the AEWC at the University of Maine. The Maine Companies represented a cross section of the Maine wind supply chain and included: Bath Iron Works, SGC engineering, Kenway Corporation, Sargent Corporation, The Maine Composites Alliance (MCA), Larken Enterprises, The Maine Port Authority, Cianbro, Sprague Energy, MAM/Utilities Service Group, Bangor Hydro and the AEWC.


The Maine Wind Industry Initiative was also represented by a number of additional member companies that exhibited independently including: Reed & Reed, Sewall Company, Delorme, TRC, TetraTech, Sterling Rope, Stantec and Normandeau Associates. These companies worked in cooperation with MWII to promote the state while highlighting these companies' capabilities.  


MWII has already reserved space for the AWEA WindPower 2011 conference which will be in Anaheim, CA next May. Photos and a video from the WindPower 2010 conference will be posted online next week at www.mainewindindustry.com.

Attendees at Windpower

 MTI and Maine Angels Host Networking Event for MTI-funded Companies

On Friday, May 21, the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) and the Maine Angels Network convened a panel of early-stage companies, and their advisors and mentors who shared their experiences with the audience of over 60 MTI-funded entrepreneurs, Maine Angel investors and others. Their stories reinforced the value of drawing on experienced business advisors and mentors to help develop successful early stage businesses. MTI's Roger Brooks and Maine Angels' Chris Speh moderated the panel. Participants included David Murray, Dan Gagnon, Cindy Sweet and Kerem Durdag from Advance Electric Concepts, Portland; Penny Johnston, Terry Veysey and Kip Moore from The Maine Float Rope Company, Waldoboro; and William Sulinski from AccelGolf, Portland.

The networking event is sponsored by MTI and the Maine Angel Network and serves to introduce MTI-funded companies to prospective angel investors and also educate attendees on approaches for strengthening management teams, engaging experienced advice needed to get results and better prepare for subsequent investment and growth.

"MTI's work with early-stage and emerging companies over the past ten years has underscored the importance of engaging experienced advisors and mentors as well as building strong management teams necessary for a start-up company to survive and thrive," noted Roger Brooks. "As we move through this climate of tighter investment capital, particularly for early-stage technology companies, our role at MTI needs to include this kind of targeted assistance. Educating companies how to develop advisor and core mentoring relationships is a vital component of such assistance."

Providing support to MTI-funded companies both directly and through partner collaborations is a key initiative in the new three-year MTI strategic plan and is aimed at assisting companies as they advance along the technology development, commercialization and growth continuum.

 How Companies May Benefit From Offering Employees Health Insurance

Small businesses may qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. This tax credit provision encourages small business owners to either offer employees health insurance coverage for the first time or encourages them to maintain health insurance coverage if they already do so. The U.S. Congress has specifically targeted small business and tax exempt organizations that primarily employ low and moderate income workers.

To learn more about this, click here.

Maine International Trade Day

DECD Commissioner Thaxter Trafton and other DECD staff attended the 30th Maine International Trade Day on June 3, 2010 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. Maine International Trade Day is the state's premier international business event with more than 250 leading professionals from Maine, New England, and Canada discussing the latest experiences, opportunities, and challenges for international trade.

The focus of this year's Trade Day was Maine's manufacturing industry and our capacity to develop in international markets. 
During an International Business Networking Reception, DECD staff had an informational booth and provided information about Maine's business resources to attendees.
Attendees gather at the Networking Reception.
DECD's Booth at Trade Day

At the International Trade and Investment Awards Luncheon, Governor John E. Baldacci and keynote speaker, Patricia Mears, remarked on the future of international trade in  Maine and how exports will play a key role in our economic recovery.

During Governor Baldacci's address, he noted that trade missions last year were very successful. Maine companies participating in the European Energy Mission and Trade Shows in Vietnam, Dubai and Germany reported more than $23 million in export sales - an all-time record!

Governor  Baldacci also rolled out a new foreign direct investment initiative Thursday at the Trade Day to attract financial support for renewable energy, composites and advanced materials. DECD has worked with the Governor's Office and MITC to coordinate this effort.
Trade Day Awards were presented to the following companies and business leaders:
Exporter of the Year: Fluid Imaging Technologies 
Service Provider of the Year: Sprague Energy Corp. 
International Innovator of the Year: Lighthouse Imaging Corporation
International Investor of the Year: TransCanada
President's Award: Ruth Greene, Unum Future Global Leader Award: Leah Swan

Upcoming Events:

June 16, 2010 Entreverge Awards, Portland. Port City Music Hall. http://www.propelportland.org/awards

June 18, 2010 Economic Development Council of Maine's Annual Symposium at Sebasco Harbor Resorts.

June 30, 2010 TechMaine Gala, Eastland Hotel, Portland.