DECD Reports Statewide Interest in Maine's New "Certified Business Friendly Community" Program

The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) is reporting a tremendous response to the "Certified Business Friendly Community" program announced by Governor Paul LePage last week.

There have been more than 550 hits to the “Business Friendly” website, 142 applications have been downloaded and nearly two dozen Maine communities have contacted the Department to learn more about the certification process.

"We are very encouraged by the amount of interest the program has generated in just a week's time," said DECD Commissioner George Gervais. "These communities are following the Governor’s lead and understand the importance of being business friendly, reducing red tape and promoting job creation. Working together at the state and local level will make Maine prosperous."

The goal of the program is to encourage a business friendly climate in municipalities throughout the State and position Maine for economic prosperity. To apply for the program, applications can be submitted by communities, chambers of commerce, regional development authorities, trade organizations, businesses or individuals, but require the approval of the community being considered. Business Friendly Communities will be certified on a quarterly basis beginning May 2012.

A review team will be looking at several items in order to determine if a community is "Business Friendly." These items include looking at customer service, business involvement and collaboration, input from the public, and licensing and permitting. Each community will be evaluated on an individual basis.

If a community is deemed a "Certified Business Friendly Community" they will receive an award of certification presented by the Governor, recognition on the State of Maine DECD website, the community will become a key part of Maine's business attraction strategy, and an "Open for Business" sign to be displayed. In addition, Certified Business Friendly Communities will receive bonus points in future State of Maine Community Development Block Grant applications (pending program approval). Certification is for two years and communities are encouraged to reapply.

For more information about this program and how to become a "Certified Business Friendly Community" visit: http://www.maine.gov/decd/cbfc/