More Maine Communities Seek Business-Friendly Recognition

AUGUSTA – The applications are in and the work is underway to determine the next round of cities and towns earning business-friendly status.

There are many communities across Maine following the Governor’s lead by understanding the importance of promoting job creation, reducing red tape and being open for business. In an effort to acknowledge each for their continued commitment to becoming business-friendly, Governor Paul LePage is recognizing those cities and towns.

“The goal of the program is to encourage a business-friendly climate in municipalities throughout the State and better position Maine for economic prosperity,” said Governor LePage. Efforts like this are clearly paying off. Maine made considerable gains in the 2012 ranking of tops states for business according to CNBC.com (http://www.cnbc.com/id/46413845).

A total of seven cities and towns from across Maine will be considered in Round Two of the Certified Business-Friendly Community Program. Those communities are: Auburn, Cumberland, Ellsworth, Lewiston, Pittsfield, Richmond and Westbrook. Cumberland and Pittsfield are two communities that did not meet certification in the first round but have since worked with the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and are once again seeking certification.

“Our Department will work with any Maine community that wants to earn this designation; we want every Maine city and town to be business friendly,” said DECD Commissioner George Gervais.

A review team will soon begin looking at each community’s application to determine if that community is eligible to be recognized as business-friendly. Multiple areas of criteria will be considered including customer service, business involvement and collaboration, input from the public and licensing and permitting. Each community will be evaluated on an individual basis. Communities deemed business-friendly will be presented with a certificate, DOT road sign and become a key part of Maine’s business attraction strategy.

“These communities should be congratulated that they are taking a proactive approach to being considered business-friendly,” said Commissioner Gervais.