More Maine Communities Seek Business-Friendly Recognition

For Immediate Release: October 11, 2012

Media Contact: Doug Ray douglas.ray@maine.gov; 207-624-9802

AUGUSTA – City and town officials from across Maine want to be better known for being business-friendly. The LePage Administration announced that five municipalities are under consideration in round three of the Certified Business-Friendly Community Program. Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner George Gervais released the list Thursday which includes the communities of Ellsworth, Fairfield, Lubec, Kennebunk and Topsham.

“The goal of the program is to encourage a business-friendly climate in every municipality throughout the State and better position Maine for economic prosperity,” said Governor LePage.

There are many community officials that value the importance of reducing government red tape and streamlining processes so that job creation may occur. This program recognizes those communities that are leading by example and encouraging collaborations between municipalities and businesses to spur job growth.

“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.

Through the program, the LePage Administration has so far certified fourteen cities and towns as pro-business which according to officials, has had a positive impact. “I found that working my way through the application was a really great experience of reflecting on what we have done and where we should be spending those precious few available hours in the day in order to make our processes more accountable,” said Bucksport Director of Economic Development, Dave Milan.

A team made up of both public and private economic development experts reviews each application to determine eligibility into the Certified Business-Friendly Community Program. Multiple areas of criteria are 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.

The next round of certified Business-Friendly Communities is expected to be announced in early November.