Legislature Urged to Not Slow Down Job Creation Momentum

~ Unemployment rate of 6.8 percent lowest since Dec. 2008 ~

AUGUSTA - With state unemployment the lowest it has been since December 2008, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais credits the efforts of LePage Administration and the various state departments for the decrease and urges legislators to not slow down the momentum.

"With the laser focus the LePage Administration and my department has on helping job creators succeed, this unemployment rate of 6.8 percent says we're doing something right," said Commissioner Gervais. "As we work to build on this great momentum, we urge the legislature to not slow down this momentum and to work with the administration to make Maine a more competitive state in which to do business."

While meeting with a number of small businesses across the state in celebration of Small Business Week, Commissioner Gervais has received encouraging news on the job front from many owners who have seen a change in culture from Augusta in the last couple of years.

"There has been a sense the state is more of a partner with businesses, that the attitude is more business friendly," said Debra Lennon, Operating Partner for the Kennebunkport Resort Collection. "Having worked with the state on several issues, I've noticed that across all state departments, they're more receptive and have helped us solve problems."

Several new initiatives within DECD has made it easier for businesses to grow and succeed. One of Governor Paul R. LePage's first priorities upon taking office was the creation of the Governor's Account Executives, a team of business liaisons who are the points of contact for businesses looking to start up, expand or relocate to Maine.

Streamlining licensing and permitting, and eliminating red tape has also been a priority of the administration. DECD continues to promote its Business Answers program, which connects businesses with the resources they need to succeed within the state. Additionally, the Red Tape Hotline assists businesses with licensing and permitting issues that are impeding their growth.

#

Governor's Account Executives - www.maine.gov/decd Business Answers - www.businessanswers.com - 1-800-872-3838 Red Tape Hotline - 207-624-7486