Governor's Award for Business Excellence

Governor's Award for Business Excellence (GABE)


The Department of Economic and Community Development strongly encourages businesses of all sizes to apply. For more information on the award, please call Charlotte Mace at 207-441-5726, or email to


Press Release

Governor Mills, DECD Commissioner Encourage Maine Businesses to Apply for 2021 Governor’s Award for Business Excellence  


Augusta, MAINE — Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner Heather Johnson of the Department of Economic and Community Development announced today that they are now accepting applications for the annual Governor’s Award for Business Excellence (GABE).  

           “Maine business owners met the challenges of the pandemic with grit and ingenuity, adapting their business models to meet the needs of Maine people with the resilience and resolve that defines our state,” said Governor Mills. “As we work to recover from the pandemic and strengthen our economy, businesses are transforming communities across Maine into hubs of excellence where talented workers can get good-paying jobs and raise their families. I encourage Maine’s businesses to apply for the Governor’s Award for Business Excellence, and I look forward to honoring their contributions to our state.” 

“I share Governor Mills’ belief that celebrating the good work that businesses in Maine have done throughout these difficult times is an important part of our economic recovery and our long-term growth as a state,” said Commissioner Johnson. “I look forward to joining with the governor to celebrate the business community and to reaffirm our commitment to working with them to chart our way to a better and brighter future for all of Maine.”  

Since 1991, the GABE award has recognized and celebrated Maine businesses with a high level of commitment to their community and employees, as well as exemplary performance in the manufacturing or service profession. In 2019, GABE award winners Rwanda Bean, Luke’s Lobster, Bigelow Brewing Company, and CourseStorm were recognized as models for economic success. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the selection of 2020 award winners. This year, the award seeks to celebrate Maine businesses that constantly strive for excellence, even during global challenges. 

The 2021 Governor’s Award for Business Excellence categories are: 

  • The Welcome Home Award recognizes business excellence in Maine’s underrepresented business community. 
  • The Innovation Award celebrates and recognizes business excellence through entrepreneurship and innovation. 
  • The Rural Revitalization Award recognizes contributions to the revitalization and growth of Maine’s rural and distressed economic regions. 
  • The Heritage Industry Award recognizes and celebrates business excellence in the agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, or marine sector. 

 Applications for the GABE awards can be downloaded here. Please send applications to Applications will be accepted through October 15, 2021. An awards ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Blaine House in Augusta on December 1, 2021 at 2pm.