City of Gardiner
Gardiner is proud to be named a “Business-Friendly Community”, but is more aptly defined as a “Community of Friendly Businesses”. With a strong philosophy that community development is economic development, City officials, along with Gardiner Main Street and many other community organizations, have encouraged an environment of participation and involvement. Attracting new business to Gardiner entails efforts similar to many other communities, utilizing resources like CEA’s, TIF’s, and CDBG. Unique to Gardiner is the bond established between business owners and their patrons and members of the community.
“Facetime,” hosted by a different business each month, encourages
anyone who lives, works, or volunteers in Gardiner to participate. These meet-ups offer an opportunity to share ideas, learn about local businesses, sample goods and services, and develop relationships between varying entities. These relationships are economic drivers. For example, farmers are selling their produce to the local co-op, a pizza shop is purchasing meats from a new meat store, local crafters are selling their work at gift shops, and Gardiner’s artists display and sell their work through art walks and a local art studio.
Not only are patrons more apt to buy local, support for business owners has significantly increased. As folks learn more about one another, they have established relationships of support and encouragement, whether professional or personal. At a recent City Council meeting, a young man asked for help – he was homeless and had no source of income. A local businessman (a recent CDBG recipient), who also attended the meeting, offered him a job and provided a security deposit for an apartment. In another case, a local business owner facing significant health issues has experienced an outpouring of love and community support. Auctions, car washes, and bake sales raised thousands of dollars to help with his daunting medical expenses. The sign in his shop window – “I love you all.”
While city staff and our part-time economic development coordinator work tirelessly to put together just the right deal to enhance a move to Gardiner, it’s the community support, business to business and patrons to business, that makes Gardiner an attractive place to do business. Gardiner offers a variety of site locations at its 295/95 business park at Libby Hill, and in its historic downtown - perfect for business expansion of all types.
Highlights from the review Team
- Gardiner’s Main Street Program, including its accreditation from Maine Street America; mentorship with Jobs for Maine Graduates and the on-the-job training program with the University of Prescott
- Overhaul of land use permitting process to reduce turnaround time
- Gardiner’s Heart and Soul initiative and update of Comprehensive Plan
Name: Patrick Wright, Economic
Phone: (207) 582-3100
What's New in Gardiner...
- Lost Orchard Brewing - Cider Brew House converted unused church through special zoning provision created by the City
- Craft Beer Cellar - Expansion of national franchise to Gardiner
- Central Maine Meats - Utilized CDBG grants to expand local food production in Libby Hill Business Park
- Common Wealth Poultry - Maine’s only USDA inspected poultry facility
Line of Credit Program—City reprogrammed USDA revolving loan program into unique “line of credit” program
- Gardiner received over $1M to study and clean-up brownfield site at former T.W Dick facility
- Gardiner Food Co-op and Café - Community-owned grocery and café in historic downtown