NVME Gets Support for Rural Business Assistance

The USDA Rural Development office in Bangor has announced it is awarding New Ventures Maine $50,000 to support business assistance to new and emerging businesses in northern Maine. The grant funds will bring targeted technical assistance, training and networking to child care and other service and retail businesses in Aroostook County and the Katahdin Region.
 
The USDA Rural Development Funds are intended to benefit small and emerging businesses in rural areas, particularly those experiencing economic need. Representative Steve Stanley of Medway, who represents District 143 in the Legislature, in lending his support of the project, acknowledged that the people of his district have the talent and the vision and are working hard to rebuild the region but could use a little help. “Every new business has a learning curve; with the right tools and resources, start-ups can grow and thrive, bringing new life into our towns.”
 
NVME will work closely with local and regional Chambers and economic development groups in reaching out to and assisting small businesses in gaining the skills, confidence and the connections to succeed. “Empowering our business owners to think about customer attraction, building a brand, and cultivating an image is crucial in this day and age, where many times a customer no longer steps foot in a facility, but conducts transactions electronically,” noted Tim Goff, former Executive Director of the Fort Fairfield Chamber of Commerce.
 
With a focus on helping local retail and service businesses, the project fits well with the objectives in the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy developed by the Northern Maine Development Commission and aligns with efforts there and in the Katahdin Region to encourage home-grown enterprises, promote local and regional attractions and bring more visitors to the area. Support for qualifordable child care businesses helps existing working families and provides critical infrastructure for attracting new workers to an area.
 
“I’m looking forward to working with the creative and dedicated people who are starting and operating businesses in Aroostook County,” said Karin Petrin, Microenteprise Specialist based in Presque Isle. Petrin will be assisted by Jane Searles and her colleagues in the Bangor office.
 
New Ventures Maine (NVME) is administered by the University of Maine at Augusta and operates out of 9 centers and outreach sites statewide. NVME has been helping entrepreneurs start and grow businesses for over two decades and offers programs for career and financial education as well.