May 25, 2018
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State considering 5 more communities for business-friendly designation

By Whit Richardson, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — State officials on Thursday released the names of five communities being considered for Maine’s Certified Business-Friendly Community Program.

The five communities under consideration are Ellsworth, Fairfield, Lubec, Kennebunk and Topsham. Municipalities will learn in early November whether they’ve met the criteria to become certified.

While Fairfield, Lubec and Topsham are being considered for the first time, Ellsworth and Kennebunk have resubmitted their applications after failing to gain certification in past rounds, according to Doug Ray, spokesman for the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Two of the state’s largest cities, Portland and Bangor, have not applied to the program, Ray said.

Certification is determined by a team of both public and private economic development experts, which reviews each municipality’s application and judges it against criteria, including customer service, business involvement and collaboration, input from the public and licensing and permitting.

Gov. Paul LePage in June announced the first nine municipalities to receive the certification. In total, the business-friendly program has certified the following 14 cities and towns: Pittsfield, Cumberland, Westbrook, Lewiston, Auburn, Augusta, Bath, Biddeford, Brewer, Bucksport, Guilford, Lincoln, Saco and Sanford.

“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,” Gov. LePage said in a statement.

Communities deemed business-friendly are presented with a certificate, an “Open for Business” road sign, recognition on the Department of Economic and Community Development’s website, and become a key part of Maine’s business attraction strategy, according to the department.

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