It is the mission of the Chamber’s Business Action Committee to “advance the Chamber’s tactical initiatives in promoting growth and development in its service area, including the Chamber’s collaborative efforts with other economic development entities in our region.”
For 2013, we stayed focused on a small number of initiatives that we felt would have direct impact on economic development in our region.
The clear highlight has been the creation of the Bangor Region Investment Forum, a group of qualified investors in our area affiliated with the Maine Angels investment group working out of the Portland area.
Fritz Oldenburg has been leading the charge on the investment forum. The group heard pitches from some promising start-ups, and one area company was able to raise significant capital locally through the forum. The group is now looking at forming a limited liability corporation that can aggregate investment dollars. It is also looking at potentially bringing some area institutions to the angel-investing table.
While there is keen interest in local companies, the investment forum is focused on hearing from and investing in a range companies, and will consider opportunities from elsewhere in Maine and beyond. We see this effort as an important way to foster growth among promising start-ups.
Another initiative in 2013 brought the managers of the new Cross Insurance Center to a breakfast forum aimed at helping local businesses leverage this new community asset, whether as a vendor or a customer.
Looking ahead to 2014, Business Action hopes to continue with the angel investing project. We also have a keen interest in the good work the city of Bangor has done with planning in the Main Street – 3rd Street area, and we will look for ways to support those efforts going forward.