Articles by Matt Wickenheiser

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, chats with small business owners on Friday, July 27, during an event sponsored by Google to help get Maine businesses online. According to Google, 59 percent of Maine businesses don't have a website.

Maine entrepreneurs take a lesson from Google

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 27, 2012, at 2:21 p.m.
PORTLAND | C.H. Becksvoort, a maker of fine furniture in New Gloucester, is on the Web, but not enough potential customers are finding their way to the site. So Peg Becksvoort spent Friday morning with some experts in search engine optimization and website development — and she went right …

Former Oxford call center workers sue after layoffs

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 25, 2012, at 6:16 p.m.
Former employees of an Oxford call center that closed in April have filed a class action lawsuit, claiming the company failed to give them proper advance notice of the layoffs under federal law. Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN Act, companies with more …

Carbonite positions itself for future growth in Maine

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 24, 2012, at 7:36 p.m.
LEWISTON | Roughly a year ago, Carbonite Inc. opened its customer support call center here, bringing jobs to Maine that had once been in New Delhi, India — an example of the “onshoring” of jobs trend that’s still relatively rare. On Tuesday, the company unveiled new space it had …

Maine Oxy hopes to send more care boxes to active military

on July 23, 2012, at 12:15 p.m.
Auburn-based Maine Oxy, a supplier of welding supplies and industrial gases, has set new goals for its program that puts together care package donations for active duty military in war zones. The program, Maine Oxy Supports the Troops, began in 2004, but the company recently set a new goal of …

Snowe to USTR: Talk to Maine workers on visit

on July 20, 2012, at 2:50 p.m.
Sen. Olympia J. Snowe said Friday that she hopes Ambassador Ron Kirk, the U.S. Trade Representative, will talk to workers on the floor when he visits a Maine New Balance shoe factory later this year, talking to them “about their efforts to innovate and remain afloat in the global market …

Katahdin Bankshares sees earnings dip in Q2

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 20, 2012, at 11:06 a.m.
Katahdin Bankshares Corp. said Friday it had second-quarter earnings of $2.1 million, down slightly from the same period a year ago. “Although this was down 1.7 percent from the same period in 2011, we are pleased with the results,” said Katahdin Bankshares President and CEO Jon J. Prescott in a …

IDEXX reaches out to pet owners with new Web-based products

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 20, 2012, at 7:37 a.m.
WESTBROOK | Westbrook-based IDEXX Laboratories this week launched two products that represent a few firsts for the growing veterinary biotech firm. For the first time, the two products target pet owners as intended users, rather than just veterinarians who use IDEXX’s diagnostics product. And, noted company Chairman and CEO …

Hearst, TWC reach agreement — WMTW to return to cable

on July 19, 2012, at 10:37 p.m.
It looks like WMTW will be back on Time Warner Cable. TWC spokesman Andrew Russell put out a statement at 9:15 p.m. Thursday, saying the company and Hearst Television had reached a “long term agreement,” and customers could expect the signals to be back on shortly. As of 10:30 p.m., …

The First Bancorp’s profits up despite ‘sluggish’ economy

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 19, 2012, at 8:49 a.m.
Damariscotta-based The First Bancorp said Thursday that it saw second quarter profits up $3.3 million, or 4.1 percent, over the same period a year ago. Profits were down slightly, however, for the first six months of 2012 — hitting $6.2 million, down $100,000, or 1.6 percent. Despite what company President …
An employee works in the fabricating facility at Fairchild Seminconductor in South Portland in 2009.

Profits plunge at Fairchild Semiconductor

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 19, 2012, at 8:33 a.m.
Fairchild Semiconductor saw profits plummet in the second quarter, hitting $11.9 million, down from $44.9 million a year ago — a 73 percent drop. “We reported solid sequential sales growth in the second quarter despite a challenging macroeconomic environment,” said Mark Thompson, Fairchild’s president and CEO, in a Thursday release. …
Rep. Mike Michaud delivered to President Obama a pair of New Balance shoes made in Maine.

Maine New Balance workers join Susan Collins, Mike Michaud to argue for tariffs in DC

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 18, 2012, at 1:49 p.m.
Shoemakers from Maine joined members of the state’s congressional delegation Wednesday on Capitol Hill to argue against dropping tariffs through a proposed trade agreement, charging that eliminating existing tariffs would hurt American manufacturers. Negotiations continue regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement that includes Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New …

Meatball products sold at Hannaford recalled due to possible Listeria contamination

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 17, 2012, at 4:17 p.m.
Scarborough-based Hannaford Supermarkets on Tuesday warned consumers that a supplier to the grocer has issued a recall on three products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. New Jersey-based Buona Vita Inc. has recalled three meatball products, Hannaford said, all available through the grocer’s deli department. The products are Homestyle …
Jonathan Carter, director of the Forest Ecology Network (left) and Jym St. Pierre, executive director of Restore the Maine Woods, speak out against a proposed east-west highway corridor at a press conference in Portland on Monday.

Environmentalists see ulterior motive behind east-west highway; Vigue denies claims

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 16, 2012, at 2:04 p.m.
PORTLAND | Two environmental groups blasted Cianbro Corp.’s east-west highway proposal on Monday, charging that the likely route would affect conservation sites and hurt the state’s economy by damaging its “brand” as a wild and natural place — allegations the project’s chief sponsor vehemently denied. Jym St. Pierre, Maine …

Portland startup tries to help businesses find footing in a shifting retail landscape

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 12, 2012, at 6:21 p.m.
Just this week, Best Buy said it would lay off 2,400 employees as it struggled to compete with online retailing. That follows the bankruptcy and eventual liquidation of large retail chain Borders, whose demise also was blamed largely on pressures from online enterprises. Those companies aren’t alone; …

Maine up in CNBC’s ‘Top States for Business’ listing

on July 12, 2012, at 3:13 p.m.
Maine has made a small jump in’s annual ranking of the Top States for Business, hitting 35 this year. Last year, the state ranked 40th. In 2010, it hit 39; 40 in 2009; 44 in 2008 and 42 in 2007. Just to be clear, the best states for business …
Charlie White of CashStar shows Sen. Susan Collins a project to incorporate digital gift-giving into a social media setting on Jan. 12, 2012, as CEO David Stone, left, looks on. Behind Collins and White is a videographer taping the visit for the company

Portland gift card innovator CashStar gets $5M in new financing

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 11, 2012, at 8:58 a.m.
EGift card innovator CashStar on Wednesday announced that it has attracted a new round of funding, adding $5 million to the $28 million in VC and private equity financing it had already raised. The company was founded in 2008 and now has 80 employees, the majority in …

Hearst, Time Warner disagreement leads to WMTW blackout

on July 10, 2012, at 8:03 a.m.
An impasse in negotiations between Hearst Television and Time Warner Cable has led to the blacking out of Portland-based WMTW’s channel on the cable carrier.   WMTW normally shows up on channel 8 in the greater Portland area and other parts of the state. Tuesday morning, it showed only a …
Jasleen Leach, a proposal manager for government work at Tilson Technology in Portland, moved from Virginia to Maine to take the job three months ago to establish a better work/life balance. 'I do have it all,' she said, in response to whether moms can have a successful home life and career.

Flexible workplaces help employees find balance between family, job

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 06, 2012, at 1:12 p.m.
A short day at Jasleen Leach’s old job was from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a few hours in Washington, D.C.-area traffic to travel less than 50 miles, a quick dinner and short time with her two young children, then more work at home on her laptop. A …
Bob Coppersmith updates the price board at Dock's Seafood Restaurant in South Portland dropping the price of five small lobsters down to $24 on Thursday, June 28, 2012. Many stores are selling the king of seafood for under $5 a pound, making it cheaper than bologna by weight.

Maine lobstermen reeling from low prices, seeking cooperation from dealers

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 05, 2012, at 6 p.m.
Lobstermen up and down the coast are staying on-shore, effectively grounded by prices so low it has become uneconomical to haul traps. “Personally, I haven’t gone out for a couple of days. I don’t like the price — I don’t want to give them away,” said Richard Alley, a lobsterman …

Maine sees quicker turnaround on land-use permits

By Matt Wickenheiser on July 03, 2012, at 6:26 p.m.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has released average turnaround times for land-use permits showing improvement from 2010 to 2011 — a major goal of the administration in its attempts to make the state more business-friendly. Professionals who work on development projects around the state say they have seen a …