From the community

Presque Isle, Richmond latest Business-Friendly Communities

Posted May 21, 2013, at 6:29 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development on Tuesday named Presque Isle and Richmond as the latest Certified Business-Friendly Communities.

“I applaud every effort taken by Presque Isle and Richmond to make doing business there easier and more efficient for job creators,” said Gov. Paul R. LePage in a press release. “And I hope this certification will remind each municipality to ask itself, ‘Will this action or initiative we’re about to undertake make us more business friendly?’ This is the kind of proactive approach Maine needs to attract and retain businesses.”

A team of public and private economic development experts reviews each application to determine eligibility in the program using criteria including customer service, business involvement and collaboration, input from the public, and licensing and permitting. Both Presque Isle and Richmond first applied for certification in 2012.

Presque Isle’s business-friendly initiatives included steps taken to stabilize and reduce its tax rate; authorization for its Planning Committee to encourage community and economic development; its Site Design Review Process; and its focus on revitalizing its downtown.

Richmond’s business-friendly initiatives included the town’s active membership and participation in the Southern Midcoast Chamber of Commerce; its collaboration with local businesses to produce a business resource guide; use of local, state and federal programs to aid its investments in public infrastructure and downtown revitalization.

Since the LePage administration launched the program in March 2012, a total of 20 Maine communities have received the business-friendly status. Communities named business friendly are presented with a certificate, two MaineDOT road signs and become a key part of Maine’s business attraction strategy.

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