On Wednesday, June 5, small businesses in Aroostook County are invited to have a free meal and learn from Nancy Marshall, marketing and communications expert, how to use the Internet to grow their business. Three simultaneous events will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the following locations: the Region 2 Career and Technical Education Center, 5 Bird St., Houlton; Nadeau Hall Teleconference Room at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, Fort Kent; and the Northern Maine Development Commission, 11 West Presque Isle Road, Caribou. Please RSVP by May 29 to your local Adult Education Program:
RSU #29 Adult and Community Education (Houlton) – 521-3100
Eastern Aroostook RSU #39 Adult and Community Education (Caribou) – 493-4272
MSAD #1 Adult Education (Presque Isle) – 764-4776
MSAD #24 Adult Education (Van Buren) – 868-5758
Madawaska/MSAD #33 Adult and Community Education (Madawaska) – 728-6314
MSAD #27 Adult and Community Education (Fort Kent) – 834-3536
Marshall will discuss how to use the Internet to strengthen your relationships with existing and potential customers, so that people know, like and trust you and your business. She will discuss new marketing strategies that use the Internet, such as using social media to gather valuable feedback and information from current and prospective customers on new products and services. Marshall will also discuss using the Internet to dramatically increase your customer base by connecting with people worldwide who are interested in buying what you are selling. Marshall is the principal of Nancy Marshall Communications, Maine’s leading full service Marketing and Public Relations agency.
The event is being sponsored by the Northern Maine Development Commission, the Region 2 Career and Technical Education Center, the University of Maine at Fort Kent, and the Aroostook Adult and Community Education Alliance (MSAD #27, RSU #29, RSU #39, MSAD #1, Madawaska/MSAD #33, MSAD #24), Maine Small Business Development Center and by the ConnectME Authority and the Maine Department of Education. It is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The event is one of several being held across the state to help Maine small business owners learn how to use the high speed internet to grow their businesses. Current broadband use by Maine businesses is low: according to a recent survey, 59% of Maine’s 141,000 small businesses do not have a website, and 39% see no need for using the internet. At the same time, 97% of American consumers look online for goods and services. Nationally, small business enterprises with high web use grew at an average annual rate of 13% over the past three years while those with low web use rates grew at only 6.2%.
The ConnectME Authority is the state agency responsible for expanding broadband capacity in the state (www.maine.gov/connectme). The ConnectME Authority is the recipient of federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants that support broadband service expansion. Maine Adult Education is working with the ConnectME Authority to provide technical assistance on how citizens across the state might use broadband access.