The applications are in, and the work is underway to determine the next round of Maine cities and towns earning business-friendly status.
A total of seven cities and towns from across Maine—including Lewiston and Auburn—are being considered for recognition in round two of the Certified Business-Friendly Community Program.
“The goal of the program is to encourage a business-friendly climate in municipalities throughout the state and to better position Maine for economic prosperity,” said Governor LePage.
The administration’s efforts to improve the state’s business climate seem to be paying dividends: from 2011 to 2012, Maine moved up in CNBC’s ranking of states according to best overall business climate, from 40th to 35th place.
“Our department will work with any Maine community that wants to earn this designation; we want every Maine city and town to be business friendly,” said Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais. “These communities should be congratulated for taking a proactive approach.”
The other five communities being considered are Cumberland, Ellsworth, Pittsfield, Richmond and Westbrook. Cumberland and Pittsfield failed to gain certification in the program’s first round, but have been working with the Maine Department of Community Development to prepare for re-consideration.
The nine Maine cities and towns earning the designation in the first round were Augusta, Bath, Biddeford, Saco, Brewer, Bucksport, Guilford, Lincoln and Sanford.
Multiple criteria are considered in awarding the designation, including customer service, business involvement and collaboration, input from the public, and licensing and permitting. Communities deemed business-friendly are presented with a certificate and a DOT road sign while playing a key role in Maine’s business-attraction strategy.