In Maine, we have always done things our own way. We are industrious, independent people who carve out a living in a severe climate and an often-precarious economy. But the last ten years have been a little different. In the wake of the Great Recession that crippled far too many American communities, in Maine we have seen steady growth, development of established and new industries alike, and new heights reached in many sectors. We have a vested interest in Maine business, in new ideas, and in bright, shiny entrepreneurs, and are always on the lookout for success stories or potential success stories, so that we can help our contestants arrive at the front of the pack.
Lobstermen have had a successful decade. With fewer predators in our coastal waters and increasing demand from China’s middle class, we have had the right supply to meet the demand. We hope there is always a solid place in the Maine economy for lobstermen, and other marine industries, including aquaculture, that will complement our most-famous, delicious export.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Maine since 2009. In the ensuing decade, dispensaries have opened all over the state, education is increasing, and it has become a million-dollar industry. You can’t deny that legal, sensible marijuana has been a boom for the Maine economy.
Do you know your IPA from an IRA? If you didn’t ten years ago, you probably do now. The Maine craft brewing scene has blown up with taprooms, brewery tours, and farm-to-table outposts where you can listen to music, sip, and enjoy the view. By 2019, there were 153 licensed breweries in the state. It’s an industry that is encouraging younger people to stay here or move here, and raise businesses, farms, and families. Tastes are evolving and crafty as progressive Mainers are meeting the need and creating even more demand for independent, local, interesting beverage businesses.
Tourism has long been crucially important for Maine’s economy. But since 2009, visitors have increased to Portland, Bar Harbor, and many points between. Cruise ships have brought tourists to port towns, and restaurants, farms, outdoor adventure activities and art are all draws. We continue to enjoy watching how the ambitious people of Maine cultivate our natural pull on folks to spend their vacation time in Vacationland.
Recovery and growth are the trends being reported on in this article in the Portland Press Herald. Green Light Maine supports new businesses as they contribute to our ever-evolving economy. Join the start-up scene!