LePage designates Lewiston, Auburn as business friendly

AUGUSTA – Gov. Paul LePage and Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais announced Monday the next round of Maine cities and towns earning business-friendly status.

The five communities selected from a group of seven in the second round of the Governor’s business-friendly certification program were Lewiston, Auburn, Pittsfield, Cumberland and Westbrook.

"All of these communities are focused on creating a better environment for private sector job growth and driving our economy forward by reducing red tape and being open for business," LePage said in a statement.”

“Gov. LePage wants to see every Maine community succeed,” Auburn Economic Development Director, Roland Miller said in a statement. “The Governor is recognizing those cities and towns that have put forward a significant effort in making government a good partner for business.”

Two communities, Pittsfield and Cumberland, are successful resubmissions from the first round of certifications.

All nominees were evaluated in several areas including customer service, business involvement and collaboration, public input as well as licensing and permitting.

“Our commitment is to work with any city or town that wants to earn this designation," Gervais said in a statement. “We want every city and town in Maine to be business-friendly.”

Each community was evaluated on an individual basis by a panel of business and economic development experts which included: Amy Downing, Maine State Chamber of Commerce; John Butera, Sr. Economic Advisor for Gov. LePage; Chris Steele, CWS Consulting Group; Chuck Graceffa, Pierce Atwood; George Gervais, DECD Commissioner; Peter DelGreco, Maine and Company; and Andrea Smith, DECD Office of Community Development.

Communities deemed business-friendly will be presented with a certificate, MaineDOT road sign and will become a key part of Maine’s business attraction strategy. Pittsfield, Cumberland, Westbrook, Lewiston and Auburn join the communities of Augusta, Bath, Biddeford, Brewer, Bucksport, Guilford, Lincoln, Saco and Sanford.

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Jason Theriault's picture

Oh Boy

Oh Boy, we're business friendly!

How the F*** does this create even one job? I mean, nothing is different, just LePage giving the are a sign to hang up. Oh boy.

Did they already say the Maine was now "Open for Business". Is this like doubling down on the "hang up signs" strategy?

How about less time on silly signs and more time creating jobs. How about something, like a 0% interest loan to companies to create/expand where there is a net job creation per dollar borrowed?

Mark Elliott's picture

Let's see......how does

Let's see......how does "making our cities business friendly" create jobs? <----Really Jason???? Where do you think jobs come from? Oh that's right, I remember, you are one of those that got mad because you weren't seeing tons of jobs 30 days after LePage was elected.......the government wasn't working fast enough at creating jobs for you then. Government can only "create" government jobs and government jobs do do much for the economy because they are paid for by the taxes they take from our other pocket. We have to entice private sector jobs to come here.......we have to be "business friendly".

If liberals really understood the free market, they wouldn't be liberals.........

JOHN PAINTER's picture

I agree the designation does

I agree the designation does nothing to promote, support or encourage my business, or any other tech business in the state, http://www.fourthwalltechnologies.com Maine continues to be a very challenging environment to engage in technology oriented business including R&D, programming, service, etc. While I know many in Auburn still question the use of iPads, it was a sold decision which is already staring to pay dividends in helping children learn the basics critical for success in school http://goo.gl/lqStb while thoroughly familiarizing them with the technologies they will likely use in their future jobs hopefully in Maine.

Mark Elliott's picture

The "designation" is simply a

The "designation" is simply a mile marker, or threshold indicating they are heading in the right direction........it isn't meant to promote or support. It is a pat on the back saying "job well done!"........you like to hear that once in a while don't you? You set goals in your business right? What if you never did? Would you continue to try?

JOHN PAINTER's picture

Pleased but perplexed

I'm glad to see Lewiston and Auburn gaining this status, it's important to know that our cities are working collaboratively and have an eye on development now and down the road. I think this designation does articulate in a way what most of us already know, that Lewiston and Auburn are excellent places to live and work. To all the city officials who helped to do this, thank you!

However I still have some concerns why the Governor chose to pit Maine cities against each other as being either business friendly or presumably unfriendly, and remains unclear how this fits into marketing the state if the vast majority of our communities do not hold this designation. While I could imagine some argument this is about encouraging competition, I am perplexed that the government is trying to define my or any community and not the other way around. I'd rather see Augusta focused on clearing the path for us, but not defining it.

Mark Elliott's picture

They are not "defining" it,

They are not "defining" it, they are merely grading it........there is nothing wrong with friendly competition. Some towns simply don't try to make a difference. We need to remove our "wishbone" and replace it with a "backbone"!

“Our commitment is to WORK with ANY city or town that wants to EARN this designation,"

JOHN PAINTER's picture

Why is the government

Why is the government "grading" my business or my community? I don't see any real "competition" in this either, it is a way for the government to tell us what our local policies should be less we want to be looked at as business unfriendly.

I doubt any Maine business or municipality is lacking "backbone" most business people I know are quite savvey and tough. Most of the people in City Hall are tough too. I don't always agree with some of their stuff, but it isn't a questioning of their salt.

The designatin is nice, but it is the thing lacking backbone!

Mark Elliott's picture

You are reading way too much

You are reading way too much into this. If LePage had a "D" after his name, you'd praise him.

Do you take issue with incentives?? You're a businessman...are you satisfied with flat growth? Or do you prefer positive growth? How do you push yourself to reach your business goals? How do you encourage your employees to do the best they can? Do you reward them when they don't?

I set goals for myself in everything I do in life and I reap the rewards when I reach my goals. If you choose not to set goals for and reward your town, then you should be grateful someone else is.


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