AUGUSTA — Nine cities and towns in Maine have been designated as “business-friendly” by the state.

Gov. Paul LePage and Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais announced Wednesday that Augusta, Bath, Biddeford, Brewer, Bucksport, Guilford, Lincoln, Saco and Sanford have earned the designation for streamlining their permitting process or helping businesses in other ways.

They will receive road signs so they can tout the award.

Ten other municipalities applied for the designation but didn’t make the cut. Cumberland, Falmouth, Gorham, Houlton, Kennebunk, Pittsfield, Presque Isle, Rumford, South Portland and Waterboro all applied, but were denied the certification

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