RANGELEY — Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) visited Rangeley Friday to meet with local officials, small business owners, and other community leaders and discuss solutions for economic and workforce development, improving health care and wellness in the area, and preparations for the reopening of Saddleback Mountain.

Congressman Golden started his day in Rangeley with a tour of Saddleback Mountain, which will reopen in 2020 under new ownership. Golden met with Saddleback employees to learn more about their plans for improvements to the mountain, potential expansion and development opportunities, and the economic impact of reopening the ski resort. The group also discussed the importance of businesses like Saddleback being good members of the broader Rangeley community.

After visiting Saddleback, the congressman joined Rangeley Connects, a group of area businesses and community organizations working together to improve health and wellness in the Rangeley community. The congressman sat down with a dozen Rangeley Connects stakeholders to better understand the challenges the group is confronting, such as workforce housing challenges and inadequate transportation infrastructure. Rangeley lacks a pharmacy, and a portion of the discussion focused on improving access to health care and medications — issues Golden has made a priority in his first term in Congress.

In his last stop of the day, Congressman Golden sat down with local small businesses, development officials, and Saddleback Mountain leaders for a roundtable focused on harnessing the economic power of Saddleback’s reopening to help grow Rangeley small businesses. The group discussed ways to prepare the regions small businesses to take maximum advantage of the opportunity, including utilizing the free services available from the nearest Small business Development Centers in Farmington and Rumford. Golden’s office will work with small businesses in the region to connect them with resources. Interested small businesses should contact the congressman’s Lewiston office at (207) 241-6767.

Last year, Golden introduced a bill through the House that would expand and improve the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program and bring its free services to more small businesses in Maine. His bill passed the House on a bipartisan vote. The SBDC program has 11 locations in Maine’s Second District and helped launch 130 new small businesses in the state in 2019.

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