News and notes from
The Partnership and NMDC
Volume 3, Issue 141
March 18, 2016
  • Business Seminars
  • NBRC Grants
  • Entrepreneur Nominations
Free microenterprise seminars to take place starting March 29

 AROOSTOOK COUNTY — Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC) is reaching out to existing or potential microenterprises, hobby businesses and other small businesses with a series of free workshops and the opportunity to access capital.
   The NMDC Business Finance Division is dedicating at least $20,000 in Small Business Administration loan funds to help entrepreneurs start or expand their microenterprise, hobby business or small business.
   A microenterprise is a business operating on a very small scale, especially one with a sole proprietor and fewer than six employees.
   Six in-depth training sessions, starting on Tuesday, March 29 in Caribou, focus on intro to business, organization and management, business planning, financial planning and marketing. The sessions are on consecutive Tuesday nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. through May 3.
   “Many small businesses rely on credit cards with high interest rates to fill their financing needs when starting or expanding, this option is so much better for them financially,” said David Spooner, a loan officer at NMDC. “By successfully completing all sessions, participants will be eligible and fully prepared to apply for an SBA loan.”
   According to Josh Nadeau, Center Director of the Maine Small Business Development Center, “Proper planning for small businesses is so important.  It is one of the best things an entrepreneur can do to ensure success in their business ventures.” 
   Pre-registration is required by contacting, Nadeau at 498-8736 or by email at
   For more information about the workshops or loan programs at NMDC, contact Spooner at 493-5766 or by email at
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NBRC informational sessions set for Caribou and Calais 
Grants available

   CARIBOU — Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) will be holding a series of informational meetings in Washington and Aroostook counties to provide grant applicants with information about the application process and what projects may be eligible.
   NBRC was created as a federal-state partnership under legislation approved in the 2008 Farm Bill, with the aim of addressing the economic and community development needs of severely distressed areas in the Northern Forest region.
   NBRC provides assistance for projects in seven priority sectors: basic public infrastructure; transportation infrastructure; telecom infrastructure; workforce training and business development; renewable and alternative energy sources; resource conservation, tourism, recreation and preservation of open spaces; and health care and public services in distressed communities.
   Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC), with assistance from Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC), is facilitating the NBRC meeting Tuesday, March 29 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Community Room of Washington County Community College in Calais. The Aroostook County meeting will be held Wednesday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to noon at the NMDC Boardroom in Caribou.
   Christine Frost, NBRC’s Program Director, will be on hand to describe the new 2016 NBRC program objectives, application schedule, application forms and to answer any questions folks may have. Both NMDC and SCEC will also be present in Calais to provide assistance with a description of its role in supporting the funding program.
   NBRC has invested $8-million into about 50 projects throughout the NBRC region since 2010. The most recent investment in Aroostook County was last year, where $250,000 was provided to support the relocation and expansion of Acme Monaco in Presque Isle. In the past five years, awards have been made in Eastport, Ashland, Van Buren and to the Indian Township Passamaquoddy Reservation, to name a few.
   Since its inception, NMDC has played a critical role in promoting, disseminating information and providing guidance to applicants in both Aroostook and Washington counties.
   “We are very proud of our role with NBRC and the positive economic impact NBRC has had, particularly in Aroostook and Washington counties,” said Robert Clark, NMDC Executive Director.
   “The primary focus is to invest in projects that create jobs,” said Alain Ouellette, NMDC Planning and Development Division Director. “We encourage all interested municipal and business representatives and economic development officials to attend either of these two meetings. For those who cannot make it in person, a call-in and webinar presentation option will be made available.”
   For more information, contact Ouellette at 543-1801, email at

Entrepreneur of the Year
Nomination forms available

Click on the logo to download the nomination form for this year's Aroostook Entrepreneur of the Year. 

   The Aroostook’s Entrepreneur – 2016 Award will be given to a business leader who demonstrates excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation and personal commitment to their business and community. A notable change this year is an increase in prize money, which will now be awarded to the top three finalists. The nominees will be recognized and the winner will receive a plaque and a check for $1,000 at a special recognition dinner later this spring at Northern Maine Community College. Second and third runners up will receive $500 and $250 respectively.
   This is the seventh time the Entrepreneur of the Year competition has been held in Aroostook. Originally, a LEADers Encouraging Aroostook Development initiative, the competition continues now under the Partnership after the LEAD and Aroostook Partnership for Progress merger in November 2015.
    Self nominations are accepted.
Contact Us 
11 West Presque Isle Road | Caribou | Maine | 04736