December 26, 2011

New website supports B2B connections

The Maine Small Business Development Center has launched a new website that aims to connect small businesses across Maine and keep business-to-business transactions within the state.

Stephen Lovejoy, the center's senior business counselor, created the free site,, earlier in December. "It's not for tourism or retail; it's for small businesses looking for other small business resources in Maine," he says, "because the more they network among the small business community, the more that business will stay here in Maine."

So far, only about a dozen companies have contacted Lovejoy to get their business information posted, but Lovejoy expects that as the word gets out, the website will grow. Only businesses with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for inclusion on the site.

Lovejoy says he was inspired to create after hearing about a company in Montville called Pieceworks that does contract manufacturing, prototype development, assembly and shipment for companies with a staff of 10. "I had no idea she even existed," Lovejoy says about Pieceworks' owner. "It's a nice small business and fills a role, but trying to find someone like that in Maine is difficult."

The website will give small companies with limited marketing budgets another avenue to gain publicity, Lovejoy points out. He encourages companies to submit two or three paragraphs about their business, as well as links for email addresses, websites or phone numbers. He also asks companies to name the categories under which they'd like to be listed, such as advertising, consulting, insurance, marketing, etc.

Images can also be submitted. "I have a fellow who is sending something to me in the next few days on his commercial photography business," Lovejoy says. "He includes helicopter flights to get unique perspectives, so he'll include pictures."

Lovejoy says he's trying to get the word out to businesses near and far in Maine because he wants the website to be a statewide resource.


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