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November 21, 2018

'Happy Thanksgiving' … no Daily Report on Thursday or Friday

Mainebiz wishes all of our readers a "Happy Thanksgiving" and "safe travels" for those who might be traveling on the highways to join family or friends for the holiday.

We will not be publishing our Daily Report e-newsletter on either Thursday or Friday. The Thursday Real Estate Insider also will not come out this week.

The Daily Report will resume on Monday, Nov. 26.

And don't miss our next print issue, which comes out Monday online at www.mainebiz.biz. This issue, with a focus of "Banking and Finance," shows the banking industry is as competitive as ever.

As Senior Writer Renee Cordes reports, banks continue to pour into the Portland market. Even if the retail banking market is saturated, there's still business to be won the commercial side. Renee reports on the banks are hoping to capture middle-market real estate loans and other commercial business. The expansion is coming from within Maine, most recently from Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, and from outside Maine, in the case of JPMorgan Chase. Each has opened a Portland office.

"It's a fist-fight out there," Richard J. MacDonald, managing director for middle-market banking at JPMorgan, tells Mainebiz. "We'll be in the fray as long as we need to be."

On another lending front, Senior Writer Laurie Schreiber writes that so-called Community Development Financial Institutions are filling a critical gap by offering financing to small businesses that might not qualify for traditional bank loans. Maine has 11 such institutions, ranging from Coastal Enterprises Inc., which has made a name for itself with a range of services, to the Northern Maine Development Commission in Caribou. The financial institutions are often the foundation of local economic development.

"The biggest benefit we see is when it comes to economic development," Glen Holmes, president of Community Concepts Finance Corp., tells Mainebiz. "If I make a loan to a business, that's the lifeblood of that community. We have communities where there are five businesses and three or four are clients of ours. There wouldn't be a grocery store or a gas station if it weren't for the work we've done."

Other stories in the issue include: Renee Cordes' "On the Record" Q. and A. feature story with the owner of a Westbrook accounting startup that's filling a niche in advising small to mid-sized Maine businesses; a feature story by Staff Writer Maureen Milliken about Local Wood Works, a collaborative effort that's finding innovative ways to expand economic clout of Maine's vast forests; and an "Ask ACE" column by Dana Morris-Jones of The Delphi Group offering tips on how to help someone choose to change their unproductive work behavior."

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