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November 9, 2023

5 Portland businesses to be honored by city in return of annual awards

person on raft pulling rope Courtesy / Maine Aquaculture Association Matthew Moretti is co-owner of Bangs Island Mussels, one of five winners in next week's Portland Annual Business Awards. He’s seen here on a raft from which lines are suspended to grow mussels.

After a four-year hiatus because of the pandemic, Portland will restore its Annual Business Awards, which recognize the contributions of companies and organizations to the local economy.

The city's economic development arm, the Portland Development Corp., has selected five award winners who will be honored in a ceremony next week. Here's the list, provided in a news release Thursday.

Economic Development Achievement: Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. The museum's location on Thompson's Point Road is among Maine's top 10 attractions, welcoming more than 240,000 visitors each year. (The Mainebiz Fact Book listed the museum as the No. 7 attraction, based on 2022 attendance of 201,037.) More than 20% of all admissions are at free or reduced rates. 

Business of the Year: Bissell Brothers Brewery. For the second year running, the company has been named as one of the "Best Places to Work in Maine" (in the category of companies with 50 to 249 employees). Bissell Brothers gives $50,000 a year to Maine-based charities and organizations.

Small Business of the Year: Bangs Island Mussels. Starting in 2010 with three rafts, Bangs Island Mussels has expanded to more than 15 employees, 26 rafts, four boats and a 5,000-square-foot warehouse equipped with modern technology. Bangs Island produces 600,000 pounds of mussels annually. 

PDC Client of the Year: Portland Food Co-Op. Last year, the Portland Food Co-Op purchased $2.1 million worth of food and other goods from Maine businesses, including over $1 million directly from Maine family farms. The Co-Op is an economic engine for the local food economy. The Co-op’s Register Round-Up program raises more than $40,000 per year to support local nonprofits.

Legacy Award: InterMed. The physician-owned medical practice, founded in 1993, now serves 110,000 patients, representing over 8% of Maine’s population. InterMed has relationships with several of Maine’s largest employers. The practice is also dedicated to providing educational opportunities to a variety of learners in the health care field, offering partnerships and affiliations with a range of educational institutions.

The awards will be presented on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Ocean Gateway (14 Ocean Gateway Pier) in Portland, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. For more information about the awards, their criteria and the Portland Development Corp. click here.

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