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Updated: December 26, 2022 From the Editor

Every year there’s a new set of challenges

Photo / Courtesy of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens RØSKVA by Thomas Dambo

Looking back on the breakneck pace of change in the past three years, it seems like every year has brought a new set of challenges.

With the effects and continued threat of the pandemic hanging over us, Maine businesses have continued to change and adapt.

We all watched as one business after another closed during the pandemic. In some cases, it was because the business wasn’t “essential” and the doors were closed. In other cases, though, we saw small business owners who said, “Hey, this might be a good time to sell the business or retire.” And that was related to another trend, the so-called Great Recession.

But the companies that adapted figured out some key things. They figured out how to train their employees (and customers) about online ordering, how to manage curbside pickup, how to adapt technology so employees could work at home, how to keep workers safe in an “essential” working environment.

I make this point because retailers like L.L.Bean, which tops the family-owned businesses list, figured out how to meet demand through online sales and curbside pickup. MaineHealth, which tops the list of Maine’s largest private employers, changed policies, adapted new workplace safety measures, treated pandemic-related illnesses AND still kept on pace with its ongoing expansion at MaineMed. Cianbro stayed atop the largest construction firms list by staying nimble and literally building bridges.

Changing times called for new tools and new ways of doing business.

A note about the Book of Lists cover

Our cover this year is one of the trolls, “Roskva,” featured at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. The artist is Thomas Dambo, who is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Botanical Gardens, which only opened in 2007, had a banner year last year, attracting 336,000 visitors, the highest single year attendance in its history. The Botanical Gardens had an estimated economic impact of $41.9 million, according to a report by Michael LeVert of Stepwise Data Research. Our cover design, by Mainebiz Art Director Matt Selva, does a great job of highlighting a key Maine attraction (as well as the handsome troll).

I hope you enjoy browsing through the 2023 Mainebiz Book of Lists. 


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2023 Book of Lists
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