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Updated: September 7, 2020 From the Editor

From the Editor: Small businesses are Maine’s economic backbone

This issue focuses on startups and entrepreneurship, but what we’re really talking about is small businesses and the people that lead them.

Small Business Administration numbers on Maine’s small businesses speak for themselves.

  • Maine has 147,240 small businesses. That’s one small business for every nine people.
  • Of Maine businesses, 99.2% are small businesses.
  • Maine small businesses have 289,156 employees, accounting for more than half of the state’s workforce, 56.5%.
  • Small businesses created 4,728 net new jobs, according to the SBA’s 2019 small business profile.
  • In a time where there’s increased attention on minority-owned businesses, such businesses have 5,213 employees in Maine.
  • Looking abroad, 1,548 Maine small businesses engage in international trade.
  • The Top 5 sectors, by small business employment, are health care, accommodation and food services, retail trade, manufacturing and construction. Those five sectors account for 177,000 employees.

In this issue, we offer a mix of startups and entrepreneurs.

For our cover story, Laurie Schreiber looked at the alumni of one of the state’s pitch competitions, Top Gun, and where they are today. Her story starts on Page 14.

Maine’s craft brewing sector continues to grow. Renee Cordes takes a look at four new breweries that have started this year. Her story starts on Page 20.

Maureen Milliken spotlights a young entrepreneur that has had some ups and downs but persists in developing a business that turns unused hemp stalks into fire starters. Her story starts on Page 24.

This issue has two lists: The largest Finance Authority of Maine loans (on Page 28) and the largest Maine Technology Institute loans (on Page 34).

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