News from the Southwest Harbor & Tremont Chamber of Commerce
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
From The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
Your Governor's Account Executive Helps New or Existing Businesses Expand and Grow
By Brian Whitney, DECD Director of Business Development and Innovation
As Maine's Director of Business Development and Innovation, it is important for me to know that Maine businesses receive the help and resources they need to be successful. Having worked with innumerable businesses across our great state, I am keenly aware that the process of starting or growing a business can sometimes be arduous and frustrating - but it shouldn't be!
In the coming months, Maine's Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) will provide information to Maine's job creators in columns similar to this one about the available assistance and resources available to help them retain and grow employment in their businesses and in our State. Brian Mulligan, one of five Governor's Account Executives at the DECD whose region includes the counties of Hancock, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington, will provide information about available financial resources and assistance.
As a Governor's Account Executive, Brian works collaboratively across state government to help resolve business-related issues and to listen intently to opportunities that may exist to make meaningful changes to Maine's economic delivery system.
He works one-on-one with businesses in an effort help them navigate the state bureaucracy and to serve as a knowledgeable and professional economic development liaison whose primary responsibility is to help businesses succeed and grow.
Having owned and managed businesses in the private sector from modular home firms to fuel companies, Brian has a wide and varied breadth of experience. His diverse background and first-hand knowledge helps him appreciate the myriad challenges that business owners face and also enables him to respond to inquiries in a more meaningful and effective manner. Each day, Brian has the opportunity to meet hard-working Maine businesspeople who go through the same trials he experienced as a business owner. Seeing those businesses grow and flourish is a point of personal pride for him and, of course, is the main reason why the Governor's Account Executive team was created.
The Governor's Account Executives, as the title suggests, have a tremendous responsibility and obligation. They serve as the Governor's eyes and ears in the economic development realm and stand ready to convey information about opportunities, and ongoing business challenges and criticisms to the Governor so that improvements can more easily be made.
The Governor's Account Executive team works in concert with the Mane Department of Labor and CareerCenters, as well as through liaisons in every state agency to help match businesses with the resources and assistance that they require. They are actively engaging businesses, trade associations, chambers of commerce, regional economic development entities, municipalities and counties to spread the word about the services DECD offers, as well as to glean information vital to policy makers.
That said, the department also has mechanisms for our team to reactively respond to inquiries from those same constituencies through the Red Tape Hotline and the state's Business Answers program. The Red Tape Hotline, (207) 624-7486, serves as the focal point for businesses to call to get assistance in licensing, permitting & regulatory issues.
The Business Answers Program at DECD, 1-800-872-3838, is designed to give businesses the help they need to succeed . . . whether it is determining the legal requirements needed to start a business, or finding available state resources to help a business grow, the Business Answers program is the first place any business should call. If the answer to a question is not readily available, a Governor's Account Executive will find the answer, or put a business in touch with someone who can.
At DECD we are also recognizing and promoting those business-friendly cities and towns that are following the State of Maine's lead. Thus far, 20 municipalities have achieved certification as business-friendly and we are proud to say that list is growing as even more municipalities are currently being considered during the latest round.
Undeniably, there are many community officials that value the importance of reducing government red tape and streamlining processes so that job creation may occur. This program recognizes those communities that are leading by example and encouraging collaborations between municipalities and businesses to spur job growth. Communities deemed business-friendly are presented with a certificate, MDOT road sign and become a key part of Maine's business attraction strategy.
As I indicated, DECD and Brian Mulligan will share information about available state resources and assistance in this space in the coming months. In the meantime, I encourage Maine business owners and managers in the counties of Hancock, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington to reach out to Brian at (207) 624-7457, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, if he can help with any business-related issue.