Category Archives: Business

WSJ: Portland Westin projects $1.2 million revenue from bar this year, doubling pre-renovation amount

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Leaders of the companies that renovated the former Eastland hotel in downtown Portland told the Wall Street Journal they’re projecting $1.2 million in revenue from the hotel’s penthouse bar and restaurant this year, doubling what the bar brought in annually under its previous operator. The new owners of the Westin Portland Harborview hotel had also doubled the bar’s size as part of a $50 million renovation of […]

Auburn’s Jim Wellehan, owner of Lamey-Wellehan, featured in Obama’s video campaign to raise the minimum wage

Lamey-Wellehan video

Auburn shoe store owner Jim Wellehan may be retiring and selling his company to its employees this year, but he’s not stepping down from the spotlight. Wellehan, the second generation of family leadership for the business founded in 1914, got recent social media mentions from President Barack Obama for his participation in a video campaign about raising the federal minimum wage. […]

Keeping up with Maine Startup and Create Week, at #MSCW

Five Portland entrepreneurs, from a group of about 45 nominees, took home awards for young Portland-area startups last night, kicking off the weeklong Maine Startup and Create Week — which I wrote about here — that aims to showcase and support the state’s early-stage businesses. Besides winning award guitars from the Portland Regional Chamber’s young professionals’ group, PROPEL, the companies winning […]

Entrepreneurs, makers and creatives roll out weeklong event series starting today

Five Maine entrepreneurs will get a spot in the limelight tonight at the sixth annual entreverge awards, kicking off a week of events focused on entrepreneurship in the state. The award program started by the Portland Regional Chamber’s organization for young professionals (PROPEL) in 2009 kicks off Maine Startup and Create Week, which will host businesses from around the state and across […]

Political donors in Maine’s gubernatorial race most often work for [blank]

For contributors to Maine’s gubernatorial races, the most popular place to work is (drum roll)… nowhere. At least, that’s what we know from campaign finance disclosures. Below is a look at campaign contributions to the three front-runners — through the last reporting period ended May 27 — by the “employer” field in the contribution disclosures (note that the […]

Study: Rising student debt holds back business starts

A preliminary study out of Pennsylvania State University and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia suggests that higher student debt relates to the number of small businesses opening. Presenters at a forum on growing Maine’s economy last week identified student debt as a barrier to economic growth and attracting and retaining younger Mainers. While the study, covered in a May 24 […]

Austin-based startup blogger ranks Portland among the country’s top five “under-the-radar” tech hubs

The Our Lady of Victories Statue in Monument Square on a clear day in Portland, Maine. (BDN photo by Darren Fishell)

Weed out the big places in tech — like Silicon Valley, Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah — and there’s a tech hub diamond in the rough: Portland, Maine. At least, tech startup blogger John Egan, editor of the Austin-based SpareFoot Blog, thinks so. He ranked Portland fifth in his list of “under-the-radar tech hubs,” along with Boise, […]

Minimum wage hike targeted in radio ads to run in Maine this week

The Washington, D.C.-based Employment Policies Institute plans to bring its fight against raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10, up from $7.25, to Maine through a radio ad campaign this week, according to a press release from the group. The public policy think tank — started by restaurant industry lobbyist and founder of Berman and Co., Richard Berman — said […]