Category Archives: Business

A tale of Maine retail: December sales have dipped in recent years

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Nationwide, retail sales are projected to increase again after a 3.1 percent increase in November and December of 2013, but Maine sales in retail categories likely on shoppers’ lists have fallen in recent years. It’s hard to isolate what would be deemed holiday shopping, but state sales tax data does give us a look at the categories of stores that are likely […]

Mill job losses add to long decline for Maine paper industry

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Maine pulp and paper mills have taken a series of hits this year with the closure of three mills and the cumulative loss of about 1,000 jobs. It’s an industry in decline, leaving hundreds out of work in Old Town, East Millinocket and, starting Dec. 1, in Bucksport. There’s more to this story than numbers, as is clear from the way workers […]

Biddeford maker of lightweight outdoor equipment lands $900,000 investment

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Hyperlite Mountain Gear, a outdoor gear manufacturer based in Biddeford’s Pepperell Mill Campus, has raised just more than $900,000 in equity financing and a bank loan to support new investment in marketing, product development and staff, according to the Maine Venture Fund. The company reported raising $908,000 of its $1 million offering in a filing with the U.S. Securities […]

Everybody to the limit: Breweries above and below the 50,000-gallon mark

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As breweries continue to pop up around the state, distributors are starting to pay attention. That’s partly because of state law that allows breweries to distribute their own beer, up to 50,000 gallons of annual output. Many of the state’s breweries got close to that mark last year and some are growing enough to make self-distribution impractical. The Maine Brewers’ Guild […]

FairPoint earnings down $22.7 million for 2Q with ‘continued pressures on legacy revenue’

The North Carolina-based FairPoint Communications reported a net loss of about $22.7 million for the second quarter of the year, bringing its losses to $54.9 million so far in 2014. And a strike among its northern New England workers, who are working on the terms of a contract expired Aug. 2, could make things worse for the […]

Maine mortgage closing costs rise slower than national trend

Closing on a mortgage has gotten more expensive in the past year, but closing costs in Maine are rising slower than the national average. Experts interviewed by financial data aggregator Bankrate said the increases in recent years mostly are due to new mortgage regulations. Bankrate’s latest survey shows mortgage closing fees rose about 3.7 percent in Maine from […]

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

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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 […]