Category Archives: Business

Cold winter didn’t sap Maine maple syrup production

Maine produced more maple syrup in 2015 than the previous year, despite a bitterly cold winter that shortened the average number of harvesting days for Maine taps. Maine was again behind Vermont and New York for syrup production, holding fast to third place in the country for maple syrup output, producing about 553,000 gallons last year. That’s a little more than […]

Where the most Maine businesses are going it alone

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Per capita, Knox County is Maine’s capital for solo business owners. Census figures released Thursday show businesses that have no employees, by county. For every 100 people, Knox County has 12.7 businesses with no employees, most of which are sole proprietorships. Hancock and Lincoln counties are close behind. The census bureau excludes these businesses from its data for their relatively small economic impact […]

If you want to make money on state construction projects, install elevators

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As the governor on Monday announced about $470 million in capital projects, the Department of Labor on Tuesday issued its wage requirements for certain jobs. The prevailing wage figures from the DOL are assessed for each individual state contract worth more than $50,000. They vary by the location of the project, but the statewide averages reflected below give a sense of how […]

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 […]