Policy Priorities and Research Agenda

Throughout its 40+ year history, CEI has devoted time and energy to advancing state and federal policies that expand resources for rural communities, natural resource-based industries, business ownership, workforce development, and the expansion of clean energy.

In the mid-1980s, CEI joined forces with colleagues from Community Development Corporations (CDCs) to advocate for federal programs important to community economic development. This coalition is responsible for legislative initiatives and bipartisan support resulting in over $2 billion in federal allocations for the CDC/CDFI field. Maine’s congressional delegation is united in supporting and sponsoring community development legislative initiatives, including economic assistance for women entrepreneurs.

CEI works with legislators, community organizations and other stakeholders to create broader government support for new initiatives and demonstration programs in addition to ongoing efforts to boost economic and community development. 

On the state level, CEI advocates for resources that benefit populations left out of the mainstream, or struggling in our economy.

Research, PRactice and policy positions

CEI undertakes research to inform advocacy and policy development. Recent examples include:

CEI also assesses the impact of its work to inform funders, policy makers, and coalition partners. Examples include:

The CEI offices remain closed to the public, but we're hard at work! Reach out or click here for a list of COVID-19 Business Resources.