Small Business Resources

Looking for resources to help you start or grow your Maine small business? Check out our library of helpful documents, links and videos below.

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Business Financing

  • CEI’s Wicked Fast Loan – $15,000 for start-up businesses and up to $30,000 for existing businesses with a 3-business day decision window.
  • Grant Resource Guide πŸ“„(Updated Dec 2022) – a guide to grants available to Maine-bases businesses
  • Shipping Strategies Guide πŸ“„ – a guide for manageable and economical shipping solutions, including tips on product development, assembly, material costs, marketing and packaging.
  • SaleCalc πŸ”—- compare fees/expenses for various storefronts and Payment Processors including eBay, Amazon, Etsy and PayPal
  • SCORE Financial Projections Template πŸ”— – use existing or estimated financial data to forecast your business’s future income and expenses.


Social Media Marketing

Marketing Tools

  • Canva πŸ”— – a free tool (with paid pro plans) for creating graphics and imagery, including for social media.
  • Tailwind πŸ”— – a free tool (with paid pro plans) for social media and email management

Business Planning

  • The Business Model Canvas πŸ“„ – a worksheet for developing your business model
  • E-Commerce Guide πŸ“„ – a guide to creating an effective e-commerce website
  • Maine Business Answers πŸ”—- a resource from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development to help you find what you need to start and do business in Maine.

Legal & Incorporation

Product Development & Manufacturing

Hiring & Managing Employees

Business Basics

The staff of the CEI Women’s Business Center respond to some Frequently Asked Questions and provide guidance on starting a new business. The information provided in these videos does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

Sole proprietorship vs single member LLCs – what are the pros and cons of each entity type for your business?

How to find out what federal, state and local licenses/permits your business needs.

What is in a business plan and why your company should have one.

How to fund your business with a commercial loan and what lenders are looking for on an application, including the 5 C’s of Credit.

What to consider when reviewing and signing a commercial lease for your business.

Tax basics for sole proprietors and single member LLCs, including Schedule Cs, Self-Employment Taxes and Maine Sales Taxes.

Should you hire someone as an independent contractor or an employee? How to choose the best fit for your businesses needs.

Event and Workshop Recordings

Check out our recordings of past workshops & panels to help your small business thrive!

How She Built That

An interview series with female business owners on how they built their companies.

Allie Andrews talks with the CEI Women’s Business Center about how she built her business providing yoga, meditation, and stretch breaks, work/life wellness workshops, and seated massage for mid to large-sized employers.


Designer and Entrepreneur Alison Thibault discusses with the CEI Women’s Business Center how she built WindHorse Arts Jewelry, a brand and storefront for handmade fused space glass jewelry on Vinalhaven Island in Maine https://www.windhorsearts.com/

BIPOC Entrepreneurship Series

A three-part virtual series focused on BIPOC entrepreneurship in Maine by Startup Maine and CEI Women’s Business Center. Each panel event explores the opportunities and barriers that exist for BIPOC entrepreneurs at the stages of ideation, launch and growth.

The Ideation Stage

In the Ideation panel, we explore the BIPOC entrepreneur experience of taking the seed of an idea to the first customer.


  • Veena Dinesh, Director of Business Incubation, UMaine
  • Mariella Uwimana, Immigrant Welcome Center Business Hub
  • Tiffany Lomax, Co-Founder, Memory Lane Cards
  • Obinna Okani, Community & Engagement Manager, The Roux Institute

The Launch Stage

In the Launch panel, we explore the BIPOC entrepreneur experience of establishing a customer base and market presence — and taking the first steps of being officially “in business.”


  • Quang Nguyen, Financial Advisor & Entrepreneur
  • Mike Mwenedata, Founder and CEO, Rwanda Bean
  • Niky Watler, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Maiz
  • Lucie Narukundo, Owner of Moriah Market LLC
  • Julia Trujilio Luengo, Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, City of Portland

The Growth Stage

In the Growth Stage panel, we explore the BIPOC entrepreneur experience of shifting from a workable business entity to a platform for growth.


  • Kerem Durdag, President and Chief Operating Officer of GWI
  • Cara Stadler, Chef Eighty-Ate Hospitality
  • Matthew Lewis, MaineStream Finance, Passamaquoddy tribal member

Small Business Webinars

Going Global: How to Expand Your Business Internationally

Have you ever wondered if your products/services would sell in Iceland or Canada?

What does it look like to do business internationally? How do you know if your business is ready to export?


  • Jodi Breau of Dental Lace, Inc.
  • Billie Cary, Trade Information Specialist with the Maine International Trade Center.

Employee Retention Tax Credit

If you are a small business with W2 employees and you haven’t yet applied for the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) you may be leaving money on the table.  

This refundable tax credit is worth up to $10,000 per employee per quarter, and you can receive ERTC and PPP (the law that prohibited you receiving them both has changed).

Featuring: Kevin Haley and Jamie Szal from Brann & Isaacson

Grants for Small Business

Are you seeking funding to invest in your new or growing business?

Grant funding can be a helpful resource, but finding a grant that is a good fit for your business is difficult. In this workshop, we will discuss the grant process, advise on when grants make sense for your businesses, offer tips for writing a compelling application, and provide an overview of grant opportunities for Maine-based small businesses. This workshop is offered in conjunction with the CEI Women’s Business Center’s Small Business Grant Resource Guide.

Featuring: Elaine Theriault-Currier, grant-writing consultant