Looking for resources to help you start or grow your business? Check out our library of helpful documents, links and videos below.
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- 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 📄(Updated June 28, 2022) – a guide to grants available to Maine-bases businesses
- Shipping Strategies Guide 📄 – a guide for manageable and economical shipping solutions, including tips on product development, assembly, material costs, marketing and packaging.
- SaleCalc 🔗- compare fees/expenses for various storefronts and Payment Processors including eBay, Amazon, Etsy and PayPal
- SCORE Financial Projections Template 🔗 – use existing or estimated financial data to forecast your business’s future income and expenses.
- Branding 101 📄- it’s more than just a logo, a guide to the whys and hows of building your brand
- Email Marketing For Small Businesses 📄 – a guide to starting and succeeding with email marketing
- Websites 101 📄 – an introduction to starting a business website
Social Media Marketing
- Canva 🔗 – a free tool (with paid pro plans) for creating graphics and imagery, including for social media.
- Tailwind 🔗 – a free tool (with paid pro plans) for social media and email management
- The Business Model Canvas 📄 – a worksheet for developing your business model
- E-Commerce Guide 📄 – a guide to creating an effective e-commerce website
- Maine Business Answers 🔗- 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
- How to Organize Your Business 🔗- a guide for home-based businesses by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension
- IRS.gov 🔗- Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online
- Maine Corporations Division 🔗 – Maine filings for business entities, nonprofit corporations and marks
Product Development & Manufacturing
- Maine Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)🔗 – Maine PTAC provides training and technical assistance to local businesses statewide so they can find, win and perform on government contracts.
Hiring & Managing Employees
- Adapting to Change – Working and Managing Your Business Virtually 📄
- How to Determine Independent Contractor Status 🔗 – via the Maine Department of Labor
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.
Rachel Battarbee and Amanda Caputu sit down with the CEI Women’s Business Center to discuss how they built Guided Makers, their apparel development consultancy company in Freeport, Maine. https://www.guidedmakers.com/
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