Report: Maine SBDC Clients Secured $47.1M in 2016

Business owners who sought assistance from the Maine Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) raised $47.1 million in capital during 2016, more than any other year in the program’s 40-year history, according to the Maine SBDC’s recently released annual report.

Chart/Courtesy Maine SBDC

Maine SBDC surveyed 1,583 of their clients to learn more about their entrepreneurial activity with regard to capital raises, job growth, location, and industry. The report also revealed that their clients started 102 new businesses and created or saved 1,006 jobs during the year.

Geographically speaking, of the $47.1 million in capital, businesses in Penobscot County captured the largest portion, raising $16.4 million, followed by Cumberland County-based businesses with $12 million. However, the Maine SBDC had fewer clients in Penobscot County (186) than it did in Cumberland County (429). Crunching the numbers shows that Penobscot County business owners on average were able to secure roughly $88,000 compared to Cumberland County business owners, who raised on average $28,200. The county with the third largest amount of capital raised was Aroostook County with $5.5 million.

Unfortunately, the Maine SBDC reports that while 14 clients were assisted in Washington County and 17 in Sagadahoc County, there were zero new business starts in those counties, no new jobs created, and no capital raised.

Drilling down to the types of businesses obtaining funding, the Maine SBDC clients were nearly evenly split between entrepreneurs starting new businesses (47%) and existing business owners (53%). The industries within which the clients operate was also well diversified among retail businesses (19.8%), home-based businesses (12.3%), manufacturing (10.2%), food services and accommodation (9%), and agriculture, forestry and fishing (7.3%).

The Maine SBDC has 22 locations throughout the state and had a 2016 budget of $1.9 million, the majority of which came from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development ($780,830) and the U.S. Small Business Administration ($675,000), to service clients.

An independent economic impact study outsourced to a professor at Mississippi State University found that for every dollar invested in the Maine SBDC, $2.82 was returned to the state in the form of tax revenue.


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Written by:
Whit Richardson is a former daily newspaper journalist in Portland, Maine, who has covered business and entrepreneurship for the past decade. He's founder of Maine Startups Insider and currently editor-in-chief of 4Front Publishing, an online news startup covering the nascent legal cannabis industry.
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