Business & Economy

There are a number of entities whose mission is, in part, to promote economic development in Washington County. Some are organized geographically, some by the type of business, and some by the fundamental belief that Washington County communities are the best place in which to live. While local efforts are applauded, Washington County seeks to promote the entire county.

The Sunrise County Economic Council serves to promote economic development work in Washington County. “SCEC works to empower organizations that are playing critical roles in the development and advancement of Washington County, help local leadership address local issues, convene citizens to work toward common goals, and encourage regional cooperation. SCEC uses a grassroots approach to economic and community development. By seeking common ground, working across political, municipal and economic boundaries, SCEC and its partners are moving Washington County forward.”

The Washington County Unorganized Territories (about 45% of the total land area of the County) have a TIF (Tax Increment Financing District) as a result of wind power development in the northern part of the county. The Washington County UT TIF Program was created through cooperative efforts of the Maine Legislature and Washington County Government with assistance from Sunrise County Economic Council. The TIF Grant and Loan Program provides financial assistance to start and/or grow a business located in the Unorganized Territories. Recent grant awards have funded a maple syrup producer’s purchase of equipment; internet service providers received matching grant funds to expand broadband coverage in previously un-served areas; and feasibility studies to examine the construction of a poultry processing facility and eco-tourism ventures.

Washington County needs citizens who appreciate the diversity of the people, businesses, and communities across the county. Who would not benefit from leaders who will see the challenges and opportunities as countywide, who can see how an investment in one area will strengthen the whole. The Washington County Leadership Institute, designed for and by Washington County people, empowers individuals to seek opportunities for the county, work with change, and commit to improving the economic and social life of the entire region. The Institute includes nine day-long sessions, approximately two weeks apart, in various locations across the county. Participants take part in workshops led by professional facilitators and WCLI alumni. They are exposed to insights and knowledge from Washington County entrepreneurs and others who have had success in employing the unique resources of the county and the people who enhance the way of living in Downeast Maine.

 

Business Resources

Cobscook Bay Area Chamber of Commerce

Cobscook Bay Area Chamber of Commerce

Email: [email protected]  
Web: www.cobscookbay.com 
Tel: 207-733-2201

Cobscook Bay Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 42
Whiting, Maine 04691

Downeast Business Alliance is a community development organization that offers business training and assistance services, as well as housing and community development programs for folks with fixed incomes. Their main office is located in Milbridge, but they have several satellite offices around the county, including Machias and Calais.

    Contact: Roland Bechard
    Email:  [email protected] 
    Web: www.whcacap.org
    Tel: 207-610-5944
    Office Hours: 8AM-5PM, M-F.

    1 College Drive
    Calais, Maine 04619

Eastport Chamber of CommerceEmail: [email protected]    
Web: www.eastportchamber.net
Tel: 207-853-4644

Eastport Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 254
Eastport, Maine 04631

Machias Bay Area Chamber of CommerceEmail: [email protected] 
Web: www.machiaschamber.org
Tel: 207-255-4402

Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 606
Machias, Maine 04654

Maine Career Center
With branches in Calais and Machias, the Maine CareerCenter works to build Washington County's workforce through a variety of training initiatives. The CareerCenter also matches job seekers with local employment opportunities.

    Contact: Nichole Jamison
    Email:  [email protected] or [email protected]
    Web: www.mainecareercenter.com
    Tel: 207-255-1900 (Machias), 207-454-7551 (Calais)
    Office Hours: 8AM-5PM, M-F.

    Machias CareerCenter
    53 Prescott Drive, Suite 3
    Machias, Maine 04654

Milbridge Merchants Association

Tel: 546-7028
Email: [email protected] 
Web: www.milbridge.org 

Milbridge Area Merchants Association
PO Box 536
Milbridge, Maine 04658

Northern Maine Development Commission is the federally recognized economic development district (EDD) for Aroostook and Washington counties. Located in Caribou, NMDC works with other economic and community development organizations across both counties on a range of initiatives including education, workforce, economic development and community planning.

    Contact: Judy Dinsmore
    [email protected]
    Web: www.nmdc.org
    Tel: 207-498-8736
    Office Hours: 8AM - 5PM

    Northern Maine Development Commission
    11 West Presque Isle Road
    PO Box 779
    Caribou, ME 04736

St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce

Email: [email protected]myfairpoint.net
Web: www.visitstcroixvalley.com   
Tel: 207-454-2308

St Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce
39 Union Street
Calais, Maine 04619

The Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC) works with small business, state, and local government on a wide range of initiatives from sustainable tourism to business and community development, to bring good paying jobs to Washington County. SCEC was formed in 1993 to help local people form local solutions to our county's economic problems.

Contact: Jennifer Peters
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.sunrisecounty.org
Tel: 207-255-0983
Office Hours: 8AM-5PM, M-F

Machias Office (at Machias CareerCenter building): 53 Prescott Drive, Suite 3 | Machias, Maine 04654

Calais Office at Washington County Community College: 1 College Drive | Calais, Maine

Washington County Cooperative Extension
The Washington County Cooperative Extension, a member of the U-Maine Cooperative Extension, offers educational programs and services to Washington County residents, on an array of topics from farming to small business development.

    Contact: Jennifer Lobley
    Email:  [email protected]
    Web:
    Tel: 207-255-3345
    Office Hours: 8AM-4:30PM, M-F.

    Washington County Cooperative Extension
    28 Center Street
    Machias, Maine 04654

Washington County's chief community development agency, the Washington County COG, offers local comprehensive planning services to member communities. COG also offers cooperative buying programs and helps towns deal with waterfront access issues.

    Contact: Judy East
    Email: [email protected]
    web: www.wccog.net
    Tel: 207-454-0465
    Office Hours: 8AM - 5PM

    Washington County Council of Governments
    PO Box 631
    Calais, Maine 04619

The Washington County Development authority was established by the Second regular Session of the 120th Maine Legislature as Chapter 568 of the Laws of Maine 2001. The authority was established in response to the need to create a state entity that could take title to the former Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station in cutler, Maine from the United States Navy. Since that time, the legislation was amended to broaden the scope of the authority’s mission to allow the Authority to provide financial and technical assistance to any governmental entity and nonprofit located within Washington County in support of community and economic development projects. Representation was expanded to include all municipalities in Washington County, including the unorganized territories.

Currently the authority is comprised of the following members:

                Dale Crowley – Addison
                Bob Whitman – Marshfield
                Betsy Fitzgerald – Machiasport
                Robert Hammond – Harrington
                Marianne Moore – Calais
                Christine Phillips – Calais
                Dean Pike –Eastport
                Lewis Pinkham – Milbridge
                Michael Radeka – Whiting
                Robert Tyler - Calais  

The WCDA meets monthly ten (10) times a year. The meetings are open to the public.

 Improving the quality of life for Washington County

Washington County: One Community is a community-based coalition whose mission is to promote healthy lifestyles and to improve the public health of the communities we serve.

 Our vision is to improve quality of life for Washington County through ongoing planning, community action, policy development, education and advocacy.

 Washington County: One Community is a coalition of individuals, businesses, non-profit associations, municipalities, healthcare providers, and civic organizations working collaboratively to improve the quality of life in Washington County by addressing the preventable causes of chronic disease and improving access to public health support for all residents to help them achieve healthy, substance-free, productive lives.

Women, Work & Community
Women, Work & Community specializes in business training, leadership development, and micro-enterprise development for women. They offer small business training and counseling services across the state, and have an office in Calais, which serves Washington County.


    Web:  www.http://womenworkandcommunity.org
     
    Women, Work and Community
    1 College Drive
    Calais, Maine 04619

Women's Business Center At CEI
Coastal Enterprises offers business training and financing to small business-people across the State of Maine through an active partnership network. In Washington County, CEI assists small businesses and entrepreneurs through its Women's Business Counselor in Machias.

    Contact: Ruth Cash-Smith
    Email: [email protected]
    Web: www.ceimaine.org
    Tel: 207-255-0983
    Office Hours: 8AM-5PM, M-Th., or by appointment

    CEI Women's Business Center
    53 Prescott Drive, Suite 3
    Machias, Maine 04654