Decline in gasoline prices hasn’t arrived in Maine yet

The expected fall of gasoline prices with the end of the summer driving season still isn’t here, as the average retail cost of a gallon of gas in Maine jumped nearly a nickel in the past week.

Price-monitoring website MaineGasPrices.com reported Monday that gas is up to $3.94 a gallon in Maine, 13 cents higher than the national average.

Prices are now more than 20 cents per gallon higher than the same day a year ago and more than 16 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

A company analyst said supply remains tight and the oil industry is still bringing back capacity after Hurricane Isaac hit the Gulf.

Portland-based firm picked as finalist in competition

Portland-based marketing and branding company Pulp + Wire was chosen as one of four national agencies to compete in Package Design magazine’s “Makeover Challenge” competition.

The ninth annual competition, which drew hundreds of entries, calls for four agencies to create a package design project for a real client. This year’s client, Klara’s Cookies, wanted a design overhaul for its gourmet line of European sweet and savory cookies.

The final four competitors were given eight weeks to do market research, learn about the brand and complete designs, examples and proposed color schemes.

Drawing from Klara’s Cookies’ Czech origins, the Pulp + Wire team incorporated patterns inspired by heirloom lace and colors used in Czech folk art. The exterior of the carton is a cutout paper apron that recalls the creation of the cookies in a grandmother’s kitchen. The Pulp + Wire team also tucked a Czech-language proverb and English translation in the underside of the carton top to entice customers to learn some Czech phrases.

Those interested in supporting Pulp + Wire’s submission can vote online through Oct. 31. The winner will be announced in Package Design’s November issue.

Archer Machine to open Limington precision shop

Archer Machine plans to open a precision machine shop in Limington to produce industrial valves for submarines and aircraft carriers, power plants and wastewater systems.

The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development said the new company worked with the governor’s account executive Kristine Schuman to find incentive programs and get upgraded equipment.

“As a new small business that is just starting out, getting access to tax incentives in a timely manner is huge,” Archer Machine President Michael Hanes said in a prepared statement.

Hanes plans to hire five people immediately, with average salaries of nearly $40,000, according to the state. His goal over the next three to five years is to triple that number as work and demand increase.

Archer’s initial investments total about $600,000, which include improvements on the former home of Metal Works Inc., the Department of Economic and Community Development said.