December 3, 2013

Portland to honor businesses for boosting economic development

Awards will go to Charlie Poole, Putney Inc. and Public Market House for efforts to improve the local economy.

By J. Craig Anderson
Staff Writer

Mayor Michael Brennan and other Portland officials will present awards Wednesday to two businesses and one individual for boosting the city’s economic activity.

click image to enlarge

Jean Hoffman is president of Putney Inc., a veterinary pharmaceutical company that has been chosen to receive this year’s Business of the Year Award from the city of Portland.

2010 Press Herald File Photo / Derek Davis

Award recipients will include Charlie Poole, president of Proprietors of Union Wharf and Custom Float Services, who has been named this year’s Economic Development Achievement Award winner by the Portland Development Corp. and the city of Portland.

The Portland Development Corp. is a city-run entity that administers economic development and business loan programs. The annual awards, which have been given out for more than 20 years, recognize people and businesses that have made significant contributions to improving Portland’s economy and reputation.

Poole, whose family has owned Union Wharf since the 1800s, has been a longtime supporter and community leader for Portland’s waterfront, according to a city news release. His business, which builds floats for large marina installations such as Chandler’s Wharf, DiMillo’s and the town of Rockport, employs 15 people, the release said.

Veterinary drug maker Putney Inc. has been chosen to receive this year’s Business of the Year Award for its strong growth and expanding role as a major employer in Portland. Founded in 2006, Putney employs roughly 75 people and plans to grow its staff to 130 over the next two years, according to the release.

Inc. Magazine recently named Putney Inc. one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, with a total revenue gain of 183 percent from 2009 to 2012.

Public Market House will receive this year’s Small Business of the Year award for carrying on “the vision of an in-town public market in Portland by providing a community gathering place that celebrates Maine people, food and agricultural traditions, while joining the ongoing efforts to revitalize Portland’s downtown, incubating small businesses, and involving the international community,” the release said.

Its operator, Market Vendors LLC, was created by four original vendors from the now-defunct Portland Public Market who relocated in the summer of 2006 to 28 Monument Square.

“Each of these businesses has made an indelible impact on the city and its economy, and it is exciting to see them get this deserved recognition,” Brennan said in the news release.

The awards will be given out at the Portland Development Corp.’s annual meeting at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Ocean Gateway on Commercial Street.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 207-791-6390 or at:

Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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