December 27, 2012

Another View: Governor should brag about Maine's small business economy

By Grace Hinrichs

The Press Herald's lead editorial of Dec. 17 was correct when it said: "Forbes ranking says little about Maine". But your argument doesn't go nearly far enough.

The best thing we have going for us is that we don't have huge industrial complexes here.

What we do have are a lot of innovative people who have started artisan businesses in their kitchens or barns or basements, and when they outgrew their original settings kept their small business ethic and are busy these days branching out and shipping their products all over the world.

This is what Gov. LePage should be boasting about and encouraging instead of lamenting the lack of big companies.

I used to love to watch "Made in Maine" on MPBN where Lou McNally visited one or more of these businesses each week, talked to the owners and workers, and showed what was happening behind the scenes unbeknownst to most of us.

Paddles, pencils and barrel staves; chocolates, jams and smoked mussels; canoes, kayaks and sailing vessels; musical instruments, Thomas Moser furniture and Hinckley yachts.

The reach of these businesses has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Just read any issue of Downeast magazine to see what's there and where they are shipping their products.

This is the lifeblood of this state. They came here and/or chose to stay here because of the hard-working people ,beautiful surroundings , quiet neighborhoods, and abundance of outdoor activities that make this state unique.

And their businesses flourish without spoiling the natural beauty of what draws people here for recreation by the thousands.

Let's not let Forbes define us. What kind of business were they thinking of when they said we are the "worst state" to do business in? Perhaps we should consider that a compliment rather than an insult!

Grace Hinrichs is a resident of Rockport.

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