AUGUSTA — The LePage administration is launching a program to encourage business development by tagging eligible Maine communities as business friendly.

Gov. Paul LePage announced the Certified Business Friendly Community program at the Blaine House today. Communities meeting standards for business collaboration, licensing and permitting will get formal state recognition including an “Open for Business” sign to be displayed. They’ll also get extra points in applying for community development block grants.

LePage says the program is all about job creation. He says the Business Friendly effort is to make sure communities have the tools and environment they need to expand and create jobs.

The first Business Friendly applications are due April 6, and those selected are expected to be announced in May.

LePage says the program requires no additional state funding.