Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Maine Last on Forbes- Is That Really a Bad Thing?

There is an impression that we in Maine always seem to be waiting for the next big out of state entity  to bring economic activity and incomes. It was going to be factories, then call centers, and box stores.

Maybe the big economic elephants don't fit with what Maine is about. 

Perhaps instead of wringing our hands and feeling bad about bottoming out on Forbes' list of places to do business; instead of lamenting what we aren't, we should recognize and grow what we are. So Maine is not a great place for oil refineries, chemical complexes, factories and box stores. Maine on the other hand is a great place for small businesses, with a rapidly growing farming sector, wood products, clean energy and my favorite- the most bitchin' deconsolidated fishery in the nation.

Maine is a place where it's recognized that if you buy local or hire your neighborhood contractor, the money stays in town and comes back to you instead of being cyber-whisked off to the Caymans.

Maybe Maine's economy just isn't ever going to impress Steve Forbes, but we can grow stronger by knowing the strengths we do have and tilting policy accordingly.


  1. I so hope that you are right about Maine NOT being a "great place for oil refineries, chemical complexes, factories and box stores." I like your take on the Forbes article!

  2. Understanding yourself - your weaknesses and your strengths - are critical in an individual. The same could be said for our state collectively and Maine's strength has always been in her people. Their fierce independence, their tenacity, their ability to make do; incredible attributes. Applying these qualities to the concept of staying local, buying local, supporting local - this is a win-win situation. From Away but in love with Maine!