Island Institute launches program for small businesses

Lobster boats in the harbor of Isle au Haut. Nearly 50% of the community’s year-round residents make their living as lobstermen.

The John T. Gorman Foundation is helping to back a new program from the Island Institute to fund coastal and island businesses.
The Island Institute, which announced the Island and Coast Business Launchpad program March 8 in its Working Waterfront publication, aims to help entrepreneurs in “geographically isolated communities.”

The program will include an “innovation fund,” to provide flexible and community-focused loans, as well as business support, microgrants, digital and financial literacy classes and an aquaculture business-development program.

The program was introduced by Briana Warner, Island Institute’s director of economic development. The Island Institute, which is based in Rockland, is a nonprofit whose mission is to keep Maine’s year-round islands economically viable.

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