Business and Economy

Business news

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

A subsidiary of Central Maine Power's (CMP) parent company won the right Wednesday to negotiate a contract for what will be the nation's largest offshore wind project, off the Massachusetts coast.

The federal government Wednesday released employment and wage data for the country's largest counties. Cumberland is the only Maine county on that list.

Investors in 32 areas of Maine will get new federal tax benefits intended to bring jobs and investment to some of the state’s poorest parts.

The federal Opportunity Zones program allows investors in some census tracts to avoid paying federal capital gains tax on earnings from those areas.

The only significant state fishery for baby eels in the United States has blown past records for value as high demand from overseas aquaculture companies is driving prices to new heights.

Fishermen in Maine search for the eels, called elvers, in rivers and streams every spring so they can be sold to Asian aquaculture companies as seed stock. Fishermen have sold more than $20 million worth of the eels so far this season.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Food delivery app companies GrubHub and Uber Eats are entering a turf war in Maine. As they both try to win customers in the southern part of the state, they have an entrenched competitor to contend with too – the local guy.

If you're feeling peckish, the food delivery apps make it pretty easy to tap into Portland's dynamic foodie scene – a few taps on your smartphone, choose a restaurant, choose from the menu that pops up, authorize a payment – including a delivery fee – and, maybe a half hour later you can expect your order.

New Charity Receiving Poland Spring Aid Lacks Federal Nonprofit Status

May 19, 2018
Ashley L. Conti / Bangor Daily News

Despite not having yet acquired nonprofit status, a still-forming charity has a $150,000 commitment from Poland Spring as the retail water seller extends its influence in northern Penobscot County. 

EMHS Is Ending Partnerships With Portland And Bangor Over Opioid Lawsuits

May 18, 2018
Courtesy EMHS / Bangor Daily News

Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems says it is ending partnerships with Bangor and Portland after the two cities moved to file lawsuits accusing it and national pharmaceutical manufacturers of playing a key role in the opioid crisis.

EMHS said in a Thursday news release it decided to take the action because of concern that some physicians, formerly employed by EMHS member organizations, “could be named in the suit as a legal tactic to keep the cases in Maine state courts.”

Unemployment in Maine remained at a 60 year low in April at 2.7 percent, the same rate as March.

State Labor Department official Glenn Mills said those are the two lowest monthly unemployment numbers since 1957.

“It's a very tight labor market and conditions are very good,” Mills commented.

The state’s 2.7 percent rate was well below the national unemployment rate of 3.9 percent in April and below Maine’s jobless rate of 3.3 percent in April, 2017.

Developers Behind Massive Portland Project Accused Of ‘Shell Game,’ Fraud

May 18, 2018
Troy R. Bennett / Bangor Daily News

A construction company is suing the developers behind an ambitious housing project, once expected to transform a troubled Portland neighborhood, for fraud.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

Both of Maine's U.S. senators have joined a majority of their colleagues by voting to block a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plan to repeal net neutrality rules. However, Democratic Representative Chellie Pingree says the measure may never get a vote in the House.

“The Republicans would much rather not take a vote on this and I think that is a big mistake. I actually think it will be an election year issue,” Pingree says.


Maine’s Public Consumer Advocate is calling on state regulators to launch a full review of Central Maine Power’s (CMP) billing complaints and discrepancies. 

Canadian Salmon Firm Admits Using Lobster-Killing Pesticide Near Maine Border

May 17, 2018
Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

For the second time in five years, a Canadian salmon aquaculture firm has admitted in a New Brunswick courtroom to illegally using a pesticide known to kill lobsters for treating salmon off an island that abuts the Maine border.

The federal government says Maine had one of the top ten gains in "real personal income," in 2016.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis figures, released Thursday, show real personal income rose 2.2 percent that year. It was the fastest rate of real income growth in New England.

What makes these income figures "real" in government-speak is that they take into account both inflation and the relative cost of living between Maine and the rest of the country.

Maine's U.S. senators are joining 61 of their colleagues in a call for the Federal Communications Commission to advance broadband services in rural America.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King are joining other senators in sending a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The senators say improving accessibility of broadband is necessary to make sure rural residents have “access to high quality voice and broadband services.”

The senators say they support a recent order that addressed budget shortfalls in the Universal Service Fund's high-cost program.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

An index of real estate development in Maine has hit its all-time high.

The "MEREDA" index says there is more development going on around the state than before the Great Recession. Paul Peck, the President of the Maine Real Estate and Development Association, says the biggest driver has been commercial development, despite the challenges facing brick-and-mortar retailers.