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Fact Book: Doing Business in Maine 2020

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43 E C O N O M I C D E V E L O P M E N T S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G S E C T I O N E C O N O M I C D E V E L O P M E N T S earsport is a coastal community located on picturesque Route 1 between Belfast and Bangor, on the road to Bar Harbor and Rockland and along the shore of Penobscot Bay. As a coastal community, Searsport is rich in maritime history dating back to the 1800s. In 1860, Searsport was home to 17 ship- yards, producing over 200 vessels, and home to 2,533 residents. Searsport's maritime history is not only significant in the State of Maine, but its contribution to the shipping world is notable, in that Searsport has produced more shipmasters than any other town of its size in the world; nearly 300 shipmasters called Searsport home. Some of them became shipmasters by age 21. Local, Regional and State Assets Searsport is home to the second largest deepwater port in Maine. e port in Searsport offers dry bulk pad storage, heated tank stor- age, railroad trans-loader, track-mobile, ship loader, mobile harbor crane and crawler cranes. Imports and exports are diversified. Decades have passed, but Searsport's role as a vital Maine deep- water port continues. Recently, the Governor of Maine announced the undertaking of a study to explore the viability of our port building electricity-producing floating windmills to be located in the Gulf of Maine. Searsport's place in the maritime world was highlighted in 2018, with the opening of the Maine Ocean School, a magnet high school for marine science, technology, transportation, and engineering. e school's mission is to provide a theme-based high school education focused on Maine's maritime connection. Historic buildings throughout Searsport's downtown are a lovely reminder of the town's past and a demonstration of preservation through repurposing. Many stately sea captain homes have been converted into attractive bed-and-breakfasts. Fine examples of 19th- century commercial architecture are now home to attractive retail establishments. Searsport is also home to the Penobscot Marine Museum, a destination for those interested in discovering coastal Maine, Penobscot Bay and Searsport's rich sailing and shipping history. Searsport Stays the Course Searsport's continues on its course to renewed prosperity. Downtown revitalization is on deck, with a future rebuild of almost a mile through the historic core. Once completed, this irresistible section of Main Street, where architectural gems invite visits in every direction, will be the center of renewed prosperity for the next century to come. In recent years, Searsport has undertaken an aggressive strategy to assemble the infrastructure needed to facilitate development investment. A newly adopted Downtown Plan sets the stage for a Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District. e Downtown TIF District will enable Searsport to develop valued programs such as grants and loans that can be offered and will be available to existing business and new businesses start-ups. For a small coastal community, the Downtown Plan well illustrates Searsport's com- mitment to the future of business investment, expansion, and reten- tion. is well-coordinated and supportive plan allows Searsport to support and welcome business investment by insuring a facilitated, articulated, and timely review and approval process. Mission Accomplished In just a few short years, Searsport has already proven the success of its development planning process. We are proud and appreciative of the recent business ventures that have found their way to our community. Recently, Searsport welcomed Massimo Ranni and his Lobster Rail Restaurant and Massimo's Breads & Cooking Studio, to our business community. Massimo was born in Rome, Italy, and came to the United States in 1998. He opened a bakery outside of Manhattan, garner- ing rave reviews from the New York Times. In 2007, he arrived in Bangor and opened Massimo's Cucina Italiana Restaurant, receiving accolades from Downeast Magazine, Maine Sunday Telegram and Bangor Daily News. Now Searsport is the new focus for this world-class chef ! Why Searsport? Well, it's clear. Massimo and other businesses owners have discovered our secrets—our marine heritage, ocean breezes, friendly residents, traffic counts, and historic buildings, our supportive nature and eagerness to clear the path for your successful business. Come to Searsport and discover what these business owners found! l Searsport Proud of Our Maritime Heritage Town of Searsport 1 Union Street, P.O. Box 499, Searsport, ME 04974 Municipal Government Dean L. Bennett, Economic Development Director Established: 1845 P H O T O B Y J A M E S G I L L W A Y P H O T O B Y M A S S I M O R A N N I Searsport is rich in amenities and character. Chef Massimo Ranni chose Searsport for Massimo's Breads & Cooking.

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