U.S. Small Business Administration and Other Federal Agencies Hold Event in Katahdin Region

The U.S. Small Business Administration held a series of panels and one-on-one meetings with Federal partners in the Katahdin region on July 19th at the Katahdin Higher Education Center in East Millinocket. In addition to the SBA, other presenters included the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USDA Rural Development, the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Commercial Service, Farm Service Agency, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Agency and General Services Administration. Special focus was given to the designation of Millinocket and East Millinocket as Opportunity Zones, as this program provides a wide range of potential benefits to these communities. The day began with a roundtable discussion with Federal agency representatives and town officials from the towns that make up the Katahdin region. During this session, Senator Susan Collins and Congressman Jared Golden were present to hear about the concerns of constituents and ways they could advocate on their behalf.

“The Administration has made it a priority to reach areas of Maine that do not always get the attention that is needed. We were excited to visit the Katahdin Region to raise awareness of the often overlooked programs and resources available to small businesses and communities in the rural areas of New England,” said Wendell Davis, SBA Regional Administrator for New England.  “Partnering with our sister Federal agencies and physically holding events like these in Millinocket is vitally important not just for the communities we visit but also the Federal agencies as it is an important opportunity for the Federal agencies to directly listen to the needs of the communities and hopefully point folks in the right direction to find solutions,” added Mr. Davis. 

As part of SBA’s Rural Initiative, launched in 2018 in conjunction with USDA Rural Development, the agency seeks to bring expanded access to capital and economic development to rural areas across the country. Chief among the focus areas are those communities with strong ties to the agricultural economy, and communities that have been affected by the closure of historic mills.

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