Business and Economy

Business news

Neighboring New England States Duke It Out Over Amazon HQ2 Bid

Oct 20, 2017

In their attempt to lure Amazon and its 50,000 jobs, New Hampshire officials are making one fact quite clear about the Granite State: It's not Massachusetts.

Abukar Adan / Maine Public

Next month, residents of Lewiston and Auburn will vote on a proposal to merge the two cities. Business owners have been among the most vocal cheerleaders of the idea, which they say would improve efficiency, reduce administrative costs and lower taxes — but critics are more concerned about what they could lose.

Based on the latest stock assessments of spiny dogfish, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has approved a quota of about 38.2 million pounds of the small shark — about 900,000 pounds less than the quota for the current year. It’s also more than dogfish harvesters usually catch.

Fishery Management Plan Coordinator Max Appelman says that’s because of market demand, rather than how many fish are available.

Scarborough town manager Tom Hall has the ideal location in mind for Amazon’s second headquarters: the former Scarborough Downs racetrack.

Hall says the site, which includes about 300 acres of land to develop on, may have an edge over other proposals.

“Our angle, which may or may not be unique, among the hundreds, if not thousands of applications they receive, is that we have kind of a blank canvas, in many respects. And build to suit, if you will, instead of retrofit,” he says.

U.S. Navy

One of Maine’s largest employers is growing, but its future depends in large part on the actions of Congress.

Maine Weighs Lottery To Issue First New Scallop Licenses Since 2009

Oct 18, 2017
Bill Trotter / Bangor Daily News/file

Nearly a decade after halting new licenses for scallop fishing to protect the stock from depletion, Maine is considering how to encourage new people into the fishery.

Prices for scallops remain historically high, and Maine’s scallop fishermen are getting older, prompting the state to contemplate adopting a lottery system for new licenses. The average age for licensed scallop fishermen in Maine is 51.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The Atlantic States Fisheries Management Council is asking for public comment on draft rules that would change the way lobstermen report their harvest.

The group’s lobster coordinator, Megan Ware, says data deficiencies have emerged during recent efforts to protect sensitive marine resources. She says right now, harvest data are collected over swaths of ocean so large that it’s hard to measure fishing activities around certain features, such as deep-water coral canyons off Mt. Desert Rock or, farther south, offshore wind turbines.

Mary Schwalm / Associated Press

Congress is poised to embrace the Navy’s goal of expanding from its current fleet of 275 ships to 355. Doing so will be costly — the Congressional Budget Office has estimated a price tag of more than $26 billion a year. But if the spending is approved, it will mean a ramp-up in production, and that will likely be good news for one of the state’s largest employers, Bath Iron Works.

Abukar Adan / Maine Public

South Portland city officials flipped the switch on Maine's largest municipal solar project Tuesday morning. The project was developed in collaboration with the city of Portland by Portland-based ReVision Energy.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine fishermen could soon learn how many pounds of baby eels they'll be able to catch next year for the worldwide sushi market.
An arm of the interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is likely to vote Tuesday about the 2018 quota for baby eels, or elvers. Fishermen in Maine catch the elvers to sell to Asian aquaculture companies who raise them to maturity for use as food.

A western Massachusetts business owner faces a boycott of his stores after attending an event with President Trump last week. But he says he's being unfairly targeted.

A recent spate of minor accidents has Emera Maine warning loggers and farmers to steer clear of power lines. Emera spokeswoman Judy Long says no injuries resulted, but there extensive damage to machinery and power outages did result. but the company wants to raise awareness that farm and logging equipment

“Sometimes we have to figure out how to get equipment safely away from power lines. Which is one of the reasons we’re letting people know that if they are going to be doing work near power lines, to work with us so that we can help you do it safely,” says Long.

PORTLAND, Maine - The price of gasoline is down a few cents in the northern New England states.
GasBuddy's daily survey of more than 1,200 gas outlets in Maine says prices have fallen 3.1 cents per gallon in the past week and were averaging $2.42 per gallon on Sunday. The price in Vermont slipped 4.3 cents to $2.54 per gallon. New Hampshire's price fell 3.6 cents to $2.49 per gallon.
The national average has also been falling over the last month. It's 16.2 cents per gallon less than last month, but also 22.3 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

PORTLAND, Maine - A Portland law firm is hosting an event about business growth in the Arctic in which a pair of Greenland executives will provide the keynote address.
Verrill Dana is hosting the full-day seminar on Thursday at its offices in response to changing shipping routes that it says make the Arctic and northern Europe more important for Maine businesses.
The keynote speakers will be Kuno Fencker and Pele Broberg of Greenland Trading. They will be talking about Arctic development from the perspective of Greenland.

Mark Vogelzang / Maine Public

It used to be known as Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport, but from this week on, the 600-acre coastal farm will be known as Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment. Underscoring the center’s new name is the advancement of what’s known as “regenerative farming.”