Business and Economy

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Canal 5 Studio of Portland

A massive refrigerated warehouse proposed for Portland’s waterfront could help make the city’s port a regional and even world player — as ships sail, it’s the closest port to Europe, which could mean a boost in both imports and exports.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine saw a record number of homes sales in 2016, with closings on more than 17,500 single-family homes over the 12 months.   

Homes sales were up almost 12 percent in 2016 and median sales prices up almost 5 percent compared to the year before..

"I believe a lot of it is due to the confidence in the economy, which has fueled the sale of single-family homes across the state of Maine," says  Greg Gosselin, president of the Maine Association of Realtors. 

BANGOR, Maine - A national food chain has purchased the Pineland Farms Potato Company in Mars Hill for $115 million.

The Ohio-based national chain has sold its Bob Evans Restaurants division for $565 million and will now concentrate on processed food production.

Mike Townsley, CEO at Bob Evans Foods, says the Maine acquisition will give the brand a new source for its line of mashed and pre-cooked potatoes.

Caroline Losneck / Maine Public

It’s scallop season in Maine. Fishermen here have hauled in over 450,000 pounds of the tender delicacy in each of the last three years, but the state produces only a tiny fraction of the entire U.S. sea scallop harvest. So to grow a market for its own brand of inshore scallops, the Maine industry is trying to sell one particular quality that sets it apart.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's labor department says the state's unemployment rate fell slightly in December.

The labor department says the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.8 percent was a dip from 4 percent in November. The rate was 4.1 percent a year ago.

Maine's unemployment rate was below the national average, which was also down slightly from a year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.7 percent. It had been 4.6 percent in November and 5 percent a year ago.

What Trump's Withdrawal from an Asia Trade Deal Could Mean for Maine

Jan 24, 2017
Jay Field / Maine Public/file

PORTLAND, Maine — The last time New Balance spoke out on trade policy, its shoes ended up in trash cans and on fire.

That might be why the company was silent about winning a years-long trade battle its leaders said would protect about 900 Maine manufacturing jobs from an onslaught of shoe imports from Vietnam.

Canal 5 Studio of Portland

The Port Authority of Maine has given the City of Portland an architect’s conceptual renderings of a 120,000-square-foot cold storage shipping warehouse proposed for the city’s waterfront.

The Downeast Institute in Beals, a fully equipped marine research laboratory, will more than double its size with the help of $5 million in investment funding.

BOSTON - A Maine blueberry processor has agreed to pay a $103,613 settlement to resolve federal concerns over its handling of a chemical used in refrigeration.

The settlement agreed upon by Hancock Foods and the Environmental Protection Agency resolves questions surrounding the blueberry processor's handling of anhydrous ammonia and its failure to timely report a release of the chemical.

Anhydrous ammonia, which is used in refrigeration, is flammable, and potentially explosive, in some situations. It's also corrosive to the skin, eye and lungs.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

PORTLAND, Maine - For a lot of reasons, the nation's economic outlook has changed from a year ago.  Brett Miller, senior portfolio manager for Key Private Bank in Portland tells Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz that recovering corporate profits and rising consumer confidence are among the reasons.

PORTLAND, Maine - Some 700 people involved in Maine real estate are gathered in Portland today for the annual conference of the Maine Real Estate and Development Association.  The trade group compiles an index of economic activity that's known by its acronym, MREDA (pronounced Muh - ree' - dah).  Irwin Gratz talked with the group's president, Paul Peck, earlier today at Maine Public's Portland studios.

moondance38 / Flickr/Creative Commons

The residents of two remote Down East islands, Frenchboro and Swan’s Island, pay some of the highest electric bills in the nation, and they’ve proposed to abandon their local electric cooperative to join with the mainland customers of a large utility who enjoy cheaper distribution rates.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press file

A $2-million-a-year investment by the state into a targeted lobster promotion effort paid off big for the industry last year, according to the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, which launched an aggressive campaign to boost soft-shell lobster sales.

Matt Jacobson, executive director at the collaborative, says a new report on the marketing campaign revealed that the initiative was responsible for 1 billion earned social media impressions — and some surprising new takes on serving lobsters.

Members of Maine’s Congressional Delegation testified during a hearing of the U.S. International Trade Commission Wednesday in support of a Maine manufacturer.

Auburn Manufacturing says it has been hurt by alleged Chinese producers who are selling products at less than fair value. The company, which employs 40 people at facilities in Auburn and Mechanic Falls, is the leading U.S. producer of industrial-grade amorphous silica fabric, which is used in high-heat situations.

Markus Schreiber / Associated Press

Volkswagen and its sister companies are shelling out billions of dollars to customers and states that were affected by its attempts to cheat on emissions tests.