Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Town of Wells is Certified Business-Friendly

Wells, Maine - Governor Paul R. LePage and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) recently approved the Town of Wells as Maine's newest "Certified Business-Friendly Community." Wells joins 25 other Maine cities and towns that have earned "Certified Business-Friendly" status. Qualifying for the certification requires that a town achieve a heightened level of distinction in its regular dealings with job creators, including such things as first-rate customer-service, effective business collaboration, efficient and affordable licensing and permitting, and active public input.

"The Town of Wells deserves hearty congratulations for its achievement," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "This certification is a direct result of the Town's dedication to maintaining a strong economic base and a willingness to work closely with DECD to earn this recognition. This determination and partnership sets an example for other municipalities to become better partners with business by removing unnecessary road blocks leading to a more attractive climate for private investment and job creation. This commitment helps make Maine a more competitive and business-friendly state."

The "Certified Business-Friendly Community" program, administered by DECD, encourages Maine municipalities to take a critical look at all areas of their business attraction strategy and examine ways the community interacts with businesses to promote new private investment. The Town of Wells received its award based on some of the following factors:

Significant investment in public infrastructure improvement projects • Creation of a Transportation District as part of the Town's Comprehensive Plan • Strong and productive collaboration with the local Chamber of Commerce and the regional planning commission. • Proactive approach to business through the utilization of an Ordinance Review Committee and Staff Review Committee

"DECD was very supportive in helping us fashion a successful application," said Jonathan Carter, Town Manager of Wells. Carter spoke of DECD's communicative effort, which he described as "hands-on."

Governor's Account Executive Kristine Schuman, as well as Office of Business Development Director Brian Whitney, traveled to Wells to meet with Carter and other town officials to review the town's application and better understand its economic delivery system. Carter noted that Schuman and Whitney helped him highlight what he described as the town's "team approach to economic development and its efforts to streamline business permitting and paperwork requirements."

"I am happy and proud to be able to certify the Town of Wells as Business Friendly," said DECD Commissioner George Gervais. "Clearly, they have gone to great lengths to make the community an attractive place to create and grow jobs. I commend Jon Carter and his entire team for recognizing and understanding that, as Governor LePage says, "investment goes where it is welcome and stays where it is appreciated.""

The "Certified Business-Friendly" community program started in 2012. Since then, Maine's list of "Certified Business-Friendly" communities has grown to include: Auburn, Augusta, Bath, Belfast, Biddeford, Brewer, Bucksport, Caribou, Cumberland, Ellsworth, Fairfield, Guilford, Hermon, Kennebunk, Lewiston, Lincoln, Pittsfield, Poland, Presque Isle, Richmond, Saco, Sanford, South Portland, Topsham, Wells, and Westbrook.

Each community is awarded a certificate of achievement, two MaineDOT road signs, and becomes a key part of Maine's business attraction strategy.

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