Downtown and Business Development

Maine Grains President Amber Lambke, left, leads a tour
of the Somerset Grist Mill in Skowhegan.
Photo by Laura Reed

Downtown revitalization and growing businesses and jobs go hand in hand.

From 2002 to 2013, the Maine Street Maine program showed a net gain of 305 businesses and 1,376 jobs in their communities thanks to reinvestment efforts.

Downtowns that feature a vibrant commercial life, arts and culture facilities, and residential options draw people to live, work, and shop. These activities in turn contribute to the growth and sustainability of the local economy.

A new pool of low-interest philanthropic capital is increasing access to funds for businesses and nonprofits, especially in underserved markets, to support enterprise development and improve downtown buildings.

Established in 2013, the Maine Community Foundation’s Downtown and Business Development Portfolio is a mission-driven complement to its Primary Investment Portfolio. Investments from this portfolio will be made with the goal of increasing downtown vitality, company growth, and job creation.

The Maine Community Foundation welcomes your interest and questions. Please contact Jen Southard, vice president for donor services and gift planning, at or (207) 412-0842.