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Commentary: Let’s make 2023 a yr of financial improvement for all of Maine

With 2023 upon us, financial uncertainty hangs within the air. Whereas the job market has largely recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and rising rates of interest stay and recession fears persist. Volatility within the inventory markets is unpredictable and one other trigger for concern.

Meyer Software Inc., an aerospace and energy technology firm based mostly in Cincinnati, is the newest to supply good-paying jobs exterior of Portland and its surrounding localities. The corporate lately purchased B&B Exact Merchandise Inc. on Route 100 in Benton in an settlement that’s anticipated to permit B&B to boost capital for a $3 million, 15,000-square-foot enlargement of its facility. Wealthy Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Issues abound, however the options are the identical as they’ve all the time been. Now greater than ever, Maine wants entrepreneurship. Our state wants companies massive and small to create jobs and develop the economic system. Particularly in rural areas, financial improvement is paramount, bringing the identical forms of profession alternatives that exist in Cumberland County to all elements of Maine.

A statewide financial restoration is unattainable with out the remainder of Maine – the Maine that I do know and love.

The excellent news is that Mainers solely must construct on their momentum of final yr. In 2022, Maine’s gross home product reached almost $63 billion – a 2% improve from the yr earlier than. Our financial progress got here largely due to the various newcomers to our state, which represents a viable various to conventional hubs like Massachusetts and New York. As older staff retire, younger jobseekers and staff are coming to Maine and bringing their skills with them, making a broader labor pool for employers.

Our labor market is dynamic, and I see that each day. Heading towards the twenty fifth anniversary of FirstPark enterprise park in Oakland, employment and job progress are sturdy in central Maine. Meyer Software – an aerospace and energy technology firm headquartered in Ohio – is the newest to supply good-paying jobs exterior of Portland and its surrounding localities.

When firms like Meyer Software open new places in our state, the advantages are immense and multifaceted. Not solely are direct jobs created, however enterprise enlargement additionally results in ancillary alternatives. For instance, if Meyer Software seems to rent a advertising or public relations company in Maine, that finally ends up benefiting a wholly completely different business and its staff.

The yr forward could convey new uncertainty, however leaders within the enterprise group must hold our eyes on the ball. Maine should stay a “pro-business” state. Welcoming massive companies and small companies alike will make monetary safety much more of a actuality in our state. Small companies have distinctive, compelling tales to inform, however we can’t overlook the size of job creation made doable by only one massive company. For instance, T-Cell – a staple at FirstPark – plans so as to add 100 new jobs by March. Our state wants all of these jobs.

I urge the numerous innovators in Maine to work even tougher in 2023. The coronavirus stays a risk, nevertheless it has diminished from a yr in the past. We’ve got a novel alternative to create a private-sector prototype in our state for others to comply with and develop the state’s economic system in transformative methods.

As Gov. Mills lately put it in her second inaugural deal with final week, Mainers must “strengthen and diversify our economic system” by “seizing on our spirit of independence and self-reliance.”

The governor is true, and it includes considering larger and out of doors of our state, if crucial. Searching for new commerce companions in different states and maybe even different international locations has all the time represented a viable technique for Maine, and it stays crucial as we speak. Certainly one of my high priorities at FirstPark is to faucet into worldwide markets and attain international prospects that will contemplate Vacationland a brand new enterprise vacation spot.

From Cumberland County to the remainder of Maine, let’s make 2023 a yr of financial improvement that we’ve by no means seen earlier than. Let’s reject the pessimism that comes with financial uncertainty. The longer term is shiny, and it’s ours to grab.

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