Business 2 Business Showcase held in Waterville

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 5:57 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Business 2 Business Showcase Tuesday in Waterville at the new Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center on the Colby College campus.

“You get your financing, materials for building, you find a realtor to buy property, you get your insurance you need. Really anything a startup company or a young business might need, you’ll find it at the Business 2 Business Showcase,” said Bruce Harrington, B2B planning committee chair.

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce hosted the Business 2 Business Showcase, featuring long-established companies, and many just getting started, like the Lockwood Hotel and Front and Main Restaurant in downtown Waterville.

“Just finished construction back in the spring and opened our restaurant, Front and Main, in March, and our hotel is slated to open next year,” said Lockwood Hotel General Manager Jordan Rowan.

Bixby & Co. craft confectionary is expanding to Waterville from Rockland. Their new space will be in the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, under construction on Main Street.

“We wanted to introduce ourselves and let people know that we’re coming to Waterville,” said co-owner Donna McAleer.

Staff from The Elm event center set up a booth with colorful drinks and tables to chat at. They say connecting with other area businesses has been great.

“We do local events, we do private events, concerts, comedy shows,” said Office Manager Callie Soule.

The event showcases a wide variety of businesses, but nearly all of them have one thing in common.

“I think we have 103 businesses,” said Harrington. “Normally we have closer to 140 or so, but with COVID and everything...or some people weren’t able to staff it. Staffing was a major issue with getting people here today.”

“We’re no exception to that,” said Rowan. “Always looking for kitchen staff to support our restaurant and just, yeah, always looking for good people.”

“Been pretty bleak in the Rockland area, but we’re hoping that begins to change,” said McAleer.

The Elm was one of the few businesses without openings.

“Currently, The Elm is not having a problem staffing,” said Soule. “We don’t have a lot of shows going on, but even when we do, we’ve had plenty of staff.”

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce hopes the event is beneficial to the businesses in attendance and the region’s economy.

“The reception today has been outstanding,” said Gordon McAleer, compliance director for Bixby & Co. “Many interested people stopping by, sampling our products, but also words of encouragement from the general community.

“It’s really about finding ways to help one another grow your business and grow this area as the local economy,” said Harrington.

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