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Group looks to promote economic growth

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 7:05 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

A newly-formed organization is looking to promote business growth in the Presque Isle region. Kathy McCarty has more.

A local man combined extra hours at home, due to the pandemic, and a desire to promote community development, to create a soon-to-be nonprofit called Ignite Presque Isle. Clint Deschene spent last summer working with future board members to come up with a business plan.

“Which led to me contacting Mary Smith as a consultant. I wanted her to help me advise - her and Jennifer Rosenbaum - to share information about what they’ve seen. They’ve done so much to make Presque Isle a better community, and I wanted to hear more of what they thought worked and what they didn’t think worked, and talk a little bit about what I was doing and see what they thought of it. And that led to a great relationship where we work back and forth quite a - quite a few months, and that led to the Rodney and Mary Smith Family Foundation offering a grant towards Ignite Presque Isle to get up and get going this January,” says Clint Deschene, Director of Community Innovation for Ignite Presque Isle.

The grant is for $300,000 and will be used to establish Ignite Presque Isle as a viable community and economic development organization for the greater Presque Isle area.

He says, “The key component of what we’ll do will be co-work or remote working, which is an area for people that can’t afford or don’t want to buy into having their own business front but need a place to work from with all those assets, whether it’s phones, copiers, scanners, WiFi. Again, there’s a lot of them across the country. Co-work spaces are very common.”

Deschene says he’s seen a lot of creativity and good ideas over the past year. It’s hoped the organization will provide much-needed support for people of all ages looking to build their business.

“The plan is to see Ignite Presque Isle compliment all the other services, whether it’s Aroostook Partnership, Northern Maine Development Corporation, city of Presque Isle, Chamber of Commerce - create a bigger, more cohesive team that has more flexibility to respond to hopefully some great opportunities coming out of the pandemic and going forward into the future,” says Deschene.

Deschene says once established, Ignite Presque Isle will promote business growth, something that’s needed to attract new families to the area. For more information, visit wagmtv.com. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

Deschene is looking forward to helping aspiring entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams of owning their own business.

Members of the board of directors currently includes: Ryan D. Pelletier, chairperson, and three board members, Julie French, Bruce Sargent, and Patricia Sutherland.

If you would like more information, contact Clint Deschene, Director of Community Innovation, at (207) 478-5069, or email info@ignitepi.org.

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