June 2020 Edition
Sponsored by People's United Bank
5 Qs with Sean Dundon
Director of Sales at VETRO FiberMap
1. How important are broadband internet services in a COVID-19 context, and how would you rate Maine's current access to broadband infrastructure?
[Sean Dundon]: Reliable, affordable, high speed broadband enables access to economic, education and healthcare resources that are crucial in supporting community development and growth . In rural areas, residents may have to drive long distances to attend school; online education has been growing in popularity for some time. With the advent of COVID-19, the ability to access online education became a necessity overnight. Beyond attending school, good broadband enables business owners to serve their customers in new ways as brick and mortar establishments are shut down, and it connects citizens with telehealth opportunities that have become a critical first step in COVID-19 response. Here in Maine, there are quite a few broadband operators who are actively connecting rural communities with unprecedented speeds at affordable prices . While there is still work to be done, we’re seeing a lot of positive development in getting Maine residents working, learning and connecting in important ways through local fiber optic networks.

2. What role did the Maine Seed Tax Program play in your company's growth strategy?
[SD]: The Maine Seed Tax Program has been an invaluable resource in investor outreach. With the understanding that local investments are incentivized through the program, VETRO has had access to private funding that might otherwise be more difficult to secure. We see the program as having been a truly integral piece of our company’s growth.

3. How does VETRO plan to invest its recently-raised capital?
[SD]: VETRO plans to make investments in the team in order to grow our core product, the VETRO FiberMap platform. The addition of developers to work on scaling the product and adding features requested by our customers engenders broader interest in the product, moving it up market. In addition, sales and marketing staff will be augmented to reach the largest audience possible for both domestic and international customers.  

4. As communities across the U.S. and the State of Maine evaluate costs associated with broadband infrastructure build-out, what tools does VETRO deploy to assist in early planning and design phases?
[SD]: VETRO has both high-level cost estimation tools built in to the platform, as well as detailed cost estimates to include materials, labor, equipment, and soft cost such as permitting and engineering. In the early planning and design phase, many of our customers use our high-level cost estimation tools to determine the best network architecture to deploy at the feasibility stage of the project. We are also able to connect users to the data they need - information like business points data or eligible FCC or USDA auction blocks - right in the platform for efficient, real-time planning initiatives.

5. What is the importance of good network mapping and why is this process challenging for communities?
[SD]: Network mapping, fiber management and inventory are critical for the ongoing maintenance of any fiber optic network, minimizing downtime. Often, due to multiple providers sharing common physical assets, the entire connectivity of a network is difficult to assess in real-time. Through the VETRO mapping interface, a community can easily see their own fiber assets, as well as how they are connected to partner assets (cables, data centers, exchange points) . At the community level, much of a network map may reside in static files such as AutoCAD, limiting visibility across all departments which can be a challenge - VETRO removes the challenge by bringing the data to life through interactive, geospatial and context-specific tools. 

You can ask Sean your own questions about broadband mapping during his Central Maine Tech Night (CMTN) presentation on June 11 (details below).
June CMTN: Fiber Mapping & Broadband Services in a COVID-19 Economy
June 11 | 1:00pm | Click here for Zoom link

Having raised more than $1 Million from a recent funding round, in this live virtual presentation, Portland-based VETRO FiberMap will provide an overview of how it is deploying broadband mapping and fiber management software to the telecommunications industry while navigating the complexities of growing a technology-based startup during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About VETRO FiberMap
VETRO Inc. is a Portland-based developer of cloud-based broadband mapping and fiber management software for building the next generation of internet infrastructure, from strategy to splice.
Virtual CMTN Recordings
By moving to the virtual Zoom platform to comply with social distancing recommendations, Central Maine Tech Night (CMTN) has made its presentations available for viewing anytime. You can watch recordings of past CMTNs on the Tech Night web page .

May CMTN: Capital for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses During COVID-19 with FAME

April CMTN: COVID-19 Business Relief with the U.S. SBA
Small Business K now-How
How To Avoid a Cash-Flow Crisis
All businesses, regardless of their size, are susceptible to cash flow problems but none more so than small businesses. Whether it is underestimating a sales cycle, falling behind on collections, an unexpected downturn in the economy, or a disruption like bad weather or a pandemic, small businesses are much more prone to a cash flow crisis. Fast-growing businesses are especially vulnerable to cash crunches when increasing expenses begin to outrun their cash flow or they let their receivables get out of control.

In this issue ,   learn how to minimize the threat of a cash flow crisis by knowing your business - and gauging its susceptibility to the challenges of this pandemic.
Business Investment
COVID-19 Business Relief Resource Guide - New Addition
CMGC continues to update its Guide of Business Resources for COVID-19 Response, and recently added the U.S. EDA (Economic Development Adminstration)'s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Program . Read on for details, and click here to access the full guide.

Funding Opportunity: Public Works & Economic Adjustment Assistance Program
Agency: U.S. Economic Development Administration
Deadline: Rolling
Eligible Applicants: non-profits, governments, institutions of higher education
Cost Share: 0-20%
About: Through the EAA program, EDA provides investments that support a wide range of non-construction and construction activities, including Revolving Loan Funds, in regions experiencing severe economic dislocations, such as those brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Successful applications will enable affected communities to respond to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic by supporting affected businesses and communities, including by providing technical assistance to retain existing and hire new employees; by providing a range of skills-training and workforce development projects to help employees compete for high-quality jobs; and by developing and implementing strategies to diversify regional economies to create jobs in new or existing industries.
Top Stories of May 2020
Economic Recovery Committee will be bridge to rebuilding economy, members told - Maine's new Economic Recovery Committee will be a bridge between the economic emergency caused by the pandemic and and Maine's long-term economic renewal, Gov. Janet Mills told members at the group's inaugural meeting.

Grant program for businesses in Fairfield returns for second cycle - Fairfield's Economic and Community Development Committee has launched the second round of the Fairfield Facade Improvement & Marketing Assistance Program. Grants for $3k - $25k are allocated for the renovation, restoration and preservation of the exteriors of privately-owned businesses in Fairfield, or for marketing purposes to stimulate commerce.

 MaineGeneral receives $40M endowment from Peter Alfond Foundation - MaineGeneral Health has received a $40 million endowment gift from the Peter Alfond Foundation to expand preventive and community health services. The foundation also donated $8 million to fund wellness staff positions at the Alfond Youth & Community Center in Waterville.

Waterville, Portland startups collaborate to get more Mainers outdoors - After connecting at CMGC's Central Maine Tech Night, bioenergy startup Tree Free Heat of Waterville has signed its first distribution deal with Back40, a Portland-based startup that operates an e-commerce site for outdoor gear rentals that can be delivered directly to campsites.
Contact : Don Plourde
207-660-4000 dplourde@cbplourde.com
Central Maine Real Estate Spotlight
Featured Commercial Property Location :
Building Size: 112,200 sq.ft.
Land Size: 10.6 acres
Sale Price: $2,600,000
Property Features:
  • 20 ft. ceilings
  • 4 drive-in bays
  • Large warehouse or manufacturing facility with tenant in place
  • Expansive paved parking
  • Municipal water, sewer
  • Adjacent to U.S. Route 201
Workforce Investment
Employer Resources for COVID-19
Unemployment Insurance (UI)
Governor Mills' emergency legislation extends UI eligibility requirements to cover additional situations, including the temporary closure of all or parts of a business's operations, or the quarantining of an employee who intends to return to work once the quarantine is over. In addition, employees who are temporarily laid off (or "furloughed with intent to re-hire") will not be expected to look for other work, and the one-week wait period will be waived. Please note that the fundamental qualifications for eligibility have not changed; visit Maine Dept. Labor's Bureau of Unemployment Compensation website and their UI FAQs for details.

Expansion of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, employees who are caregivers of children under the age of 18 are granted 12 weeks of FMLA if they have to remain at home to care for children whose school or childcare has closed due to COVID-19 precautions. While only weeks 3-12 are paid (maximum $200 per day, or $10,000 in aggregate), these employees may be eligible for emergency paid family medical leave, which provides for two weeks of paid leave. Even employees of companies with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for this benefit, although companies of this size may be exempt if paying for this benefit would endanger a company's ability to be a going concern.

Please note that these resources and synopses reflect the most updated information at time of publication, and the accuracy of the information may change. CMGC recommends that you enlist the advise of financial and legal advisors when analyzing this information.
If you’re currently unemployed, underemployed or have been displaced from your job as a result of COVID-19, check out Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) or other Maine Community Colleges for opportunities to grow your skills or start a new career. KVCC and the Maine Community College System have worked quickly to adapt training programs to online and hybrid models so that you can participate from the safety of your home and get back into the workforce . Programs include Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Advanced EMT, Phlebotomy, Medical Billing and Coding, Behavioral Health, and more.

For these and other opportunities check the Maine Community College System website by clicking here.

KVCC will also start back this fall with the regular training schedule that will follow strict COVID-19 guidelines to keep you safe. Programs include Welding, Aluminum Welding, Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump, Early Childhood Education, 3D Printing and more. You can find the fall schedule on our website .
If you have questions or would like to register, please contact Melissa at

KVCC is eager to ensure that the businesses of mid-Maine are best positioned to jump start our local economy as soon as possible.

Quality of Place
Sponsored by MaineGeneral Health
Downtown Waterville Farmers' Market Open
The Market, established in 2006, is now open for the season at Head of Falls with fresh produce and items, and will remain open each Thursday as a food distribution location.

Consumers are encouraged to pre-order directly from the vendors through updated lists on Facebook.

Farmers' Market Pre-Order List:
Don't Delay Your Needed Healthcare
As Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah has so eloquently said, no one should delay needed medical treatment. Receiving the right care, at the right time, at the right place has never been more important .

MaineGeneral is taking a phased approach to making sure you are safe as you get the health care services you need. We look forward to providing you the quality, patient-centered care you and your family have come to expect from us.

Learn more about the services being offered now and how we are keeping you safe.
Stay connected with CMGC:
If you are an investor in CMGC and would like to submit content to CMGC Intelligence , simply reply to this e-mail to speak with Elaine Theriault-Currier.
Board of Directors:

Chris Gaunce, chair – Central Maine Motors Auto Group
Michael Heavener, vice chair – Town of Winslow
Beth Gibbs, treasurer – Thomas College
Lucille Zelenkewich, secretary – Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
John Dalton, past chair – Northern Light Health - Inland Hospital
Elizabeth Fortin – Kennebec Valley Community College
Paul Stein – MaineGeneral Health
Darlene Ratte – Best Western Plus
Michael Roy – City of Waterville
Gary Bowman – Town of Oakland
Michelle Flewelling – Town of Fairfield
Brian Clark – Colby College
Michael Runser – Valley Beverage
Allan Rancourt – Kennebec Federal Savings
Lisa Hallee – Bill & Joan Alfond Foundation
Donald Plourde – Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate
Tom Meucci - Huhtamaki

 Ex-Officio Board Members:
Laura Cyr – Kennebec Valley Council of Governments
Christian Savage - Somerset Economic Development Corporation
James Dinkle – Kennebec Regional Dev. Authority / FirstPark