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December 14, 2021


drawings of 4 building views

COURTESY / SEALANDER ARCHITECTS, SUNRISE COUNTY ECONOMIC COUNCIL Construction of the new MaineStreet Business Building is expected to begin next spring.


Plans are in the works to build a small-business incubator in Machias, designed for existing businesses that want to grow as well as for startups, business students and other community members across Washington County.


The Sunrise County Economic Council said Monday it has concluded its capital campaign for the facility, at 19 Main St., which will be named the MaineStreet Business Building.


Exceeded goal


The council said the campaign reached $1.28 million in received and pledged contributions. That total included pledges from individuals and a $243,000 contribution from the Libra Foundation. The amount exceeded the council’s goal of $1.06 million to cover the cost of construction and launch of the new center.


“Washington County is known for its hardworking and entrepreneurial spirit, and this new building will now provide a vital and very visible gathering space for business owners, students, entrepreneurs and others who are focused on building business in our region and beyond,” said Larry Barker, campaign chair and CEO of Machias Savings Bank.


Name change


The center was initially named the Machias Valley Center for Entrepreneurship. The new name is designed to reflect the center’s overall mission as a business development and coworking space.


5 schematics

COURTESY / SEALANDER ARCHITECTS, SUNRISE COUNTY ECONOMIC COUNCIL The layout includes open and individual spaces and shared equipment and amenities.


The new name also acknowledges the council’s efforts to connect Washington County entrepreneurs, innovators and small business owners with resources and learning opportunities they need, the release said.


Since 2020, the council’s Entrepreneurship Program has worked with over 300 individuals, 125 businesses and 45 partner organizations across Washington County and beyond.


“Working with community members to build collaborative learning experiences and meaningful connections in a virtual world has broken down regional and interstate relational barriers,” said Denise Cilley, the Entrepreneurship Program’s Director. She said development of the center “has been a major highlight and timely lifeline during an otherwise challenging time for many of our small businesses.”


The program aims to help businesses start up, grow and thrive. The MaineStreet Business Building will be designed to reflect that mission.


“Thousands of Washington County residents provide for themselves and their families through their small businesses,” said the council’s executive director, Charles Rudelitch. “It is the most dynamic part of our economy, and the area where there is greatest potential for growth.”


Explosion of business


Development of the center comes during an explosion of business opportunity in Machias and across the region — nicknamed the Bold Coast — for existing and new products and services, said Machias Town Manager Bill Kitchen.


“From startups to already-in-business businesses looking to scale, and from trades to hospitality to tech, this real-world resource will support that growth, and in turn build a more vibrant and growing community, which in turn creates more opportunity,” said Kitchen. “It’s a market-driven circle of success.”


Construction of MaineStreet Business Building is slated to begin next spring. The council’s building committee voted on the final layout and design in October.


The goal of the design is to provide an inviting and professional space where members can collaborate, work independently, conduct virtual and in-person meetings, and access high-speed broadband and other services. The layout will include open co-working and designated desk workspaces, furnished private office and meeting options, a large conference room, relaxation zones and river view patios, shared office equipment and kitchen amenities. Also planned are on-site technical assistance and networking and professional development events.




MaineStreet Business Building Logo


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SCEC continues to accept both multi-year pledges and donations to advance the center and its programs and services. Additional information, as well as the building layout and space designs, a regularly updated list of donors, and a complete list of program offerings, partners, and funders, can be viewed at


Click here to view MaineStreet Business Building’s layout!