Community health and resilience

Maine faces a wide range of economic development challenges, such as supporting entrepreneurship and small business development, workforce development issues, strengthening the retail sectors of communities around the state, and identifying sectors for cluster enhancement. These issues are important to state and local policymakers, economic development officials and practitioners, and Maine businesses and workers. This research will analyze the retail sector of numerous communities in Maine. Local officials will benefit from knowing more about the strengths and weaknesses of their retail economies, and existing businesses (and potential entrepreneurs) will be able to make more informed decisions related to the opportunities for growth. We will examine the skills- and knowledge-based economies of Maine and other U.S. regions. For example, an analysis of the skills available across the rural-urban hierarchy will provide policymakers with a better idea of the types of workforce development initiatives that are needed in rural areas. We will also study the growth of microenterprises in Maine and other U.S. regions, as well as the conditions that support entrepreneurship. Economic development practitioners and current (and prospective) entrepreneurs will benefit from knowing more about the keys to success for small business growth. Additionally, we will study the formation and impacts of occupational and industry clusters in Maine and other U.S. regions. Policymakers and development officials will be able to identify sectors that are good candidates for cluster enhancement.

Investigators: Gabe, T.; McConnon, J.
Termination Date: 30-Sep-17
Unit: School of Economics