Economic Development

Posted on: November 16, 2016

City Honors Local Businesses with Economic Development Awards

Three local Portland businesses will be recognized by the City of Portland and the Portland Development Corporation (PDC) tomorrow evening at this year’s annual awards ceremony for their role in expanding the city’s economic vitality.

“I want to congratulate these worthy businesses and organization for being honored with these awards and thank them for the role they play in Portland’s economy,” said Mayor Ethan Strimling. “The award recipients are credited with making significant contributions to Portland’s economic growth through global media and communications, art education and our creative economy, and environmental sustainability.”

Receiving the 2016 Business of the Year Award is Diversified Communications. Diversified Communications is a growing global media company with headquarters in Portland and divisions in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Its mission is to connect, educate, and strengthen business communities through broadcasting, digital products, publications, conferences, and trade shows. Diversified’s global team is 800 strong, 200 of whom work in downtown Portland.

Receiving the 2016 Economic Development Achievement Award is Maine College of Art. MECA, founded in 1882, was an early catalyst in the Downtown Arts District with its 1993 purchase of the five-story landmark Porteous Building at 522 Congress Street. Since the 1990s, the College has invested more than $22 million in the Porteous Building. Its holdings in Portland also include 51 Oak Street - an 80-bed residence hall, and The Shepley Apartments, a 60-bed facility - both within a block of the Porteous Building, as well as other leases for student housing and classrooms, the newest of which is 380 Cumberland Avenue. More than 50% of its 2,200 graduates live in Maine, the vast majority in Portland as business owners, artists, designers, and entrepreneurs. MECA employs 90 full-and-part-time faculty and has 165 employees in total.

The 2016 Small Business of the Year is Maine Standard Biofuels. Maine Standard Biofuels, incorporated in 2006, is Maine’s only full-service used cooking oil collector and biodiesel manufacturer. The company collections used vegetable oil from more than 900 restaurants throughout northern New England and refines it into clean burning biodiesel, high performance cleaners, and other bio-based products in its Portland bio-refinery. These products are drop in replacements for their conventional petroleum counterparts. The company also delivers high performance biodiesel fuel and bioheat heating oil blends throughout the Portland region to such notable customers as Oakhurst Dairy and Casco Bay Lines, and anyone can purchase direct from their Riverside Street bio-refinery. The company employs 15 people and was a PDC loan client.

All three award recipients will be recognized at the PDC’s annual event. The PDC was created by the Portland City Council in 1990 to foster economic development within the city.

WHO: Members of the Portland Development Corporation Board, Mayor Ethan Strimling, Portland City Council members, City Manager Jon Jennings, City Economic Development staff, and company awardees will be joined by representatives from the city’s business community in honoring these businesses.

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM 4:30 - 5:15 PM - Networking and Reception
5:15 - 6:00 PM - Business Awards PresentationWHERE: Ocean Gateway, Portland.

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