Business Development

When I came to Gardiner in 1991 there was always talk about improving the downtown. Not much happened until Gardiner Main Street came along. Now we have real progress thanks to Gardiner Main Street. For a downtown business, this is GREAT.
— Janet Slade, State Farm Insurance, part of downtown Gardiner since 1991

The Business Development Team is focused on strengthening the district’s existing economic base while finding ways to expand it to take advantage of new opportunities — and meet the challenges from outlying development. Our plans call for major improvements in arts, culture, waterfront recreation, tourism, and conference opportunities in downtown Gardiner.

We’re also planning for the addition of new retail, service, and restaurant opportunities in a number of specific areas where our research has shown huge potential:

  • Restaurants – especially family, steak house, seafood and ethnic

  • Home furnishings, paint, wallpaper, flooring and other home improvement stores

  • Book stores and news dealers

  • Sporting goods

  • Clothing Stores – men’s, women’s, children’s, and infants

  • Shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, luggage

  • Hobby, toys and game stores

  • Department stores

  • Gift, novelty, and souvenir stores

  • Arts dealers

  • Office supply

  • Doctors, dentists, health professionals

  • Banking, financial services, legal services

Current Projects include:

  • Personally deliver final report of Business Visitation Survey

  • Development of a business attraction package and identify target recipients

  • Provide workshops to help existing downtown businesses strengthen and grow

  • Create a Business Retention team of local experts to help existing businesses strengthen their position and customer base

  • Assist property owners in creating unique housing opportunities for people wishing to live downtown

Past Projects:

  • Attended an intensive workshop on Market Analysis and then prepared a market analysis for Gardiner’s primary and secondary trade areas, including sales leakage data; used in developing a recruitment strategy as well as assisting potential businesses

  • Offered expansion opportunities for existing businesses

  • Organized business development workshops including “Women, Work and Community,” presented by CEI’s Women’s Business Center and retail guru Jon Schallert.

Get Involved! We need your help to sustain the Gardiner Main Street initiatives and invite you to join a committee, volunteer for events, or make a donation. For volunteer opportunities, email, or call 207.582.3100.

Healthy Main Streets is an initiative to provide small businesses with the type of worksite wellness programs that are typically only within reach for large corporations.  The program, which is part of a state-wide pilot, addresses goals of increased physical exercise, healthy eating, and tobacco use.  For more info, click here.