Business

New Ventures Maine awards two Aroostook County Marketing Mini Grants

New Ventures Maine, announced the winner of its Marketing Mini-grant competition for small businesses in Aroostook County. Two awardees were selected from a strong group of applicants throughout Aroostook County.

A Sole in Knead, located at 99 North Street in Houlton received an award of $500. A Sole in Knead provides precise, knowledgeable, and therapeutic reflexology and massage services addressing the needs of our clients to a greater depth of personal wellness. In doing so they intend to be the premier location for Aroostook County residents searching for holistic and complementary options with individual care and attention to detail. They will use mini grant funds to design and purchase 500 brochures with inserts including new services and pricing, 500 “Wish/Hint Cards,” 500 two-sided color rack cards with a professional headshot, logo, contact information, services, expected outcomes and benefits of services provided, and 500 two-sided full color business cards.

Great North Woods Teas and Herbs, located at 65 Salmon Lake Road in Perham received an award of $500. Great North Woods Teas & Herbs is dedicated to providing delicious, organic, sustainably sourced teas and herbal tisanes at affordable prices. They carefully develop and blend each batch by hand to ensure the highest quality to their customers. They use only responsibly grown, harvested and processed ingredients, locally sourced when possible, that reflect their commitment to environmental sustainability and customer satisfaction. They will use the mini grant funds to develop a regular and consistent marketing presence online in an effort to expand their customer base geographically to nationwide. Their online marketing plan includes running home-grown ads every week between Dec. 1 and March 31 with three ads on Facebook, two on SnapChat, and two on Twitter each week. They have identified these platforms as favored by their target demographics. In these ads, they will promote their website and connect with promotional opportunities including Yelp.

Lisa McNeil performing reflexology.
(Contributed photo)

LaNiece Sirois, director of Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce served on the grant review committee, lending her expertise to the review process. “My husband, Sonny, and I were recipients of this grant a few years ago for our MaineSimple Shoppe. This money assisted us to get the word out about our products to increase our visibility. We just made our 1,001st sale last week online, this does not include our local offline sales. It was a pleasure to be part of the selection committee this time around to help other small businesses thrive with the help of these funds.”

New Ventures Maine’s Marketing Mini-grant criteria include having five or fewer employees, gross annual sales of $250,000 or less, sales in the current year and articulating a compelling marketing project to support business growth.

 A statewide organization serving all 16 Maine counties from nine centers and outreach sites, New Ventures Maine offers skills development and support in the areas of career planning, entrepreneurship and financial management.

For more information on marketing mini-grants as well as other programs, classes, and resources for small businesses, visit newventuresmaine.org or call 1-800-442-2092 to find the center closest to you.

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