2017-03-03 / In the Know

Business organizations provide resources for residents

By Karen Martin Special to the Leader

No one will be surprised that our local business organizations provide great services to the business community.

What may surprise some folks is that these organizations also provide resources for our residents. The Scarborough Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO), the Scarborough Community Chamber of Commerce and Scarborough Buy Local all serve the community through events, online resources and publications aimed at the public.

SEDCO: Here at SEDCO, our mission is to support economic development activities to improve the quality of life in Scarborough. We work on behalf of the town to help local businesses grow, to nurture start-ups and to assist relocating businesses coming to Scarborough.

What you may not know is that we have an online directory of businesses in Scarborough.

You can reach the directory from our home page – sedcomaine.com. Once you go to the directory, we have nearly 100 categories of businesses on which to search. You can search on business name, business type or address. Currently, we have some 1,300 businesses listed.

We try to keep it up-to-date, but if you find a business that’s closed or you know of a business that’s not there, send us an email at hello@sedcomaine.com or call us at 883-4893.

If you are a business owner, you may have received a postcard from SEDCO last month asking you to check your online listing. We want to make sure that we have your up-to-date info in the database. If you do not find your business in the directory, you can submit it through the website or you can call us. There is no fee for being listed.

SEDCO also partners with Project Grace to support the online community calendar at ScarboroughCalendar.com. This calendar is open to all Scarborough based community events, from town committee meetings, to library activities to church fairs. There is no charge to list an event, just submit the info through the website, or call us at 883-4893.

We are working on a new website to profile all the events, resources and activities that happen in Scarborough. If you are looking for hotel room, a restaurant, a beach parking lot or an activity, this website will point you in the right direction. Launch of the new website will be in early summer.

SCCC: If you’ve ever attended the Concerts in the Park series during the summer, you’ve attended a chamber event. Chamber volunteers work year-round to line up the bands, to find sponsors and to promote the series. Memorial Park comes alive with great music to entertain year-round residents, summer residents and visitors. And, yes, it’s all free.

The concert series helps the chamber fulfill its mission to promote the community and local business. The chamber also promotes the community by investing in local projects. This year the chamber contributed $1,000 to the Eastern Trail Association’s Close the Gap Campaign.

Another chamber product that is a favorite at Scarborough Town Hall is the promotional map of Scarborough. The large foldout map is distributed free of charge at locations throughout the community. In town hall, the maps are in the town clerk’s office, and are extremely popular with new residents. The chamber also provides the maps to state of Maine visitor centers.

To learn more about chamber go to Scarborough Community Chamber.

Scarborough Buy Local: Scarborough Buy Local is the newest of our business organizations. In just a few short years, this organization has built a solid membership of locally owned businesses. Their signature product is the Scarborough Buy Local Directory, a printed directory of their membership in a full color booklet. The booklet provides consumers a listing of approximately 200 local businesses with descriptions and contact info.

Scarborough Buy local maintains an online, searchable directory of their membership that is available to the public. Their website also chronicles their activities and events, most of which are open to the public. Check the website at www.scarboroughbuylocal.com.

Lastly, our local business organization work together and support one another. The newest example of cooperation is the development of the Scarborough Holiday Guide. The guide is a simple listing of all the local events going on in December. The guide also features locally oriented gift ideas. This guide is produced as a pdf and posted on the websites of each organization.

All three of these organizations help make Scarborough a thriving community for both residents and businesses. I am proud to be the director of SEDCO and a Board Member of both the chamber and Scarborough Buy Local. If you have ideas for projects or activities, please contact the organizations through their websites or contact me directly.

Karen Martin is executive director of the Scarborough Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO).

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