Maine Small Business Statistics (2022)

Maine is a place where small enterprises are as important to the culture as they are to the economy. According to the United States Census Bureau, businesses with fewer than 500 workers accounted for more than half of Maine’s private employment in 2021. Some of the most appealing elements of the Pine Tree State, according to small company owners, are sensible laws, equitable access to working capital, and strong community support.

Here are a few small business statistics from the state of Maine that provide insight on the state’s business landscape.

Quick Maine Small Business Statistics for Entrepreneurs

  • Small businesses in Maine account for 99.2% of all private enterprises in the state.
  • 56.8% of all Maine employees are employed by small businesses.
  • In 2019, small businesses in Maine exported goods worth $1.3 billion.
  • Veterans account for 6.9% of workers and 9.6% of small business owners.
  • Women own 40.2% of small businesses and account for 48.6% of employees.
  • Racial minorities account for 3.3% of small business ownership.
  • Between March 2019 and March 2020, 4,595 new businesses started in Maine, while 4,384 closed, for a net gain of 211.
  • Within the same period, opening and expanding Maine businesses added 45,615 jobs, while closing and contracting businesses lost 45,133, for a net increase of 482 jobs.
  • The per capita disposable income (DPI) in Maine is $48,905.
  • The professional, scientific, and technical services is the second largest industry in Maine in terms of small business investment, comprising a total of 17,974.

Maine Small Business Statistics

1. What is considered a small business in Maine?

According to the US Small Business Administration definition, the definition varies by industry, but takes into account the number of employees and annual receipts. A small business may be incorporated as a partnership, single proprietorship, or privately held corporation. It generates less profit than larger firms or enterprises and has fewer than 500 employees.

2. How many people are employed by small businesses in Maine?

There are approximately 293,313 down-easters employed by small businesses in Maine. That’s 56.8% of all employees in the state. Maine’s minimum wage is $12.15 per hour, which is $4.90 more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. 

Employers can take a tip credit of up to $6.08 per hour for tipped employees and must pay them a cash salary of $6.08 per hour. It should be noted that an employee’s tips and cash wage should total at least $12.15.

3. Maine small business statistics by industry

The construction industry is by far the largest industry in Maine in terms of small business investment, with a total of 22,835 small businesses currently operating in this industry. Approximately 17,692 of them have no employees, 4,905 have 1–19 employees, and another 238 employ 20–499 workers.

4. Maine small business ownership by ethnicity

Maine has a population of 1,344,212 residents with an annual population growth rate (as of 2019) projected to increase 1.1% from 2018 to 2023 and a further 1% from 2023 to 2028.

White/Caucasian Americans are the majority, representing 94.4% of the population. They are followed by Hispanic/Latino Americans (1.8%), Black/African Americans (1.7%), Asian Americans (1.3%), and American Indians and Alaska Natives (0.7%).

The details below show how small business ownership is distributed among these ethnic groups:

  • White/Caucasian — 139,693
  • Hispanic/Latino — 1,513
  • Black or African American — 1,400
  • Asian — 1,300
  • American Indian and Alaska Native — 332

5. Maine small business ownership by gender

Women own 50,165 small businesses in the state of Maine. Only 6,165 of these firms have employees, and the remaining 44,000 are nonemployer businesses. Men own 86,137 small businesses, 67,500 are nonemployer businesses and 18,637 have employees on their payrolls.

6. How COVID-19 affected businesses in Maine

Based on the percentage of employees in sectors with a high or medium-high degree of exposure to COVID-19, Maine has the highest economic exposure to COVID-19 of all states in the US.

In Maine, 71% of all employees, or 517,877 people, work in industries with a high or medium-high degree of economic exposure to COVID-19. In Maine, 12% of all employees, or 85,659 people, work in industries with a low or medium-low degree of economic exposure to COVID-19.

7. Small business financing in Maine

According to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), large banks are required to report new small business loans paid to companies with annual revenues of less than $1 million. In 2019, reporting banks gave $532.5 million in loans to Maine enterprises with less than $1 million in revenue. Total reported new lending to firms with loans of $100,000 or less was $403.5 million, while total reported new lending to businesses of $1 million or less was $1.3 billion.

8. Small business challenges in Maine

Here are a few challenges that small business owners in Maine face on a daily basis:

  • Labor Shortage: Maine’s dispersed population exacerbates the labor deficit. With just 1.33 million inhabitants spread throughout more than 35,000 square miles (91,000 square kilometers), Maine’s citizens may struggle to locate anything that a city resident would consider centralized. As a result, small business owners are largely dependent on their local communities, which may lack the trained labor that certain entrepreneurs seek.
  • Isolation: Another significant difficulty for Maine is its geographical isolation. Not only are huge consumer markets far away, but communication connectivity is less effective in rural locations in the state. Both of these truths are challenging for small business owners.
  • Seasonal Economy: During the summer, Maine’s small business climate operates at peak efficiency. From June to September, the majority of southern Maine businesses rely on tourists. During that period, Maine sees a higher rise in revenue and business, and small business owners must prepare for the season at both the local and state levels.

Entrepreneurs in Maine can have their labor woes sorted in an instant by hiring a reputable registered agent service. A registered agent will not only assist in employee recruitment but will also act as a conduit between the state and the business so that any legal communication is handled on behalf of the business owner.

Read my review of the best registered agents in Maine to find out which one is best for you.

9. Maine small business export statistics

According to the profile of US importing and exporting corporations (2018–2019 Census), 1,836 acknowledged businesses shipped items worth $2.4 billion from Maine in 2019. Approximately 1,535 (or 83.6%) of the exporters were small businesses. Small businesses shipped items worth $1.3 billion, accounting for 52% of total exports by known businesses.

The Final Word

Maine is a good place for small businesses, particularly those that stay open past the first year. According to the Kaufman Foundation Indicators of Entrepreneurship, Maine ranks #1 in the country for the percentage of businesses that are still operating after one year. In Maine, 88.13% of start-ups remain in business, compared to 77.28% in New Hampshire, 78.82% in Vermont, and 82.74% in Massachusetts.

Maine is teeming with people who are interested in establishing a business or are already running small businesses, so you’ll find no lack of support. The state is ideal for small businesses.


Small Business Statistics By State


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