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Portland ME Economic Information

AdironRider

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Anybody run a small business or a retail store in the Old Port specifically, but Portland ME in general?

Looking at options for the retail side of things for my knife company, but unfortunately the internet isn't really helping and I've been pretty let down with how useless the local chamber of commerce has been.

Specifically I'm concerned about the churn of retail businesses in the Old Port, and whether its structural to the area, or specific business related.
 

deadheadskier

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What is your "knife company"?

What exactly do you do or more importantly wish to do business wise in Portland?

I know numerous small business owners in Portland (a few of which are in the Old Port); though they are all restaurant owners, not retail.
 

deadheadskier

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Definitely look really nice. IMO, at that price point, Back Bay Boston probably has a better shot for a retail store making it than in the Old Port of Portland.
 

thetrailboss

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Re: Portland

My wife did a few rotations at Maine Med. We fully expected to be living in the Portland area when she graduated med school because it seemed like a nice place to live. I will say that when she rotated there off and on in 2009-2011 we were appalled by the prices of homes, meh job opportunities for me, cost of living, and the number of seedy sections of Portland and the large numbers of homeless people wandering around the city. It really turned me off.

As to running a store there, I don't know. You might be better off in Freeport where you get the tourist traffic and clientele who have more disposable income.
 

bigbog

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......As to running a store there, I don't know. You might be better off in Freeport where you get the tourist traffic and clientele who have more disposable income.

+1

No problem with Portland, but Freeport or Augusta wouldn't be bad.

TB: Yeah, Portland has really grown...a little much for some of us!, especially in cost....
Prices for good seafood meals + beer/wine & RE used to be dirt cheap, then Mass people found out what they were missing....north of Boston, and the Realty firms drive everything up towards Boston and NYC levels....:angry:

 
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wa-loaf

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I don't think there's much of a business for $1200 knife sets in Augusta.
 

AdironRider

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+1


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Given we are currently a Jackson Hole store, our clientele currently is a bit different than what we have planned for the expansion. We are currently developing a line which would be about 60% of the current price point, still fully USA made, but not the Mercedes Benz level CPM steel. More like a BD-1 or CPM 154.

That being said, we aren't selling made in china throwaways and never will, so we are never going to be a super high volume operation.
 

wa-loaf

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Camden might be a good location, also seasonal in Bar Harbor. Plenty of cash in those locations both local and tourist.
 

AdironRider

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Haven't really thought about Camden but that does sound pretty awesome. Will look into it a bit more, seasonal areas aren't our first choice but Camden seems a bit better in that area as opposed to some other Maine coastal areas.

Back Bay is intriguing, although going to be tougher logistically for us for a couple operational things.
 

deadheadskier

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I used to do business in the Camden / Rockland area. The place is a serious ghost town in the winter. I would think it to be a seasonal retail opportunity not year round.

Surprised you're not considering Portsmouth. Plenty of money there along with Rye, Greenland and North Hampton and no sales tax. That's not insignificant when discussing a $1300 set of blades.
 

AdironRider

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I used to do business in the Camden / Rockland area. The place is a serious ghost town in the winter. I would think it to be a seasonal retail opportunity not year round.

Surprised you're not considering Portsmouth. Plenty of money there along with Rye, Greenland and North Hampton and no sales tax. That's not insignificant when discussing a $1300 set of blades.

Portsmouth is my first choice, especially given that's it's finally developing a decent food scene. But I'd be short changing myself if I at least didn't look into supposedly the best little food city in the country. Just doesn't seem to be a place where many folks make money doing it.

Seasonal areas like Camden aren't our first choice but it doesn't hurt to look, we already have that now and my staff couldn't handle 90 percent of our business in a three month summer time frame just in terms of making knives then just be idle. If we did go that route, I'd be looking more so on the Vineyard or the Cape, as they'd probably make enough dough to justify.
 

deadheadskier

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Portsmouth is my first choice, especially given that's it's finally developing a decent food scene. But I'd be short changing myself if I at least didn't look into supposedly the best little food city in the country. Just doesn't seem to be a place where many folks make money doing it.

I can't speak to retail, but I can tell you the volume of business similar sized fine dining restaurants do in Portland vastly exceeds that of restaurants in Portsmouth. It's not even close really.
 

Savemeasammy

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Someone mentioned Freeport already, but it's a place people go with the intention of spending money, and it seems like having LL Bean as a neighbor would make sense.


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