Expanding market area: Because Washington County is comprised of a great deal of Unorganized Territories, county Commissioners have established a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) grant and loan program. The program offers commercial loans with competitive interest rates to assist with the development and implementation of various projects throughout the region. To date, the funds distributed by this program have helped leverage more than $4 million in direct economic investment. Machias is a primary trade area for Northeast Maine along the Route 1 Corridor on the Maine coastline.
Resource-based economic region: Natural resources comprise a large portion of economic activity within Washington County. Wild blueberries are a major export—approximately 95 percent of the world’s wild blueberry crop is harvested here. Machias itself is home to the Maine Wild Blueberry Company, the largest blueberry manufacturing facility in the United States. The company is part of the Oxford Food Group and is a major employer in the area. Tourism and small-scale fishing also contribute to the region’s economy thanks to the sprawling expanse of the Bold Coast, which features the deepest shipping port on the East Coast. In 2014, the lobster trade alone accounted for over $45 million of economic activity.
Investment grade tenant: Dollar General is the only dollar store with investment grade credit (S&P: BBB) and is an attractive tenant given its lower price point, strong sales record and solid expansion strategy in a growing market segment. Dollar General currently operates more than 14,000 stores in 44 states, and has plans to complete approximately 2,000 real estate projects by February 2019 (including the opening of 900 new store locations).