The owners of many successful small Internet businesses may be looking to leave life in the big city rat race and set up shop in a more calm life in a rural state. These businesses might include mom-and-pop crafts and specialty foods, successful content-oriented blogs, coaches, Internet-based expert services, and website development services.

This could be a niche business market that Maine could capitalize on.

Why would a small Internet business owner want to move to Maine? Basically, the same reasons we all like living here:

• The lower cost of living in Maine means they can get a better house in a better neighborhood.

• Lower crime rates mean peace of mind and a safer place to raise kids.

• Maine has a vast, virtually untouched and unpolluted landscape.

• Maine has lots of lakes and rivers and the longest coastline of any of the lower 48 states.

In contrast to conventional businesses, Internet businesses do not lose their customer base when they move. And being small means they do not have the logistic problems for moving that other businesses would have.

Maine would incur minimal cost to promote this business market to achieve high impact. We wouldn’t have to spend any money on TV, radio or print advertisements. The state could just set up a blog and have the people of Maine promote it using their Facebook pages. The blog could contain articles about the advantages of moving an Internet business to Maine as well as reprinting articles about life in Maine its year-round outdoor recreational opportunities. We also could ask Stephen King and other Maine celebrities to write “Why I love Maine” articles to be on the blog.

The promotion of this blog also could increase tourism.

The state also could create an app that would automatically post to the users’ Facebook page whenever new content is added to the blog. When the new content shows up in their news feed, they can share it with their friends list. If we could get half of Mainers to sign up for the app, then we would have 750,000 people promoting the blog. If new content were added to the blog every week, it would have the potential to reach hundreds of millions of people through the Facebook app.

The state could consider giving a few years’ state tax break to small Internet businesses that move here so the success of the program can be tracked.

These people will not be moving to Maine and taking jobs from Mainers. They will be bringing their jobs with them and pumping fresh money into Maine and creating spin-off jobs.

This program could be implemented for a very low cost because the people of Maine would be the promotional engine. And with all the articles about the great things in Maine, the tourism industry would be sure to enjoy a boost as well.

Maine should jump at the opportunity to raise awareness of what an attractive destination the state is for any owner of a small Internet business looking to move out of the city.

David Malia lives in Augusta.


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