"Talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not," said Machias Savings Bank President & CEO Larry Barker. "We've got plenty of talent in this region so we need to find a way to create opportunity and that's what we're hoping that this facility will do."
Machias Savings Bank bought the vacant building in 2017. They're now handing it off to the Sunrise County Economic Council for a bigger purpose.
"The building is going to be used to house the Machias Valley Entrepreneurship Center, and that is going to be an effort to help local businesses succeed, especially small businesses and startups," said Sunrise County Economic Council Executive Director Charles Rudelitch.
The facility will offer training to existing businesses and act as a workspace for entrepreneurs. The council will oversee the project and has already received 200 thousand dollars in building funds from Machias Savings Bank. Further fundraising will be necessary before renovations can begin.
"We're hoping to raise about another 260 thousand dollars which we think is what will be necessary to renovate all three levels of the building," said Rudelitch.
If everything goes as planned, the center could open as early as 2020.