Maine is a state where local, small businesses are as much a part of the culture as they are a part of the economy. Entrepreneurship is so prevalent that companies with fewer than 500 employees made up three-fifths of Maine's private workforce in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Small business owners reported reasonable regulations, fair access to working capital, and strong community support as some of the most enticing aspects the Pine Tree State has to offer.

However, Maine's sparse population presents a challenge for brick-and-mortar stores and helps explain the importance of tourism to Maine's highly seasonal economy. Anemic economic growth places Maine near the bottom of the barrel nationwide, as the state trails only Virginia, Alaska, and Mississippi in state GDP growth for 2014, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. But if that's a problem, the small business owners who spoke to Business News Daily don't seem worried. Business is good, they said, and entrepreneurs report a collaborative environment in which they don't feel outgunned by big businesses.

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