The Business Picture
Lewiston-Auburn is centrally located in the heart of Southern Maine along the banks of the Androscoggin River. Nearly 50 percent of the state’s population is located within a 30-mile radius of Lewiston-Auburn. The area is home to some of the state’s most successful companies, including Tambrands (a Procter & Gamble company), L.L. Bean’s Telemarketing Center, General Electric, Formed Fiber Technologies, Elmet Technologies, TD Banknorth Operations Center, VIP Parts, Tires, & Service, Geiger, and a Wal-Mart Food Distribution Center.
Lewiston-Auburn has earned national recognition for its business climate by Inc. magazine. A recent international study conducted by KPMG International ranks the cost of doing business in Lewiston-Auburn more than two percentage points below the U.S. benchmark. In the study, Lewiston was compared alongside cities such as Boston, Chicago, Houston and Montreal. Out of 44 U.S. cities analyzed, L-A finished among the top eight cities with the best economic score.
Health care is the largest industry in Lewiston-Auburn, carrying the majority of Androscoggin County’s 8,000 plus health care related jobs. Aside from health care, Lewiston-Auburn’s other key industries are high-precision manufacturing, financial services, distribution & logistics, retail/services and telemarketing.
L-A offers direct turnpike access via exit 75 in Auburn and exit 80 in Lewiston, and is less than 40 minutes away from Portland International Jetport. Auburn is now the site of a Foreign Trade Zone, allowing companies that conduct international trade the potential to eliminate, defer, or reduce tariffs. Bangor International Airport, a gateway to Europe, is about 90 minutes away, and Portland Harbor is less than an hour’s drive. With our own municipal airport, a railroad that has earned national recognition as “Short Line of the Year,” and a double-stack rail-to-truck intermodal facility that is among the most efficient in the Northeast. Whether it’s by land, air, or rail L-A offers unparalleled convenience in reaching regional, national, and global markets.
The Twin Cities, as the area is called by residents, is rich in business resources. Lewiston-Auburn has the second largest and most active local chamber of commerce in the state, and is home to a regional office of the Maine Procurement Technical Assistance Center and Coastal Enterprises, Inc., a statewide community development organization.
One high-profile project that illuminates how L-A is playing to its new strengths — and is attracting international attention in the process — is Lufthansa Technik’s historic Lockheed Constellation restoration project. Lufthansa’s non-profit foundation recently purchased three rare Lockheed L-1649A “Super Star” aircraft in a private sale in Auburn and is overseeing restoration of one aircraft that will be fully operational and built just as it would have come off the assembly line in the 1950s. Lufthansa Technik decided to undertake the project right in Auburn.
In the late 1950s, the Lockheed Constellation series pioneered long-range air travel, with an unprecedented capability of flying more than 6,100 nautical miles. Lufthansa, one of the most revered and best-run companies in the world, has hired two dozen local technicians whom they have specially trained to work on the two-year project. The work is being completed in a new 30,000 square-foot hangar at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport.
Another internationally renowned company is Kellogg’s Snacks, which opened a 60,000 square-foot facility in the new Auburn Industrial Park. Kellogg’s is the latest distribution company to take advantage of L-A’s growing transportation and logistics amenities.
Other business assets in Lewiston-Auburn:
- Five colleges
- A Maine Department of Labor Career Center (an employment resource and recruiting help center)
- Business Information Center (offering free business support, counseling, and other resources to small businesses and entrepreneurs)
- Active SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) Chapter
- Economic development support, financing, and business advocacy from numerous organizations including: the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council, the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, the Lewiston Development Corporation, the Auburn Business Development Corporation, Coastal Enterprises, Inc., Community Concepts, and a number of financial institutions
- The state offers various incentives, including the Governor’s Pine Tree Zone Initiative, Governor’s Training Initiative, and Tax Increment Financing, a property tax reimbursement plan
The Bottom Line:
- Strategic location, with nearly 50 percent of the state’s population within a 30-mile radius
- Incentives to help you get down to business
- Exceptional labor force
- Transportation options including rail, air and highway
- Skilled labor
- Diverse industry including health care, high-precision manufacturing, telecommunications, distribution & logistics
- Home to five colleges, including Bates College
- Foreign Trade Zone designation
- Pine Tree Zone status