Get involved with one of Heart of Biddeford’s most “visible” committees. Whether you enjoy a park clean-up day, want to add some art to a public area, or are willing to put some elbow grease into one of our downtown businesses, this is the committee for you. Read below for more information about the committee as well as the new Adopt-a-Park program!
The Design Committee, led by Chair Don Winterhalter, meets at 6:00pm on the first Monday of each month at the Heart of Biddeford, 205 Main Street.
Design means getting Main Street into top physical shape.
Capitalizing on its best assets — such as historic buildings and pedestrian-oriented streets — is just part of the story. An inviting atmosphere, created through attractive window displays, parking areas, building improvements, street furniture, signs, sidewalks, street lights, and landscaping, conveys a positive visual message about the commercial district and what it has to offer. Design activities also include instilling good maintenance practices in the commercial district, enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging appropriate new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, and long-term planning.
- Facade Improvement Program
- Merchandise Display and Design Workshop
- Design of Public Spaces
- Design Education
- Technical Assistance
The Adopt-a-Park program is an opportunity provided by the City of Biddeford and the Heart of Biddeford for local families, schools, clubs, businesses, organizations and associations to serve the community.
“Authentic Facades & Storefronts That Sell”
Presentation from the Revitalizing Maine Communities Conference, by Christopher Glass and Denis Lachman (PDF)
Murals & Urban Art
The Organization Committee is the group of people who make sure we have the volunteers, and community and financial support to accomplish all of our goals. The committee also sees to the training of the board and volunteers. If you enjoy planning fund-raising events/efforts, recruiting volunteers, and thinking about the good of the whole, this committee is for you. Led by Chair Kate Baltren, the Organization Committee meets one time per month, currently on the last Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m at the Heart of Biddeford, 205 Main Street.
- Volunteer Recruitment
- Committee Member Training
- Public Relations for the Program
The Heart of Biddeford is a volunteer-driven organization, with over 3000 hours of volunteer engagement each year. Our wonderful volunteers are critical to the Heart of Biddeford and we work hard to match you with a volunteer opportunity that matches your skills, interests, and availability. See below for a description of the volunteer opportunities. There is also a Volunteer Application at the bottom of this page. When you fill this out, we will contact you to match you up with a great opportunity. If you haven’t heard from us within two business days, please call Heart of Biddeford at 207-284-8520 or contact us with questions.
Commitment level: High, long-term (2 years minimum)
Expectations: Attend one meeting each month, actively promote and advocate for the organization and its efforts. Understand how a Main Street program works to better the community. Make an annual donation to the organization. Solicit donations from business connections, friends and families. Think creatively and actively about the strategic plan of the organization, and provide input to group discussion regarding the future of the city and of the organization as it builds and forms partnerships with other entities. Devote 2-5 hours per month outside of meetings to volunteer work for the organization.
Commitment level: Medium-High, long-term
Expectations: Attend one meeting per month. Understand how a Main Street program works to develop the community. Work with other committee members to actively create and follow annual work plans. Devote 1-4 hours per month outside of meetings to volunteering for the organization. Essential qualities in a committee member are commitment to positivity, ability to work well with others, and proven ability to complete a project started. Click on the Committee to read details about the Business Enhancement Committee, Design Committee, Organization Committee, and Promotions Committee.
Commitment level: Low (a few hours minimum)
Expectations: Show up on day of event/project prepared to do the amount of work/time for which you signed up. The types of “workers” vary so greatly from event to event, that inquiring about specific opportunities prior to signing up is recommended. However, if you are a willing and able to do about anything, that is great to have the hands as well!
We’d love to have your help with office tasks, from delivering fliers downtown, to inputting data or conducting social media campaigns. Contact us through the form below and let us know when you’re available.
Business Enhancement strengthens our community’s existing economic assets while expanding and diversifying its economic base. The Main Street program helps sharpen the competitiveness of existing business owners and recruits compatible new businesses and new economic uses to build a commercial district that responds to today’s consumers’ needs. Converting unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property also helps boost the profitability of the district.
The Business Enhancement Committee organizes recruitment of new businesses, supports current businesses, and hosts great initiatives like the Youth Pop-Up Competition and our Main Street Challenge. The Business Enhancement Committee is chaired by Marianne Clark, and currently meets at 8:00 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at the Heart of Biddeford, 205 Main Street.
Start a Business
Biddeford is coming to life and, based on recent successes, our future is even brighter.
Biddeford has seen a recent boost in development as well as progressive decision-making. Great examples of your downtown’s progress are Main Street Challenge Winners, Palace Diner, Suger, the Pepperell Mill Campus, and the Mill at Saco Falls. The closure of the Maine Energy Recovery Company, and the newly proposed redevelopment of the Lincoln Mill into a hotel, apartments, and restaurants is also great news!
A Master Plan for the Mill District (Mill Plan) was completed in November of 2009; it is the guiding document for growth in that part of the downtown, which is tied intrinsically to Main Street. The Biddeford RiverWalk is growing each year, and now hosts the beautiful pedestrian bridge spanning the Saco River and joining Biddeford+Saco.
Heart of Biddeford and the Orton Family Foundation teamed up with the City to bring Biddeford a community input-driven Master Plan for the Downtown. This focused effort helps us create a downtown that will sustain business; allow for intelligent, centralized growth; clear the way for more efficient provision of resources; and have exactly what the city wants out of its downtown. It is successful because the people’s words are included in the plan. It is your plan.
You will find a fundamental energy downtown:
there is a collective commitment to preserving our existing assets while capitalizing on the opportunities in this great city. Progress is being made, incrementally, to establish a strong foundation to build a business. Main Street and the Mills are full of opportunity for new and established business alike, and the upper floors of downtown buildings also are filling up with renters.
Now is the time to create or expand your business in Biddeford. It is the Heart of Biddeford’s intent to make the process, from idea to grand opening, as friendly and streamlined as possible. Check out the “Why Biddeford?” brochure to learn why we think you’ll like it here! Meet with us to go over the details in this How to Do Business in Biddeford brochure.
Utilize the links below, or simply contact our office:
- Small Business Association
- SCORE [word.doc]
- Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 28 Water Street, Biddeford
- Other important business tools
- Maine SBDC Certified Business Counselor: Gordon Platt email@example.com
- Business Application [word.doc]
- Building Permits
- Code Enforcement Hompage
The Promotions Committee projects a positive image of the commercial district and encourages consumers and investors to live, work, shop, play and invest in the Main Street district. By marketing a district’s unique characteristics to residents, investors, business owners, and visitors, an effective promotional strategy forges a positive image through advertising, retail promotional activity, special events, and marketing campaigns carried out by local volunteers. These activities improve consumer and investor confidence in the district and encourage commercial activity and investment in the area.
The Promotions Committee is responsible for all the great Heart of Biddeford events you might see downtown like the River Jam Festival, the Downtown Holiday Festival, and Music in the Park. This group also initiates promotions to market the businesses we have downtown through advertising and special programs (like Biddeford + Saco Restaurant Week).
The Promotions Committee, led by Chair Joe McKenney, meets one time per month. They are currently meeting on the third Wednesday of each month at 8:30 a.m. at Heart of Biddeford.
One Dynamic Place
Have you heard about the two-city campaign that took place in 2013, helping the two communities of Biddeford + Saco work together? The Economic Development Directors from Biddeford + Saco joined with the two Main Street programs, Biddeford+Saco Chamber of Commerce, and the Economic Development Corporation to gather community input on our shared strengths. Together, we are creating opportunities to promote this dynamic destination. Read more about it, and see some examples of how we can use the logos and tag lines to build community within our two cities and build excitement for our visitors!
The logo and tagline “Biddeford+Saco/Saco+Biddeford…No Matter How You Say It” create a platform to describe the strengths of our region. Check out a Biddeford+Saco website landing page that was created to direct visitors to a “one-stop” location to learn more about our region. On that page, you’ll read a beautiful description that tells of the history and assets of our two-city region.
The DonutClub is a downtown interest group meets the first Tuesday morning of the month at 8 a.m. at Reilly’s Bakery at 232 Main Street. The DonutClub is a group of business and community members that discuss potential events and concerns in our downtown. To receive reminders and minutes, simply email the Heart of Biddeford, and we will add you to the weekly list.
This page will be updated this spring with a visualization of available properties in the downtown along with all the associated information. Please call Heart of Biddeford at 207-284-8520 to find out more about any space you see downtown, or to take a tour downtown. Thank you for your interest!