Doing Business in Brunswick, Maine
Settled in 1628 and incorporated in 1739, Brunswick is an historic and picturesque New England town that serves as a gateway to Midcoast and Downeast Maine.
Downtown Brunswick’s broad Maine Street combines village flavor and city flair. Dotted with specialty shops, open spaces and fabulous restaurants to satisfy every mood and palate, Brunswick’s pedestrian-friendly downtown attracts shoppers, strollers and foodies alike.
Home to Bowdoin College, Southern New Hampshire University and Southern Maine Community College, Brunswick is a college town offering rich and diverse arts and cultural resources, centered around Bowdoin’s museums, theater and concert hall.
Bordered by the Androscoggin River and Atlantic Ocean with its 67 miles of coastline, Brunswick is a coastal community, offering residents and visitors an array of recreational opportunities.
Offering convenient access to I-295 and Route 1, Brunswick serves as a gateway to Midcoast and Downeast Maine. Brunswick is located 25 miles north of Portland, Maine’s largest city, and just 30 miles from the Portland International Jetport (PWM). Brunswick’s strategic location will be enhanced significantly in the fall of 2012, when the Amtrak Downeaster arrives, connecting Brunswick to Boston with passenger rail service.
Brunswick is home to Brunswick Landing, formerly Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine’s premier technology business park, featuring 3,300 acres of prime real estate, over 2 million square feet of commercial and industrial space, as well as a world-class aviation complex and educational institutions.
Home to Mid Coast Hospital and Parkview Adventist Hospital, as well as eleven banks downtown, Brunswick is a service center for neighboring communities.
Brunswick is home to world class businesses, including LL Bean (manufacturing), Bath Iron Works (design/engineering) and Owens Corning (composite fabrics).
With its proximity to boat builders and other marine trades along the Maine coast, advanced technology training resources and innovative businesses, Brunswick has positioned itself as the epicenter of the state’s emerging composites manufacturing cluster.
Doing Business in Brunswick, Maine
Brunswick at a Glance/Vital Statistics:
Population: 20,278 (2010 Census)
Land Area: 49.7 square miles
Median Household Income: $50,117 (2010)
Number of Households: 8,469 (2010 Census)
Average Household Size: 2.19
Labor Force (Brunswick Labor Market Area/Micropolitan Statistical Area): 34,866 (July 2011 (not seasonally-adjusted)) Source: Maine Department of Labor, Center for Workforce Research & Information
Total Employment (Brunswick LMA/MSA): 32,529 (July 2011 (not seasonally-adjusted)) Source: MDOL, CWRI
Educational Attainment (Age 25+ (2000 Census)): High School Graduate 27%; Bachelors or Higher 35%
Major Private Employers:
Mid Coast Hospital
Bath Iron Works
Parkview Adventist Medical Center
Brunswick School District
Doing Business in Brunswick, Maine
Why do Business in Downtown Brunswick?
Because Brunswick serves as a gateway to Midcoast and Downeast Maine, Brunswick businesses, particularly those located downtown, benefit from steady vehicular traffic throughout the year.
On average, more than 28,000 vehicles pass through Brunswick each day on U.S. Route 1.
Traffic on Maine Street, the central artery of Brunswick’s bustling downtown, averages more than 16,000 cars per day.
With its rich and diverse cultural amenities, visitors are drawn to Downtown Brunswick throughout the year.
Centered around Bowdoin College’s museums, theater and concert hall, Brunswick is the arts and cultural hub of Midcoast Maine. Exhibits, such as “Edward Hopper’s Maine” (2011) and “William Wegman: Hello Nature” (2012) attract tens of thousands of visitors to the Bowdoin Museum of Art each year.
Thousands of visitors are drawn to Downtown Brunswick for Maine State Music Theater’s June through September season.
Brunswick Downtown Association special events and promotions, including the Brunswick Outdoor Arts Festival and Taste of Brunswick, draw thousands of visitors to Brunswick each year.
The Great State of Maine Air Show and other local events draw thousands of visitors to Brunswick each year.
The population of Brunswick’s trade area is nearly 60,000, drawing from 14 communities throughout Sagadahoc and northern Cumberland Counties.
Brunswick’s taxable retail sales in 2011 totaled nearly $325 million.
With nearly 500 public spaces available, downtown Brunswick offers convenient parking to shop patrons and employees alike.
All public parking spaces are free and most are limited to two-hours, assuring efficient turnover of vehicles.
Downtown Brunswick businesses also benefit from downtown residents, who are attracted to Brunswick’s pedestrian-friendly downtown, which features grocery stores, pharmacies, a post office and public library all within walking distance of residential neighborhoods.
A Guide to Doing Business in Brunswick
Licensing & Permitting:
Opening a business in Brunswick may require licenses, permits and approvals from the Town of Brunswick. Approval requirements will vary depending on the nature of your business, as well as the scope of needed improvements to real estate. The Brunswick Downtown Association, in partnership with the Town of Brunswick Department of Economic and Community Development, is happy to assist new and expanding downtown businesses in identifying required Town approvals and introducing business owners to key Town officials.
The following Town of Brunswick departments are the first points of contact for issuing Town approvals:
Town Clerk (207) 725-6658 or www.brunswickme.org/departments/town-clerk/licenses
The Town Clerk issues licenses for Sole Proprietors (doing business as something other than the owner’s name), as well as Food Service Establishments/Victualers, Innkeepers, Theaters, etc.
Planning & Development (207) 725-6660 or www.brunswickme.org/departments/planning-development
The Department of Planning & Development issues the following Town permits:
Building Permits are required when a building is constructed, demolished, moved, added to or structurally altered.
Electrical & Plumbing Permits are required whenever electrical or plumbing work is done.
Sign Permits are required for any new or replacement sign.
Change of Use Permits are required when there is a change from one use to another of any structure or portion thereof, which is permitted in a particular zoning district.
Development-Review is required for development activities that within a five-year period result in construction that meets certain thresholds, such as a cumulative total of 7,500 square feet or more of gross floor area and impervious surface combined. In order to expedite smaller projects, review is classified into “Major” and “Minor” review. Major review is conducted by the Planning Board, and Minor review is conducted by Town staff. Note: Projects that do not require Development Review, may still require building, electrical and/or plumbing permits.
Permit application forms may be downloaded at www.brunswickme.org/departments/planning-development/permits-applications.
Departments listed above are located in the Town of Brunswick Municipal Building, 28 Federal Street, Brunswick, ME 04333.