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Governor's Business Workshops Closed to Nonprofit Businesses

by Brenda Peluso

I requested a seat one of the Governor’s Workshops designed for business leaders to share ideas regarding job creation in Maine with the Governor, state officials and fellow business leaders to improve Maine’s economy.  I thought that as a person connected with nonprofit businesses who employ significant numbers of Mainers, I should share some of the barriers nonprofits face in hiring more people.

From: LePage, Lauren []

Sent: Friday, October 14, 2011 10:24 AM

To: Brenda Peluso

Subject: Governor’s Workshop on Job Creation

Good Morning Brenda,

The goal of the Governor’s Workshop on Job Creation is to hear directly from business leaders about the hurtles they face in expanding job creation in Maine. Because the goal is to hear firsthand from businesses, first priority will be given to them with seating. If the situation changes as the event nears, I would be happy to include you on an alternate list and contact you.

I appreciate your understanding, and thank you for your understanding.

Lauren E. LePage

Assistant to the Chief of Staff

Office of the Governor



From: Brenda Peluso

Sent: Friday, October 14, 2011 12:01 PM

To: ‘LePage, Lauren’

Subject: RE: Governor’s Workshop on Job Creation

Dear Lauren,

Thank you for your note.  I understand that the Governor would like to focus this tour on for-profit job creation, but I believe that by disregarding the contributions of the nonprofit sector to the Maine economy, the Governor is limiting his ability to fully engage job creators in Maine.  Please note that Maine nonprofits ARE businesses and we employ over 82,000 people – or 1 in 7 Maine workers.  This is a number second only to the retail industry in Maine.

Since the Governor is not looking toward nonprofit businesses in this round of workshops, I would like to ask that he consider hosting workshops focusing on understanding the important contributions nonprofit employment makes to our state and how to ensure that this key sector continues to be able to contribute.  Some examples of these contributions include:

  • – Nonprofit organizations are a counter-cyclical force in the economy, adding workers in times of economic downturn.  (See Page 12
  • – Nonprofits provide services that cannot be outsourced and are often the economic backbone of rural Maine.
  • – In 2008, nonprofits paid over $3.1 billion in wages translating into an estimated $119 million in personal income tax revenue for Maine.
  • – Because nonprofits attract significant private funding, they are able to increase the government’s impact on the issues of our times.
  • – In our 2010 survey, 57% of responding Maine nonprofits receive no federal money; 41% receive no state or local government money.  Many of these non-governmental resources are brought into the state of Maine through national foundations and donations from non-residents.

Please thank the Governor for his consideration of my request and I wish you all the best in your efforts to grow the Maine economy.

Best regards, Brenda Peluso

Director of Public Policy

Maine Association of Nonprofits

565 Congress Street, Suite 301

Portland, ME  04101



From: LePage, Lauren []

Sent: Friday, October 14, 2011 12:06 PM

To: Brenda Peluso

Cc: McGough, John

Subject: RE: Governor’s Workshop on Job Creation


I certainly appreciate your understanding and will pass your suggestion along to the Chief of Staff.

Thank you,

Lauren E. LePage

Assistant to the Chief of Staff

Office of the Governor


8 thoughts on “Governor’s Business Workshops Closed to Nonprofit Businesses

James Wannabe says:

Love the spelling of ‘hurtle’ vs ‘hurdle’. Oy!

Jenna_T says:

I think Miss LePage revealed a bit too much when she wrote “hurtles,” rather than “hurdles.”

Barbara says:

As of 7:30 pm the article about the governor’s daughter refusal to invite the Maine Association of Nonprofits to the workshop has been removed from the Portland Press Herald. Do you think they are embarrassed? I would think so.

Brenda Peluso says:

Just a clarification – I don’t believe Lauren LePage “refused to invite MANP”, she is just delivering the message that the Governor’s Office has decided that space is going first to for-profit businesses. Other nonprofits who requested a seat received similar e-mails.

Tom Bell did indeed write an article that no longer appears to be online.

Henri Moser says:

are hurtles what turtles jump over in a race?

Excellent response to Lauren LePage, Brenda. It is tough to argue with the facts and perhaps our governor and his staff will learn to broaden their focus-I would bet Maine’s non-profit businesses touch more Maine peoples’ lives than any of the businesses he hosts at the forum. Keep up the good work!

Anne Schink says:

Congratulations, Brenda, on pointing out to the Governor’s Office that nonprofit enterprises are the third leg of economic stability. Private businesses will not do it alone. Government is responsible for many services we all take for granted–and want! But nonprofits have energy, commitment, and economic energy that are essential to the well-being of Maine’s residents. Anne Schink

Brad says:

Rock on, Brenda!

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