The Most Northeastern City in the United States.

Economic Development

Awarded the coveted Business Friendly City distinction from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development the City of Caribou is the perfect place to start, expand, or grow your business. It is through the continued aggressive approach and the willingness to partner with and leverage the resources of aspiring entrepreneurs that our City will continue to grow.  Please contact our City offices with any questions or needs you might have now or in the future so that we may start a partnership with you and your business today.  Please contact our offices at:

Dennis Marker, City Manager
Phone: (207) 493-3324, Option #7
Fax: (207) 498-3954
Email: citymanager@cariboumaine.org

 

Information About Caribou

Demographics

Business Assistance Programming

Community and Economic Development Partners

Manufacturing Space Available

Slum and Blight Removal Program

Facade Improvement Grants

 

Information About Caribou

The City of Caribou, Maine is a full service center community with a resident population of 8,189 and direct service population of over 16,000.  Full level of services includes:

  • 24/7 Fulltime Fire for 5 communities and Ambulance services for 9 communities both Ground Transport and Air Ambulance Services
  • 24/7 Police Department
  • Fulltime Emergency Management Operations with County Emergency Operation Centers
  • Extensive Public Works Department
  • Utilities District for Water and Sewer – with exceptional additional capacities
  • Parks and Recreation Departments with new Wellness Center to be expanded
  • Public Library System with extensive collections, inter-library exchanges, audio books, collections and audio book services online
  • Nylander Museum – Natural History and Native American Collections
  • Historical Society
  • Service Clubs of Rotary, Kiwanis, CBPW, others
  • Extensive Business Assistance Programs for Community and Economic Development 
  • Department of Code Enforcement, Zoning, and Inspections to ensure the preservation of property values and rights, international building standards, and life safety
  • All major transportation corridors pass through Caribou forming a transportation hub
  • 2012 marked the completion of the North/South Highway in Caribou
  • High Achieving K-12 Educational School system with extensive curriculums and curricular activities
  • Partnerships with the Aroostook Partnership for Progress, Northern Maine Development Commission, Northern Maine Community College, and University of Maine in Presque Isle
  • Rail Services via Eastern Maine Rail and immediate access to U.S. Route 1 for commercial needs

Caribou’s Vision

THE all season community to work, play, grow in and call home.

Mission Statement

The City of Caribou, where residents, service organizations, businesses, schools and local government are actively committed to:

  • Welcoming, encouraging and promoting the continued development of commerce and industry
  • Supporting, enhancing and expanding Caribou’s strong foundation of all-season recreational opportunities
  • Promoting a community where you can grow your family, your business and yourself
  • Providing a safe, healthy, welcoming atmosphere for individuals and families to live

 

Caribou Demographics

Population

Caribou

Maine

Population, 2012 estimate

8,051

1,329,192

Population, 2010 (April 1) estimates base

8,189

1,328,361

Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012

-1.7%

0.1%

Population, 2010

8,189

1,328,361

Persons under 5 years, percent, 2010

5.1%

5.2%

Persons under 18 years, percent, 2010

21.2%

20.7%

Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2010

19.3%

15.9%

Female persons, percent, 2010

52.0%

51.1%

Ethnicity

Caribou

Maine

White alone, percent, 2010 (a)

96.0%

95.2%

Black or African American alone, percent, 2010 (a)

0.4%

1.2%

American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, 2010 (a)

1.4%

0.6%

Asian alone, percent, 2010 (a)

0.7%

1.0%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, 2010 (a)

Z

0.0%

Two or More Races, percent, 2010

1.2%

1.6%

Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2010 (b)

0.8%

1.3%

White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2010

95.6%

94.4%

Education Characteristics

Caribou

Maine

High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25+, 2007-2011

83.6%

90.2%

Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25+, 2007-2011

22.3%

27.1%

Veterans, 2007-2011

897

134,547

Misc. Info

Caribou

Maine

Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16+, 2007-2011

14.1

23.0

Housing Information

Caribou

Maine

Housing units, 2010

3,914

721,830

Homeownership rate, 2007-2011

72.3%

72.7%

Housing units in multi-unit structures, percent, 2007-2011

21.9%

19.3%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2007-2011

$85,800

$176,600

Households, 2007-2011

3,421

551,601

Persons per household, 2007-2011

2.36

2.34

Economic Data

Caribou

Maine

Per capita money income in the past 12 months (2011 dollars), 2007-2011

$23,942

$26,195

Median household income, 2007-2011

$42,583

$47,898

Persons below poverty level, percent, 2007-2011

13.9%

12.8%

Business QuickFacts

Caribou

Maine

Total number of firms, 2007

831

150,389

Merchant wholesaler sales, 2007 ($1000)

38,777

8,823,719

Manufacturers shipments, 2007 ($1000)

NA

16,363,192

Merchant wholesaler sales, 2007 ($1000)

38,777

8,823,719

Retail sales, 2007 ($1000)

160,428

20,444,031

Retail sales per capita, 2007

$19,663

$15,520

Accommodation and food services sales, 2007 ($1000)

10,910

2,515,827

Geography QuickFacts

Caribou

Maine

Land area in square miles, 2010

79.26

30,842.92

Persons per square mile, 2010

103.3

43.1

 

 

Current City Planning Documents:  

http://www.cariboumaine.org/index.php/government/planning-board/

Business Assistance Programming

Tax Increment Financing:

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is an economic development tool available to the City to use future growth in taxes to finance current improvements or development.  Caribou’s TIF Policy establishes a public-private partnership with new development through Credit Enhancement Agreements capturing any increase in valuation and dedicating all or a portion of the taxes associated with the new valuation towards the Project.  The City’s goal is to provide an incentive towards job creation, increases and diversification in taxable valuation, and economic growth that will sustain itself over time, thereby improving the economic well being of the entire Community.

Caribou has one of the largest pre-determined Downtown TIF Districts in Maine, being 635 acres in area encompassing all of our Industrial and Commercial Zones.  For any Business requesting TIF within this district, the City has already established eligibility for the benefit with the State.  This puts Caribou far ahead of others for a timely response to any future requests.

Learn more about the TIF Program and download an application here.

 Low Interest Loans

Working with the Caribou Economic Growth Council (CEGC) the City of Caribou is able to offer loan interest loans to businesses looking to locate or expand in Caribou. The mission of the CEGC is to provide economic development assistance to businesses specifically interested in growing in Caribou by providing a point of contact for resources, information, business counseling services, gap financing, business planning, and business support.  The CEGC has available loan funds for gap financing through the CEGC Reserve Fund, Rural Development Intermediary Relending Program, and Regional Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund.  Guidelines for each of these funding sources are attached.  Application inquiries should be directed to the City Manager at 25 High Street.

Pine Tree Zones:

Pine Tree Zones (PTZ) are a State of Maine law that allows eligible businesses the benefit of greatly reducing or virtually eliminating state taxes associated with their business and employee base for up to 10 years.  The Program provides for a direct reimbursement of state income taxes and certain sales taxes back to the qualifying businesses.  Targeted business sectors include; precision manufacturing, financial services, biotechnology, aquaculture, composite materials, environmental technologies, advanced agriculture and forestry, and information technology.  Caribou has one of the largest Pine Tree Zones in the State for a municipality having 792 acres encompassing all of our commercial and industrial zones.  The City will assist any new business to complete an application for certification with the State of Maine.  Attached is further information.  Websites with further information are:

www.maine.gov/revenue/incomeestate/ptdz.htm

Empowerment Zone Tax Credits

Empowerment Zone Tax Credits is 20% of the employer’s qualified wages (up to $15,000) paid or incurred during the calendar year on behalf of qualified empowerment zone employees. You can find out if your business or an employee’s residence is located within a rural empowerment zone by using the EZ/RC Address Locator by clicking here.
Information from IRS on Empowerment Zone Tax Credits may be found here.

 

Community and Economic Development Partners

Caribou has a wide array of partners in community and economic development.  These partners include:

Northern Maine Development Commission: Regional Planning Office, one of Seven District offices within the State housing planning, mapping, financing, grant procurement and administration, office of Small Business Administration, manufacturing extension partnership, and workforce investment  Web: www.nmdc.org

Aroostook Partnership for Progress:  The APP is a public-private partnership that was formed in 2003 by engaging private businesses to invest in the region’s local economy by developing regional development strategies and providing a regional clearing house of information and resources to future development.  The APP is a leading partner in the current Mobilize Maine statewide initiative and has become a leader in regional economic development.                       Web: www.appme.org

 

Caribou Economic Growth Council: The CEGC is a 501 c 6 Corporation governed by a 9 person Board of Directors and administers their programming using the City of Caribou’s Director of Economic and Community Development.  The City uses the CEGC as the economic development arm of the City.  The mission of the CEGC is to provide economic development assistance to businesses specifically interested in growing in Caribou by providing a point of contact for resources, information, business counseling services, gap financing, business planning, and business support.  The CEGC has available loan funds for gap financing through the CEGC Reserve Fund, Rural Development Intermediary Relending Program, and Regional Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund.  Guidelines for each of these funding sources are attached.  Application inquiries should be directed to the City Manager at 25 High Street.

 

Congressional Office of Senator Susan Collins: Senator Collins maintains a regional constituent services office in Caribou providing a direct line of communication of our local and regional needs to the Congressional offices in Washington.

 

Local Educational Institutions: Caribou is uniquely position with numerous local educational facilities in our immediate region.  These institutions include; University of Maine Fort Kent, University of Maine Presque Isle, Husson College, Presque Isle, and Northern Maine Community College.

 

Department of Economic and Community Development: The City of Caribou has a long standing working relationship with DECD through its Community Development Department.  The City received in 2006 the Outstanding Achievement Award from the State for having the highest rate of funds received and administered in the States 25 year history of the Community Development Block Grant Program.  The City has used such funding towards improvements in its Downtown Districts, job creation, facilities investments, pubic infrastructure improvements, and the latest construction of a multi-phased Wellness Center.  The City offers services to partner with qualifying business entities through Community Development to capture these resources and leverage the private sector investments towards the economic growth of our Community.

The City also works very closely with DECD Staff to help businesses looking to expand or locate here in Maine. The State of Maine has a great website to assist in the need for navigating permitting requirements and other issues from the state. Please check out the Maine Business Answers website.

Manufacturing Space Available

The City of Caribou currently owns 35,000 square feet of Manufacturing Space located just off US Route 1. Currently there is 25,000 square feet available, with approximately 2,000 square feet of that office space. The building has three phase power, has a full fire protection system, and is move in ready. The building comes with air compressors, air conditioning, and public water and sewer.  More information is included in this site profile package.

This building is available for lease at very competitive rates for new and expanding businesses. For more information on this building please contact Dennis Marker, City Manager at 207-493-3324, Ext 230 or via email at citymanager@cariboumaine.org.

Slum and Blight Removal Program


The City of Caribou is excited to announce a new initiative to help remove slum and blight from our community. On Monday June 8, 2015 the City Council approved a Slum and Blight Removal Grant Program.

The Slum and Blight Removal Grant Program is a proposed partnership between the City of Caribou and the private sector to remove blighted properties within our designated Downtown TIF District from our community and improve property values.

Process
The City of Caribou will determine an application process for selecting property each year to receive the grant. Owners of buildings within the Downtown TIF District would apply to the city for grant assistance in removing the blighted buildings. The grant amount for each project would be capped at $10,000 or 50% of the project costs whichever is less. Grants would only be paid after the work has been completed to the satisfaction of the city and proof of payment to the contractor or landfill has been received by the city.

The property owner would be responsible for ensuring all appropriate rules and regulations, including state and federal, would be followed in the removal of the building. No buildings would be allowed to be buried on site, as per City Ordinance. A demolition permit would have to be obtained from the City of Caribou as well.

Applications would be ranked on the blighting influences on the neighborhood, the level of blight, and whether or not there is a reuse of the property that has been identified.

Funding
Funding for this comes from the Downtown TIF District. As part of this district the City has set aside approximately $1,000,000 over the life of the district for slum and blight removal. Annual funding is subject to approval by the City Council during the normal budgeting process. Slum and Blight removal done by the City for city owned or tax acquired property in the district may reduce the amount of available funding in any given year.

Eligibility
In order to be eligible for the grant the applicant must be the owner of the property. Applicant must be current on all city taxes and bills from the Caribou Utilities District. The property must be located within the Caribou Downtown TIF District. If the property has been declared dangerous by the Caribou City Council in accordance with MRSA Title 17 §2851, as it may be amended from time to time, the applicant shall not be eligible for this grant.

Decisions
All decisions will be made by the City Manager in consultation with the Code Enforcement Officer, Police Chief, and Fire Chief.

The grant application may be found by clicking here.

Downtown TIF District Map

If you’re unsure if you are in the downtown TIF District please contact City Manager Dennis Marker at 207-493-3324, Ext 230 or via email at citymanager@cariboumaine.org.

Facade Improvement Grants

The Façade Improvement Grant Program is a proposed partnership between the City of Caribou and the private sector to improve the facades of commercial and mixed use properties within our designated Downtown TIF District. The program offers grant funds to be matched by an equal or greater investment of private funds for the purpose of restoring/renovating commercial storefronts and replacing deteriorated or poor quality commercial signs and awnings.

Process and Guidelines
The City of Caribou will determine an application process for selecting property each year to receive the grant.  This grant may be used for a variety of façade improvements including, but not limited to, painting, window or door repairs/replacements, signage, awnings, tuckpointing, and storefront restorations.  Grant funds will be awarded on a competitive basis; Small and large projects are eligible for funding.

The grant amount for each project would be capped at $7,500 or 50% of the project costs whichever is less.

Each applicant may only be awarded one grant per calendar year.

Building projects must be designed by a qualified design professional and signs must be produced by a professional sign maker.

Applicant must obtain all necessary approvals and/or permits from the City of Caribou. Furthermore, no Façade Improvement Grant shall be made unless and until the proposed improvement work has been reviewed and approved by City staff.

Grants would only be paid after the work has been completed to the satisfaction of the city and proof of payment to the contractor or vendor for materials.  If the work is to be done by the building owner, only materials are grant eligible.

Funding
Funding for this comes from the Downtown TIF District. As part of this district the City has set aside approximately $1,000,000 over the life of the district for façade improvement. Annual funding is subject to approval by the City Council during the normal budgeting process.

Eligibility
In order to be eligible for the grant the applicant must be the owner of the property. Business owners leasing or renting space are encouraged to work with their building owner to develop an application. Applicant and lessees must be current on all city taxes and bills from the Caribou Utilities District. If the property has been declared dangerous by the Caribou City Council in accordance with MRSA Title 17 §2851, as it may be amended from time to time, the applicant shall not be eligible for this grant.

Decisions
All decisions will be made by the City Manager, or his designee or any applicable committee, in consultation with the Code Enforcement Officer. The City reserves the right to accept or reject any and all applications.

Facade Improvement Grant Application

Downtown TIF District Map

If you’re unsure if you are in the downtown TIF District please contact City Manager Dennis Marker at 207-493-3324, Ext 230 or via email at citymanager@cariboumaine.org.