Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce adapts its annual event to a fresh-air setting

Community & Business Expo brings companies outdoors in Rockland

Thu, 09/09/2021 - 11:15am

ROCKLAND—Nearly 100 businesses and non-profits in the Midcoast took to the open air at the Rockland Plaza on September 8, a departure from the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce’s usual annual indoor event. A temperate 70-degree sunny day greeted the exhibitors, many of whom had specials, giveaways, and drawings, at their display tables.

It wasn’t just a gathering place to connect with old friends and learn about what the businesses were up to, but also, it was an event for job-seekers to inquire about work, as many of the businesses and non-profits were hiring.

“We encourage people to attend whether they are residents, business people, folks looking for job opportunities, or all of the above,” said Tom Peaco, the Chamber’s executive director in a release. A list of all of the exhibitors can be found here.

Spotlight on UMA Rockland Center

Senator Chip Curry (D-Waldo) is also a UMA Rockland Center Student Services Coordinator. Although he was dressed in business attire, he was all set to get drenched in a dunk tank.

“There’s a donation fee to dunk me that goes to a scholarship fund that helps UMA Rockland Center’s students,” he said. “This is a special fund that helps students in a financial crunch to continue on with their college classes. If somehow the funding isn’t working out for them or they got surprised by unexpected bills, this scholarship fund helps them to get past those hurdles.”

Asked about his formal clothing for the dunk tank, he quipped, “There’s a swimsuit under here.”

Spotlight on the North Atlantic Blues Festival

The Festival took place this summer after a COVID-19-related hiatus last summer to the delight of many blues fans and the Midcoast community. Their display table held a number of custom guitars made from various upcycled parts such as cigar boxes.

Organizer Paul Benjamin said, “Our numbers surpassed even 2019’s attendance records this year. It was great to be back.”

Spotlight on Midcoast 7 Adult Education Classes

“I think people are more confident about getting back to Adult Ed this year,” said Betsy Rector, Administrative Assistant at Midcoast School of Technology. “A lot of people have been calling us to ask if we’re offering in-person classes, which we are. They’re eager to get back into a classroom, and of course, it will be safe, and socially distanced.”

For more information about the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber, visit or call 207-596-0376.

Photos by Kay Stephens

Kay Stephens can be reached at