Commercial Currents Podcast: Business in Uncertain Times

WindHorse Arts in downtown Vinalhaven.












To better understand how our local small businesses are doing during this time of change, Island Institute Small Business Team is making a series of short, pre-recorded interviews with some of Maine’s island and coastal small businesses. These conversations are designed to check in with businesses, understand their concerns, and hear what’s working well.

Episode 3 comes in two parts. The first part is a conversation with Craig Olson, senior community development officer and head of the Small Business team at the Island Institute, that grounds us in the nuts and bolts of the CARES Act.

The second part is a conversation with Alison Thibault, owner of WindHorse Arts in downtown Vinalhaven. A jeweler with more than 20 years of experience, Thibault has been working diligently to stay on top of the Small Business Association’s various disaster relief programs, and recently applied to the Paycheck Protection Program through the CARES Act. She takes us through her application process, shares her concerns for the future of brick-and-mortar shopping, and gives us a lovely example of how social media can bring joy.

The Island Institute’s Small Business Team provides business and financial planning to help entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of starting and growing a business. To find archived editions, go to

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