A new TV series set to premiere next week on Maine Public Television will highlight 10 businesses across Maine that are owned by people of color, immigrants and minorities.
“Elevating Voices,” which will start on April 29, is a co-production of Maine Public and Greenlight Maine, an entrepreneurial think tank that produces a Maine-based reality television show of the same name. The series is underwritten by Bangor Savings Bank.
Over the course of six episodes, 12 Maine businesses will be showcased, ranging from Deko’s Kutz, a Black-owned barbershop in Orland, to Empanada Club, a Latin American food startup in Portland, to Decontie & Brown, a pair of Bangor-based Wabanaki jewelry and fashion designers. Each of the 12 showcased businesses will receive a $5,000 grant from Bangor Savings Bank.
According to a press release, the show came about because of a new initiative Bangor Savings Bank began in 2020 to better support diversity, equity and inclusion in its Maine business practices. It also was developed as a way to support small businesses during the pandemic, many of which continue to struggle to survive.
The show will be co-hosted by “Greenlight Maine” host Julene Gervais, and Alyne Cistone, a Mount Desert Island resident and the founder of Global Tides Consulting, which offers community integration services for new Mainers.
The newest season of “Greenlight Maine” just finished airing last week on Maine Public Television, with 13 regular season episodes each showcasing two Maine small businesses, followed by a six-episode college edition showcasing entrepreneurs attending the University of Maine, Husson University, Colby College, Thomas College, the University of New England and College of the Atlantic.
“Elevating Voices” will air on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Maine Public Television.