Pro Business Climate
- City Councilors and a City Manager who understand that meeting the needs of our local businesses is a top priority and critical to the success of our City.
- Diversified portfolio of businesses and balanced economy
- Skilled workforce
- One of the first communities in the State of Maine to be certified as a Business-Friendly Community.
Stable Tax Base
- In April 2010, Standard and Poor’s upgraded the City from A to AA- with a stable outlook. S&P affirmed this AA- rating with stable outlook in March 2014 stating, “We consider Brewer’s economy very strong. The stable outlook reflects our view of Brewer’s focus on maintaining strong operating flexibility. We believe strong management conditions are also a stabilizing rating factor.”
- The City’s bond rating with Moody’s was recalibrated to Aa3 in May 2010. According to Moody’s, “obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.” Moody’s has affirmed this rating in each of its surveillance reviews since that time. The 2020 review noted that the “credit position for Brewer is good” and that the City “has a healthy financial position” and “a manageable pension liability”.
Streamlined Planning and Permitting Processes
- All City departments work together to help new or existing business in every way possible, recognizing the value of what each business brings to the City of Brewer.
- Pre-approval “scoping meetings” available as needed to provide staff-level review and recommendations prior to planning board approval.
- Personalized attention and customized approach to every business venture.
Quality of Life
- Brewer ranks #6 in the MaineBiz 2020 Hottest towns for home sales in Maine.
- According to Movoto’s Real Estate, Brewer was ranked #9 on the Safest Places in Maine.
- Public safety departments
- Police: The Police Department consists of twenty-one sworn officers that provide safety and security to the residents of, and the visitors to, the City of Brewer. The department utilizes two detective positions to investigate criminal offenses and thirteen officers on uniform patrol. Two patrol officers are assigned to the SRO position (School Resource Officer) and spend their days at the Brewer schools, working closely with students, teachers, and administrators to ensure the safety of the students. The Brewer Police Department has an officer assigned full time to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. The centrally located public safety facility on Parkway South enables them to respond within minutes to any part of the City. The Brewer Police Department is a proactive department interacting with citizens in a partnership to help keep Brewer a safe place to live, work and visit.
- Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS): Brewer employs a full-time Public Safety Director and Deputy Chief along with 4 full-time Officers (2 Lieutenants & 2 Captains). We also have 13 full-time firefighters. The centrally located public safety facility on Parkway South enables them to respond within minutes to any part of the City. The department provides ambulance services, water and ice rescue services and hazardous materials response in addition to fire suppression. The fire department also provides mutual aid to all of the surrounding communities.
- In a 2015 U.S. News & World Report “Best High Schools” edition, Brewer High School ranked #5 in the state of Maine and ranked #669 nationwide.
- Brewer Community School – Opened in 2011, this $40 million dollar K-8 school is a 156,000-square-foot facility was designed to LEED standards to maximize energy efficiency technologies, and all heating and lighting controls are computer automated to allow for maximum energy savings.
- Brewer Performing Arts Center – as part of the Brewer Community School, includes a 400 seat performing arts center venue, with a state-of-the-art lighting system that provides dramatic color rendition for its theatrical productions.
- Scenic Riverwalk trail with free wifi, and 24 hour surveillance along the Penobscot River.
- More than 20 Craft Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries within a 40 minute drive of Brewer, ME.
Access to Higher Education
Within 15 minutes of Brewer, there are eight institutions of higher learning:
- University of Maine at Orono
- University of Maine at Augusta, Bangor Campus
- Husson University
- New England School of Communication
- Eastern Maine Community College
- Beal College
- Bangor Theological Seminary
- Grace Evangelical College & Seminary
Brewer is conveniently located just across the river from Bangor, and is part of the Bangor Metropolitan Statistical Area.
- Bangor International Airport (BGR) – offers 32 flights a day to and from major Northeast cities, national and regional hubs.
- Interstates 95 and 395 – convenient access to the I-95 corridor (north and south); I-395 (east and west), Route 1 (Coastal route all points north and south) and State Route 9 (90 miles from New Brunswick, Canadian border).
- Rail access – the rail runs through Brewer and the junction of two rail systems that service the northern and central part of the state are right across the river.
- Port access – Port of Searsport (30 miles from Brewer) offers two terminals that handle refined petroleum cargo, dry bulk cargo, break-bulk cargo and containerized products. The Port of Eastport (120 miles) offers one cargo terminal handling dry bulk and break-bulk products.
- Electricity – Brewer’s electric service is provided by Versant Power. Maine has the lowest electricity costs in New England.
- Petroleum & Natural Gas – Brewer has access to myriad providers including Bangor Natural Gas, Irving Oil, Webber Energy and Dead River.
- Telecommunications – Geographically, Brewer is located in the greater Bangor region, one of two major communication hubs in Maine; Bangor is a connecting point for much of Maine’s fiber optic lines. Most of Brewer has access to this high speed transmission. Telephone and internet providers include Fair Point Communications and Spectrum.
- The wireless providers available in Brewer are AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile and US Cellular.
- Water – The Brewer Water Department services the water needs of the City of Brewer. Brewer received a 2011-2014 Certificate of Excellence for Community Water Fluoridation, which is given to municipalities for consistently maintaining fluoride levels between 0.7-1.4 ppm.
Regional and State Statistics
- Maine ranked 12th among all fifty states in the fairness of its litigation environment in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 State Liability Systems Ranking Study.
- Maine has the lowest electricity costs in New England.
- 2019 Best Tasting Water in Maine by the Maine Rural Water Association
- 2015 Operation & Maintenance Program Excellence Award by the U.S. EPA to the Brewer Water Pollution Control Facility.
- Stable outlook. Affirmed March 2014. S&P bond rating from A (upper medium grade) to AA- (high grade) in April 2010.
- Moody’s bond rating increased from A2 (upper medium grade) to Aa3 (high grade) in May 2012.
- Winners of the U.S. EPA’s coveted Phoenix Award in 2009, which honors the accomplishments of those who solve critical environmental challenges, transforming blighted and contaminated sites (the former Eastern Fine Paper Co. mill) into productive new uses.