It is with mixed emotions I write this message to the dearly appreciated and respected members and friends of Maine Businesses for Sustainability (MBS). For 20 years MBS has provided tools and services dedicated to bringing sustainability to the forefront of business dialog in Maine. MBS' educational and programming outreach, networking, social, and dialog-building opportunities, and important tools and services (including our current Sustainability Benchmarking Tool) have reached thousands of Maine and Northern New Englanders over the course of our journey. While MBS has accomplished much in its two decade history, there is, of course, always more work to do with respect to advocating and delivering on the message and benefits of sustainable business practices in the state/region we all love and cherish.

The financial downturn of 2008 greatly impacted many Americans as well as our global brothers and sisters across the planet. Non-profit organizations were especially hard hit as a result of the downturn and this trend continues locally and nationally. MBS, like many non-profits, has struggled to keep funding requisite to match its goals and mission. Being a member-driven organization, MBS is dependent on members and friends like you to maintain the value and excellence you have come to expect from our organization. Although the Board, our operational team, and friends like you have done yeoman's work in fundraising attempts, our efforts have not been enough to keep the organization afloat in its current construct.

I will be working with the MBS Board of Directors over the coming weeks to determine the best course of action to preserve the core tools and services MBS brings to the businesses of Maine, its people, and indirectly, its environment. MBS will be engaging two of our partner organizations in the dialog as well; Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences (Manomet, Inc.) and New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR). These organizations have expressed their willingness to work with MBS to explore options for continuing the spirit of MBS, while recognizing that the organizational and operational structure of MBS is not sustainable in its current form.

While this dialog transpires, our friends at NHBSR are offering all current MBS members discounted rates (offered at current NHBSR member rates) for all NHBSR programming between now and the end of 2013. Further, MBS invites its members and friends to a Seacoast mixer in Portsmouth on Wednesday, September 25th from 5:30 to 7:30 at The Red Hook Brewery in Portsmouth, NH. Details about the event may be found at Tickets are $15 if purchased before 8/23 and $20 thereafter. Please come join the dialog between MBS and its partners about how best to move forward collectively the spirit of MBS and its value to Maine and Northern New England.

Sincerely and respectfully,

David Widener
Board President
Maine Businesses for Sustainability