• Growth
  • Profile
  • Goals
  • Round Tables

Canaan Economic Development:
Just Imagine -
And Then Do It!

Canaan is a Community of Opportunity!

Canaan's people have diverse experiences, expressions and talents. We welcome growth that builds our community. People or companies looking to locate in Canaan that bring employment and services to Canaan residents will be assisted in finding a suitable site and utilities. Our permitting process is applicant friendly. While we have sub-division review, we do not have zoning regulations and we recognize the need for a balanced economy that includes commercial stores and light industrial employers. See the opportunity we offer, grow with us, and become part of our community.

Village Tax Stabilization Information & Application Form

Long Term Economic Development Plan

2016 Economic Development Report

2015 Economic Development Report

Village Tax Incentives

2013 Planning Board Survey Results Related to Canaan Commerce

Land & Construction Permits Guide

sites of economic development in 2015


Canaan's residents work in diverse occupations.


farmers' market

These include employment on the land in animal, dairy and crop farming, sugaring, logging, sand and gravel extraction, gardening, civil engineering, environmental protection, and recreation.

logging operation

Skilled trades offered through independent business people and corporate employers exist in metal working, transportation, construction, forest and land management, woodworking, cabinetry, mechanical repair, restoration, recreation, baking, plumbing, heating, and electrical trades.

steel plant

worker in paddle company

Mascoma Savings Bank

Professional employment is available in health care, education, animal services, banking, business consultation, tax services, education, insurance, law, accounting and communications.

Barney Insurance  Cardigan Veterinary Clinic

Service skills are used in catering, restaurants, retail clothing, convenience stores, hardware, day care, farmers market, fuel sales, grocers, recreation, and interior design.

Canaan Hardware Store rail trail bike Evansmart Store

Canaan encourages independent thought and creative expression.

Our community embraces diverse views on politics, economics, faith and personal values. As with speech, creativity is valued and plays a significant role in community life.

Meeting House Gathering
art gallery
hand woven basket

Artisans in paint, blown and stained glass, metal, sculpture, decorative baskets, graphic arts, photography and woodworking are forming works of art and instructing others.

Individual expression can be found in chocolate confections, baking and preserves made from fresh local fruits and vegetables. Crafts people, using skills that are part of the Town's heritage, do quilting, embroidery and needle point for sale and pleasure.

Canaan values education at all ages of life.

Mascoma High School
aerial view of Cardigan Mountain School

From preschool and day care programs, students progress through public and private elementary education and secondary education. In addition, there exists a supportive home school community. Learning is a lifelong experience for employment advancement and personal growth. Career development is encouraged in high school vocational programs, community college and post secondary vocational schools. A variety of independent adult learning opportunities exist from building better business skills seminars to meditation and painting classes.

Canaan Economic Development Goals

Goal 1:
Strengthen what we have

  • Get more customers
  • Advertising, Hours, Word of Mouth, Reputation
  • Learn from each other & people who have done it
  • Shared services
  • Increased efficiency
  • Lower costs = utilities, taxes, health, workers compensation
  • Better communications and advertising
  • Higher wages/greater profit
  • Capital for expansion - Other town resources

village traffic

Goal 2
Increase the volume of commercial activity

  • Increase traffic of visitors to Canaan - Organize events that draw outsiders into Canaan - Website
  • Increase business from people who sleep here but work elsewhere
  • Identify what people want from their "Village"
  • Develop way to market goods and services from rural parts of Canaan in the Village
  • Village retail for rural products, activities in rural areas
  • Develop new commercial venues in Canaan – fill existing venues
  • Village cellular & broadband

Goal 3:
Increase light industry

  • Employ people with mechanical and physical skills
  • Develop sites for light industry
  • Land, water, sewer, permitting, fire protection, electricity, roads, buildings, training, transport
  • Fund development – directly or indirectly
  • Manage taxes during start-ups
  • Recruit light industry
  • Secure funding for local or regional light industry
  • Closed loop contracting

route 4 east

Goal 4:
Increase service trades

  • Create real-world training programs for adults and youth
  • Shared support services – telephone, scheduling, advertising, shop areas, acceptance of deliveries, bookkeeping, estimates, package bids etc.
  • One-Stop shopping for plumbing, electrical, carpentry, heating etc.
  • Employ people with mechanical and physical skills
  • Coop education

downtown lamp post

Goal 5:
Coordinate Activity

  • Knowing what's being planned means you can make better decisions and adjust your plans
  • Working together to solve problems that are common to many businesses means stronger solutions
  • Learning is easier if you are communicating together
  • Coordination of events means more businesses take advantage of an influx of potential customers
  • One person may have just what another needs
  • Maximize usefulness of limited resources
  • Coordination means we are more likely to avoid unintended consequences

Village Green

Goal 6:
Develop people in Canaan

  • Improve training opportunities
  • Partner with community college, VOTECH center, High School and businesses
  • Create real-world training programs for adults and youth
  • Motivate youth and adults to learn – Kids see the need for life long learning, why learning is important, why math and read is important, and how it is used. Adults who want to learn new skills are an inspiration to kids and build pride for adults.
  • Higher wages and increased profits improve the local standard of living and fuel new purchases
  • Training and employing people with mechanical and physical skills allows people to contribute to their greatest ability
  • Coop education supports students and businesses

Goal 7:

  • All human endeavor flows from someone wanting to do something
  • Most great ideas have resulted from a need and the use of imagination to meet the need
  • Many insoluble problems have been solved by peeling the onion to find out why the problem exists and the real core issues – keep asking why
  • The lack of resources can often be overcome by finding a different way to do things
  • All boats rise with a rising tide – well compensated employees spend money that drives business that hires employees
  • Believing means you are still trying – Despair means no belief in a better future

Community Commercial Needs Identified in 2014
(Green means it was being discussed or implimented in 2016)

  • Grocery/Coop

  • Pharmacy/Health Center/Dentist

  • Fitness Center

  • Convenience/Dollar General

  • Liquor Store

  • Up-scale Restaurant & Tavern

  • Up-scale coffee shop/Deli Sandwiches/Ice Cream

  • Laundromat

  • Artisans Retail Outlet

  • Bed & Breakfast

  • Sporting Goods

Working Together Toward a Better Future!

The town hosted a series of Round Table Talks to inspire and organize economic development in the areas of: commerce, recreation, agriculture, non-profit/government, education, and industry. Canaan continues to work with all interested parties to create a stronger more vibrant commercial community.

The Seven Goals of Economic Development in Canaan

  • Strengthen what we have
  • Increase commercial activity
  • Increase light industry
  • Increase service trades
  • Coordinate activity
  • Develop people in Canaan - Improve training opportunities, motivate youth and adults to learn, improve standard of living, increase wages and provide full employment for all who are willing
  • Believe

Be sure to click on the "Growth" Tab at the top to see what is on tap for the next meeting!