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Community Profile

COMMUNITY profile

Saco is an extraordinary place to build a business, raise a family, enjoy nature, and realize your dreams. From establishing a new business, to fostering the growth and expansion of your current business, to helping an existing business thrive – Saco has the people, land, space, and tools to help you on your journey to success. Saco is ideally located at the mouth of the Saco River in southern Maine along the Atlantic Ocean – less than 20 minutes south of Downtown Portland, and less than two hours north of Boston, Massachusetts. Saco is a best-in-class community featuring a picturesque and vibrant downtown, a revitalized and repurposed Mill District, and a thriving economy. Saco is friendly by nature offering a wide range of programs and initiatives that make it business-friendly, family-friendly, age-friendly, and recreation-friendly.

BUSINESS-FRIENDLY
Known as a business-friendly community offering financial incentives as well as the opportunity for the highest quality of life for employees, Saco’s workability and livability is possible thanks to its proximity to Interstate 95, US Route 1, and its destination stop along the Amtrak Downeaster passenger rail and the Pan Am freight rail. Local travel options include ShuttleBus-Zoom and Uber. Available commercial space includes the revitalized mills on Saco Island, lots in the Industrial Park and Mill Brook Business Park, and an abundance of privately-owned developable land. Additional municipally developed lots and infrastructure are in the works for expanded opportunities. Saco has the only Federal and State Opportunity Zone in York County – a great benefit for businesses seeking new locations. The city’s new and amended Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts are designed to optimize available land and opportunities for credit enhancement agreements (CEAs). The city has begun a comprehensive Zoning Ordinance update to improve efficiency of the development process by reviewing conditional and permitted uses, as well as reducing the number of zoning districts, to improve navigation through the review, permitting, and approval process. Due to Saco’s land availability, financial toolkit, and city staff responsiveness, more businesses are flocking to Saco. In just a year, new businesses opening their doors or in the pipeline include Ready Seafood, Convenient MD, Hancock Lumber, Precision Manufacturing, Ashley Lauren Designs, Cunningham Prosthetic Care and Athletix. The city developed Credit Enhancement Agreements with Ready Seafood, which expects to bring 200 jobs, and with Precision Manufacturing, which is expected to bring over 70, and more are in the works. We’ve established numerous initiatives to streamline processes that will help you establish or grow your business here.

PEOPLE-FRIENDLY
Saco is family-friendly with its strong public-school system for pre-K through 8, and Thornton Academy middle and high school. Saco residents may attend Thornton Academy High School, a world-class private school, which also attracts boarding students from around the globe. Saco is age-friendly, with a focus on recreational programming for community members of all ages. The city is recognized as an AARP age-friendly community, and partners with Age Friendly Saco, which help our older residents age in place by identifying and filling gaps in services and programming. Saco is recreation-friendly, with beautiful beaches, a picturesque and walkable downtown, vast recreational opportunities, and fun community events.

FRIENDLYNESS INTO THE FUTURE
The city has optimized its processes and website to make them user-friendly, allowing customers to get the information they need immediately, without jumping the hurdles they might face in other communities. Experience the momentum in Saco – a city of energy, imagination, and innovation!