In early 2005, after about twenty years in the accounting profession, we both began to feel the need for a change. One day we got the idea that Westbrook, Maine needed a burrito shop. Next thing you know, it was opening day. (Not really. Six months had elapsed that included getting majorly stung by a dishonest contractor.) Starting a restaurant from the ground-up was a tremendous undertaking, but we were able to succeed by working hard, watching the numbers, and seeking good advice when we needed it. And of course we could never have done it without supportive friends, family and staff members.  Being small business owners taught us the challenges of competing with bigger operations. We developed a passion for local business that remains with us today.


Jim Belanger

Running a business is liberating and rewarding but it comes with a price:  hard work and long hours.  But, I’d pay that price over and over again to have the feeling I get from working with Maine businesses and people.  


Tom Gangewer

Upon graduating from college, I opted for a cost accounting position at a local computer keyboard manufacturing company. It was a good decision and a great introduction to the field of manufacturing accounting.

Since then, I've held accounting management positions in several industries, specializing in financial reporting and analysis, job & process costing, budgeting & forecasting, system design & implementation, tax reporting, payroll administration, and more. My experience at larger companies allows me to help local business owners forecast and understand their financial results, improving their chances for success.  Keeping consumer dollars in Maine is important to me, and I like to think that my work contributes to that goal.

In 2011 I became an Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Service.  The EA designation allows me to represent clients before the Service.



Through more than 20 years in a variety of service and leadership roles, I’ve developed a passion for promoting the growth and success of independent businesses.  I’m thrilled to bring my combination of experience and passion to Local Economy, as the Vice President of Payroll Operations and Marketing. 

As with most Maine business owners, we are both fiercely independent and supportive of our community, and I take great pride in providing Maine companies with a local option for payroll services. 

Outside of work I am mostly likely bowling at Bayside Bowl, watching live music somewhere around town, or checking out one of Portland’s newest breweries or oldest dive bars.


Prince Leo

Leo is our office manager. He's a busy little bulldog ready to greet every visitor with enthusiasm — except maybe the mailman. Something about uniforms...

When not napping, Leo spends his days in the park, finding sticks to chew and seeking other dogs for lasting friendships. Undoubtedly the hardest working team member at Local Economy, Leo does the heavy hitting around here. We definitely try to stay on his good side.