PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine officials have stopped accepting applications for their business-friendly community program and say they are searching for feedback on how to adjust.

The Portland Press Herald reports applications have slowed since the Certified Business-Friendly Community program launched five years ago. The first year saw 35 communities applying for a blue "open for business sign," which meant they had policies and regulations that helped growth.

There were no applicants for 2017.

A spokesman for the Department of Economic and Community Development says they are looking for ways to improve the program. He hopes the department will start accepting new applications in 2018.

So far, 57 towns and cities have applied for the business-friendly certification.

The department is taking suggestions until Sept. 30.