Portland Buy Local keeps Maine’s largest city thinking small. A growing buy local group with more than 450 members, Portland Buy Local leverages national and community-based campaigns to spread the word about small businesses in and around the city. While promoting these small brick-and-mortars to the public, the group also works to recognize them for the big jobs they do for the community.
Launched in 2006, Portland Buy Local is a campaign of the Portland Independent Business and Community Alliance, a local affiliate of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA). The campaign began as a project of about 20 local business owners and citizens. From there, it has grown into a year-round program to host events, spread news, and leverage resources that promote and benefit Portland’s local and independent businesses.
What sets Portland Buy Local apart from other buy local programs of its kind is the emphasis that the group places on recognizing and celebrating the businesses it represents. Each year, Portland Buy Local gives out its Indie Biz Awards, which celebrate and reward local businesses, and groups, for the unique ways that they contribute to the local community. Portland Buy Local also gives out awards like Portland’s Best Kept Secret, Environmental Hero and Best New Business. Local residents vote on the winners, and everyone comes together for a night of local food and drink to announce top recipients.
Earlier in May, Portland Buy Local recognized local business owners once again with an event called Downtown Worker Appreciation Day. Organized by Portland’s Downtown District, Downtown Worker Appreciation Day celebrates the hardworking men and women of Portland’s small businesses. Many of Portland Buy Local’s members participated, offering goodies and giveaways to local small business employees throughout the day.
Portland Buy Local works to educate the public about the benefits of small businesses – and to reward the small business owners and workers themselves for those benefits that they bring. For more information about this buy local group, visit www.portlandbuylocal.org.
Independent We Stand is dedicated to helping independent businesses across the country engage their communities and encouraging customers to buy local. If you’re a business owner, get buy local resources, tips and news by registering at www.independentwestand.org/membership/. Your business will also be included in our ‘locals only’ search engine and mobile app. If you’re a consumer, take the pledge to buy local and find local businesses in your community at www.independentwestand.org/take-a-stand/join-the-movement/.