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Survey shows divided support for Portland minimum wage initiatives

Highlights, In the Media, News, News & Events  

Many members of Buy Local who responded to the questionnaire back a $10.10 wage, but oppose a $15-an-hour minimum.

The majority of Portland’s independent business owners surveyed support the city’s new minimum wage ordinance, which increases the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, but most oppose a city referendum that would boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour, according to the results of a questionnaire sent out by Portland Buy Local.

According to the online survey, 66 percent of respondents support the city’s minimum wage ordinance and 24 percent oppose it.

Sixty-three percent of respondents oppose the proposal to increase the minimum wage in Portland to $15 an hour, and 28 percent support it.

Ellen Kanner, co-owner of Dobra Tea on Exchange Street, said a $15 an hour minimum wage may work in affluent cities like San Fransisco but won’t work in Maine because the middle class here can’t afford it.

“Unless we are going to bump up everybody’s pay, the middle class will be paying for this,” she said of the proposed $15 an hour minimum wage. “The people on the lower end with no skill will get big raises – double what they make now – and we are not going to get that.”

She said her employees start off at $8 an hour but eventually can make between $12 and $15 an hour including tips.

Debra Tenenbaum, a board member of Portland Buy Local, said the survey shows that many business owners support giving workers a fair wage but there’s a limit to how much they can afford to pay them.

“There is only a certain level that business owners can pay their employees before they have problems staying in business,” said Tenebaum, who owns Front Porch Public Relations.

Portland Buy Local emailed the survey last week to about 350 members who own businesses, and 105 members responded.

None said they pay $7.50 an hour, the state minimum wage, and only three said they pay employees less than $9 an hour.

More than half of the respondents pay their employees between $9 and $15 an hour.

The new Portland minimum wage goes into effect on Jan. 1.

The wage will rise to $10.68 an hour in 2017, and starting in 2018 it will increase on July 1 at the same rate as the Consumer Price Index, which accounts for inflation.

A referendum on the November ballot would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by Jan. 1, 2017, for any business with 500 or more employees, and by July 1, 2019, for smaller businesses.


To view the article, visit the Portland Press Herald’s Website

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Portland Press Herald Editorial: Maine Voices

Highlights, In the Media, News, News & Events  

Wealth of vibrant independent businesses enriches all of Portland  

By Kristen Smith

We’ve all read the “best of” lists and the accolades and recommendations that put Portland on the map for the rest of the country. But have we ever stopped and thought about exactly why Portland is such a beloved destination and place to live? Or, to put it more broadly, what makes any of us like any particular city?

The answer lies in the independent businesses. Think about the last city you enjoyed visiting. What made that place stand out for you? What made it interesting? What made it better than Anytown, USA? Chances are, somewhere in your answer would be the local, independent businesses.

Read more.


2014 Portland Buy Local Holiday Gift Guide!

Highlights, Uncategorized  

Portland Buy Local Gift Ideas – This year we reached out to our members to ask them for the best local gift ideas for the 2014 holiday season. You’ll see that we’ve got pretty much everyone on your list covered!

shermansShellware Ornaments – starting at $16
Maine Shellware promotes an environmentally conscious way of thinking by supporting Maine’s ecosystem, utilizing reclaimed lobster, mussel and clam shells to make a variety of products. In addition to these beautiful Christmas ornaments ($16 – $18), they produce shellware coffee mugs, lamps, cutting boards, serving trays, and much more – all of which we carry at Sherman’s.

Sherman’s Books
49 Exchange Street

green cleanGreen Cleaning Package – starting at $160
Get the busy person in your life an introductory cleaning package by Green Clean Maine –with a restorative deep cleaning of kitchen and a half bath. Or, thank your holiday dinner host with a great kitchen deluxe package which includes a full restorative deep cleaning of kitchen and half bath including chemical-free deep cleaning inside the fridge and oven. Or, get the essentials package of kitchen and full bath. Get a deep green cleaning of 6, 8, or 10 rooms. There are many other packages available. Contact Maine Green Clean today!

Green Clean Maine
179 Sheridan Street, Ste. 200

auroraGift Basket from Aurora Provisions – Starting at $25
These gift baskets, which feature local beers, wines, cheeses, and many other sundries are made to order.  They make a perfect gift for any occasion, and are entirely customizable.

Aurora Provisions
64 Pine Street



Maine Tote Bag by Pinecone+Chickadee – $20
Two color design on a natural tote bag. 100% cotton. Printed by hand in Portland, Maine with earth friendly inks.

6 Free Street

studio 72Manduka PROlite mats – As low as $58
These mats are available in a variety of inspiring colors, with a lifetime guarantee. Use it with a 3-class, 10-class, or Unlimited pass, which are always available, or a Gift Certificate that can be used for yoga, bodywork, or other practice items. Come experience personalized, supportive classes this season. Everyone welcome!
Studio 72 yoga
72 India Street

lolaPhoto art on canvas – starting at $100
This beautiful, surreal photo art of a house in Searsport is available on canvas in a variety of sizes starting at 16×20 or 24×36. The image is also available in 5×7 greeting cards.

Lola Studios

newenglanddistillingIngenium Gin and Eight Bells Rum – $39.99 each

Ingenium Gin and Eight Bells Rum are brewed, distilled, and bottled by New England Distilling, right here in Portland’s Riverside neighborhood.  Come out to the distillery and taste the difference. Also available in your favorite liquor stores.

New England Distilling, LLC
26 Evergreen Drive, Unit B
(207) 878-9759


port city flooringPatriots Rug $99
Perfect for the Patriots Fan in your life. Everyone needs to watch the Pats in a room with this 3’1″ X 5’4″ rug.

Port City Flooring
277 Marginal Way


flowfoldFlowfold Vanguard Billfold wallet $24

Originally based on Peaks Island, Flowfold makes carrying gear using reclaimed sailcloth (manufacturer’s scraps of boat sail). This fabric is among the thinnest, lightest, and strongest in existence due to core inner fibers like Carbon and Kevlar. Our signature Vanguard wallet is slim as two credit cards, light as three sheets of printer paper, but stronger than steel. It floats even full of cash and cards, and comes with a lifetime warranty. The Vanguard includes a cash pocket, two hidden card pockets and two ID windows. This wallet is a perfect, trail tested gift for guys!

1 (207) 200-8080


portlandcoopPortland Food Co-op Membership$100
Every person who invests in the Portland Food Co-op by becoming a member-owner will get a free Portland Food Co-op canvas bag, made from organic cotton, and screenprinted in Portland. Member-owners also get special in-store benefits, and help our community-owned grocery store grow and thrive. Member-ownerships also make great gifts! You can buy one in our storefront.

Portland Food Co-Op
290 Congress Street


wholeheartHoliday Gift Certificates for Yoga Classes & Workshops at WholeHeart Yoga Center – Any amount

Give the gift of a healthy mind and body. They are available in any amount and ready at any time.
WholeHeart Yoga
150 St. John St.



rogueThe Campobello Clutch from Rogue Industries – $48.00

Perfect for your next outing, whether it’s to the farmer’s market or the ski mountains. Our Campobello Clutch is made of luxuriously soft Napa leather and is large enough to hold all the essentials, but is still lightweight.  Best of all, it’s built with RFID shielding technology, to protect your credit cards from unwanted access. Available in six colors.
Rogue Industries


blissCashmere & Silk Scarf by Chan Luu – $172

This scarf is an easy way to introduce color to your wardrobe or add an extra layer to your look. Just don’t be surprised when you want to wear it everyday (and everywhere!).  Available is over 50 colors from classic black to biking red, you’ll be sure to find your match.

Bliss Boutiques
58 Exchange Street


mainepottersDip Dishes – $24

These are dip dishes by Nancy Button of Warren, Maine that make great hostess gifts or Holiday presents.

Maine  b>Potters Market
376 Fore St.


tanoramaSunless Spray Tan – $17.99 

Gift certificates are available so it can be for a gift or for the person buying it to look good for holiday parties.

287 Marginal Way


yetiHand blown glass Bigfoot or Yeti holiday ornament – $10.00

The International Cryptozoology Museum has so many unique items that could be a great gift this Holiday season.

The International Cryptozoology Museum
11 Avon Street



cbfSpecialty Framing

Framing does not have to be for pictures. Surprise someone this holiday season by letting us help you create a custom shadowbox using your unique objects. Pictured are shadowboxes in production for Sea Bags using vintage sailing hardware.

Casco Bay Frames and Gallery
295 Forest Ave


maine historicalTrinkets and more! Starting at $8.95

Visit the Maine Historical Society Museum Store this holiday season for a unique selection of books and gifts – like these game board coasters and #read mugs!


Maine Historical Society Museum
489 Congress St.


aristelleLingerie  – price varies

Aristelle Fine Lingerie & Bra Fitting has an amazing selection of sleepwear, loungewear & intimate apparel- a perfect gift for that special someone. Treat your loved one to a luxurious silk chemise, cozy cashmere robe, or pick up a gift card this holiday season!

92 Exchange St.


whitecap grilleDinner for 2 Gift Certificate
They are located in the heart of the Old Port and use our local resources to the fullest. White Cap is an American Grille, focused on locally sourced seafood & produce, direct from Portland’s bountiful ships & farms.

White Cap Grille
164 Middle & Market


madeinmaine Lobster Pull Toy $35
This little guy will click clack his claws right into your heart. This is the perfect gift for our littler loved ones who will one day want to pass it down to their little ones.

Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine
35 Exchange Street


pattisHandmade Table Runners – starting at $40

Perfect for your holiday table! Buy one for yourself & another for that special someone! We offer several table runners in different sizes & colors. Or maybe you need a warm, cozy flannel quilt to snuggle up in! We have just what you are looking for!
Patti’s Machine Quilting & Gallery
570 Brighton Ave (at Rosemont Corner)


dobraSelection of Fine Teas

We’ll have gift baskets and gift certificates for tea lovers, along with brewing supplies and loose tea. If you haven’t had the blooming flavor of an oolong, the sweetness of a green, or the richness of a pu-er, it’s time to step away from the bag and try real tea.

Dobra Tea
89 Exchange Street


lerouixOil and Vinegar Gift Set – $38.99

We’ve culled four customer favorites from our extensive vinegar and oil tasting bar to offer in a convenient gift set. Wrapped, tied with a ribbon and ready to go, the “Favorites” include our Traditional 18 Year Balsamic, Summer Peach White Balsamic, Lemon Infused and Tuscan Herb Ultra Premium Olive Oils.  The perfect gift for the cook or food lover on your list.

LeRoux Kitchen
161 Commercial St.


tentenHoliday Sweets and Treats 

Ten Ten Pié offers large holiday pastries including Chocolate-Caramel Pecan Tarts, Apple Galletes, and Kale Feta Savory Galettes. Accepting a limited number of orders. Order soon.  Gift Certificates available for all your favorite people.

Ten Ten Pié
171 Cumberland Ave


buoy localBuoy Local card – Any price
The Buoy Local gift card is accepted at nearly 100 independent businesses in and around Portland. Perfect for family, for friends, for teachers, and kids… but most of all, For Portland. Learn more about Buoy Local and our gift card at

Buoy Local
P.O. Box 17731


planet dogPlanet Dog Toys and Treats!

Planet Dog offers the sweetest holiday treats for everyone on the list, naughty OR nice. Visit us at 211 Marginal Way for seasonal toys, treats, gifts, beds, and apparel for your 4-legged friends and receive some holly-jolly service while you’re there. Celebrate the season with Planet Dog!

Planet Dog
211 Marginal Way


karmaBe The Change necklace – $20
Made from recycled glass, this adjustable necklace features a large round, flat glass bead with a brass rim and a brass charm has the words “Be The Change” etched into it. Fair Trade Kenya Through the end of the year:  mention Portland Buy Local and receive 15% off your purchase. Every purchase at Karma Fair Trade helps to end severe poverty!

Karma Fair Trade
570 Brighton Ave/Rosemont Corner


brewing spply Brew Local Kits – $50-60
Now you can brew like a true local! Maine Brewing Supply has collaborated with several professional breweries in the greater Portland area, including Bissell Brothers & Funky Bow, to bring you clone recipes of beers available from their breweries. Kits are available in extract, partial mash and all grain options so that all brewers can partake in Brewing Local. While you’ll be brewing like a pro with these kits, you’ll also be doing some good to the community as well. Maine Brewing Supply is donating a percentage of the proceeds to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. This gift pairs well with our Learn to Brew Equipment Kit which provides everything you need to get started – at just $79.99. CHEERS!
Maine Brewing Supply
542 Forest Ave


lilaGive the gift of yoga!  
$20 off the 10 Class Pass and/or $30 off one-month
Unlimited Pass—Gift Certificates available!


Lila East End Yoga
251 Congress Street


portmanteauCanvas Cross Body Flat Packs – $39.50
These great packs feature the map of the Portland peninsular. Made right here on Wharf Street! Printed in Portland!


3 Wharf Street


deansTruffle Chocolates              

Buy Local holiday shoppers! Please find us in our NEW location – 475 Fore Street – for our “Maine Mix,” featuring local favorites – Maine blueberry, maple, needham, and our famous sea salt caramels. Happy Holidays to all from

Dean’s Sweets!
Dean’s Sweets
475 Fore Street


craftdistillingQueequeg Spiced Rum – $29.99
Agonizing over what to bring to the next holiday gathering? Queequeg Spiced Rum from Maine Craft Distilling adds holiday cheer to any celebration. It’s perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail, an after dinner sip or eggnog. Queequeg (750ml, 90 proof) is available at Maine Craft Distilling 101 Fox Street Portland or at your local liquor store. Curl up by the fire with a Queequeg cocktail on a stormy day and enjoy.


Maine Craft Distilling
101 Fox Street
207 .798 .2528


bayclub5 class pass for $40     

Bay Club has a full gym, 3 Group Fitness Studios including; Studio Cycle & Spinning, Les Mills Body Pump, Boot Camp, Tabata Cross and more.  Our Studio Zen offers Yoga, Pilates, Barre and PiYo. All memberships include classes, steam room, sauna and 2 hours free parking.

Bay Club
1 City Center


cascobayorganicsCasco Bay Organics Box – starting at $34.00
Give the gift of healthy eating this holiday season! Casco Bay Organics offers weekly or bi-monthly delivery of organic produce right to your door! With subscriptions starting at just $34.00 you can give a healthy, local gift to your friends and family! Happy Holidays and Happy Eating!

Casco Bay Organics


unnamed“New to you” cross country ski packages starting at $20
The Portland Gear Hub is an outdoor gear and bike shop powered by Camp Ketcha and the Community Bike Center located in the Portland YMCA. We sell used and refurbished outdoor gear and bikes to support the community and youth development programs at Camp Ketcha and the CBC.

The Portland Gear Hub


unnamed2Shawls: $150. (merino wool), $175. (merino cashmere blend)

Our capes and shawls are made of 100% merino wool. With a melton plush finish, this wool is exceptionally soft and the warmest wool you will ever wear. Our capes and shawls can be worn from mid-autumn till early spring. A perfect gift for any time of year!

Old Port Wool and Textile Co.


SunsetCapeNeddickRiver12x12_web“Foggy Sunset on Cape Neddick River”, archival ink on canvas

Join Buy Local member Ann Tracy at her open studio event at Running with Scissors, 250 Anderson St, on Saturday, December 13th from noon to 6 pm. Tracy is offering a free print with the sale of any already framed or ready to hang art. Mention Buy Local and get 10% off. All credit cards accepted via Square.

Running with Scissors Artist Ann Tracy

archipelago ornamentArchipelago Ornament – $80
The holidays are the perfect time for families to gather and relive the memories their most cherished coordinates.  Our double-sided Archipelago Ornament is the perfect gift to accomplish this!  Displaying your personalized map imagery on the front and custom message on the back, it creates a keepsake of your most treasured territories with an added dedication that will be enjoyed year after year.  The ornament’s back, with three areas of text allowing for up to 30 characters each, provides ample space to inscribe a latitude and longitude, congratulatory or holiday message, your family’s name, name of location or event or date, just to suggest a few.  It is 2” in diameter, finished with ribbon and packaged with a protective suede storage pouch.

CHART Metalworks
1 Pleasant Street, Ste. 2E

Portland Trails Family Membership – $35 (normally $50)

This Family Membership includes Portland Trails Map and decal, one year subscription to the Portland Trails quarterly newsletter, and an invitation to all Portland Trails events! Membership is valid until February 2016.




2015 SunriseGuide – Print & Mobile – $20-$29.95
The SunriseGuide is Maine’s guide to healthy and sustainable living. With hundreds of coupons from greater Portland’s favorite local-owned businesses, plus healthy and sustainable lifestyle tips, the SunriseGuide is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Now available in print and in mobile at fine retailers throughout greater Portland as well as online at



 wineryCranberry Apple Sparkling Wine – $17
Made by Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery from Maine grown fruit – perfect for any celebration. The Apples from small mid-coast orchards, cranberries from a small independent farm in Columbia Falls Maine.

Sweetgrass Old Port Tasting Room and Shop
324 Fore Street ~ 207-761-8446
Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery



Gift Certificate to Local Spouts – You name the Price
The Local Sprouts Cooperative gift card is your ticket to incredible local and organic Maine foods, fair trade teas, locally roasted coffees, wonderful baked-in-house muffins, cookies, and granola bars, and way more—all served to you in a lovely community cafe.

Local Sprouts Cooperative
649 Congress Street ~ 207-899-3529



Bamboo Cutlery Pouch Travel. $20.00

Available on Etsy and at the merchant co on congress street.
Be done with cheap, disposable plastic flatware!  Carry your own bamboo cutlery with you so you are always ready!  This listing is for a fabric pouch and a set of bamboo cutlery: knife, fork and spoon.  The cutlery set is high quality made by Totally Bamboo and is meant to be used over and over again, with hand washing.  The pouch measures approximately 3″X 9″ and closes with a Velcro tab, making it easy for anyone, young or old, to open and close it.

Anne Riggs Designs


Gift-Packs-MODIFIED-2014Sebago Brewing Company Gift Pack – $45.00

This year’s Sebago Holiday Gift Packs include Barleywine, Royal Tar Imperial Stout, two custom snifters and a $15 Sebago Gift Card. Featuring two very big beers, this is the perfect gift to warm up anyone’s winter.  $45 and available exclusively at Sebago brewpubs

Sebago Brewing Company


unnamedMaine Foodie Tours, Gift Certificates

Join us for a taste of the town on the Old Port Culinary Walking Tour and save 10% with promo code: “buy local”. Tours are offered weekends year-round and 7 days/week June-October. Tours are offered 10:30-1:00 and visit 7 locally owned establishments for tasty treats and beverages while sharing the culinary history and award-winning culinary scene. Now in it’s sixth season with multiple Trip Advisor Awards for Excellence, and always limited in size to guarantee a highly interactive and tasty experience!  Visit:  (Gift certificates are great for your foodie friends and may be redeemed any time and in any location.)

Maine Foodie Tours


Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 3.25.37 PMAquarius Ballroom Dance Studios, Gift Certificates are now available

Give the gift of dance to a friend or loved one this holiday season. Dance is the perfect way to improve your mind, body and spirit. Our gift certificates are available for the holiday season and can be purchased at any time throughout the year. We also offer private lessons, group lessons and special package deals for wedding couples, wedding parties, prom and more. Please contact us for additional information. Our staff will work with you to help get you what you need.

Aquarius Ballroom Dance Studios (locations include: Portland, Lewiston, Brunswick, Augusta and Harrison)
Please contact us at:



buylocallogoPortland Buy Local Individual Membership – $25
Of course we’d be remiss not to add that an individual membership to Portland Buy Local makes an excellent gift. Not only do members receive discounts at local businesses and get into all Portland Buy Local events for free, but they also get the warm and fuzzy feeling of being a part of a larger network of local people dedicated to keeping Portland the independent, unique, and fabulous place it is.

Portland Buy Local –


Portland Buy Local Voter’s Guide 2014

Highlights, Member Updates, News  

Since Maine is a state built almost primarily on small businesses, Portland Buy Local members are very interested in the candidates’ opinions about locally owned and independent businesses and their future. We invited all the Maine gubernatorial candidates and Portland City Council candidate to share their views with us. Click on each link to see where the candidates stand on many of the issues important to our members!*

Governor’s Race:

Governor Paul LePage

Mike Michaud

Eliot Cutler

Portland City Council Races:

David Brenerman – District 5

Justin Costa – District 4

Rosemary (Rose) Mahoney – District 4

Ray Ruby – District 4

We’ll post any additional responses as they come in.

IndieBiz Awards are Wednesday 10/22! Check out these Live Auction items!

Events, Highlights, Member Events, Member Updates, News & Events  

INDIE BIZ AWARDS @ Space Gallery

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 22, 6pm

Live & Silent Auctions to Benefit Portland Buy Local

We’re so excited to be hosting the IndieBiz Awards on Wednesday, October 22 at SPACE Gallery! Don’t miss the following spectacular items in our live auction, donated by our incredible MEMBERS:

And now for our incredible live auction packages! Read on…

Continue reading “IndieBiz Awards are Wednesday 10/22! Check out these Live Auction items!” »


Thank you sustaining members!

Aikido of Maine   /   Andrew and Debra Tenenbaum   /   angela adams   /   AQUARIUS BALLROOM DANCE STUDIOS   /   BENCHMARK Residential & Investment Real Estate   /   The Brand Company   /   Brianna Courneya   /   Bull Feeney's   /   Casco Bay EyeCare   /   Casco Bay Frames & Gallery   /   Coffee By Design   /   CornerStone Building & Restoration   /   The Fish & Bone   /   Goodwill Industries of Northern New England   /   Green Clean Maine   /   Joan Leitzer   /   John McVeigh   /   Longfellow Books   /   Marsh Agency   /   Nine Stones   /   Nomads   /   OTTO   /   Peter Metsch   /   Planet Dog Foundation   /   Old Port Magazine   /   Port Property Management   /   Portland’s Downtown District   /   Portland Farmers’ Market   /   Sebago Brewing Company   /   The Great Lost Bear   /   The SunriseGuide   /   TruChoice FCU   /   Tsunami Tattoo   /   University Credit Union   /   Vervacious   /   XPress Copy

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