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2016 Indie Biz Awards

In the Media, News & Events  

Join us at the 9th annual Indie Biz Awards on Thursday, October 6 at the Portland House of Music and Events, located at 25 Temple Street and celebrate Portland’s vibrant independent businesses and community organizations! This free event will boast a silent & live auction featuring treasures from Portland’s independent businesses, as well as local food and brews.

Hosted by Erin Ovalle, with live music by Saved and Sound, this free event will boast a live and silent auction featuring treasures from Portland’s independent businesses. Local brews will be on tap, and delicious food will generously be provided by: OTTO, Arabica Coffee Company, Aurora ProvisionsCabot Farmers Annex, Kamasouptra, Dean’s Sweets, Rosemont Market & BakeryK HortonPortland Food Co-op, Standard Baking Co., Tandem Coffee Roasters, and My 3 Sisters Italian Cookies

Thanks to the following businesses for donating unique gems to our silent and live auctions: Aikido of Maine, Allagash Brewing Co., American Roots, Anchorpak, Ann Tracy Photography & Fine Art, Aristelle, Bard Coffee, Bay Club Fitness, Bee Well Massage, Bowline Co.Caravan Beads, Circus Maine, CrossFit Beacon, David Wood, Dobra Tea, El Corazon Food Truck, Etain Boutique, Figgy’s Takeout & Catering, Fish & Bone, Flowfold, GreenLight Studio, Gritty McDuff’s Brew Pub, Guitar Grave, Home Remedies, Land of Treasure, LeRoux Kitchen, Letterpress Books, Lila East End Yoga, Longfellow Books, Love Kupcakes, Maine Beer Tours, Maine Bodyworks, Maine Foodie Tours, Maine Music and Health, Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum, Maine Yoga Kids, METRO- Greater Portland Transit, Miyake Restaurant, Mosher Law, Nomads, One Longfellow Square, Patti’s Machine Quilting & Gallery, Portland Conservatory of Music, Portland Flea-for-All, Portland Museum of Art, Portland Paddle, Portland Schooner Co., Portmanteau, Rick’s Lobby Cafe, Rising Tide Brewing Company, Shift Portland, Sip of Europe, Sonny’s/ Local 188/ Salvage Bbq, SPACE Gallery, Spiral Tree Yoga and Wellness Studio, Stinson & Company, Summer Feet Cycling, The Dog Wash, Etc., The Dominic White Portrait Drawing Studio, The Holy Donut, The Honey Exchange, The SunriseGuide, Think Tank Coworking, Tim McLain Massage, Treehouse Cafe, Vena’s Fizz House, Z Fabrics, & Zootility Tools.  

Our Facebook event is a great way to RSVP and share the local love!

Congratulations to our 2016 Nominees!

Best New Business

American Roots

Shift Portland

Maine Baycycle


Sister’s Gourmet Deli

Better Together


Portland Food Co-op

Birth Roots

Portland Farmers’ Market

Portland Greendrinks

Business to Business


Xpress Copy

Local Economy

The People’s Geek

Knack Factory

Creative Crusader

SPACE Gallery

Maine College of Art

One Longfellow Square

Creative Portland

CSArt Maine

 Environmental Hero

Green Clean Maine

Revision Energy

SideWalk Buttler

East Brown Cow Management

Garbage to Garden

Portland Flea-for-All

Flavor of Portland

Aurora Provisions

Local Sprouts Cooperative

Casco Bay Organics


Woodford Food & Beverage

Made in Portland

Bowline Co.


Zootility Tools


Wolfe Editions

Out of Sight, Not out of Mind

Maine Beer Tours

Murphy Empire

Pickwick Independent Press

Wild Carrot Herbs

World Tree Spa

Portland Icon

Bayside Bowl

Gritty McDuff’s

Portland Trails

The Holy Donut


Portland’s Best Kept Secret

Stinson & Company



Thanh Thanh2

Treehouse Cafe

Thank you to our 2016 Indie Biz sponsors:
      Coffee By Design  LE_Logo_Payroll (1)-2 bayside BF2014LogoBigBoxBevelCreamNoBevel.   MEH LogoRedVertical_FINAL_WEB-01   logo_2_vectorized no bgd  GINNE_NEW_HiRes  IP-LOGO-LARGE  137_vitalius_logo_large   CBFG-logo-square-cmyk   ls  PHOMicon

 bw_bee   GreenCleanMaine_Logo_CMYK (1)   static1.squarespace     bollard2  logo.png.pagespeed.ce.z9FNmn0Ys3

Tsunami Tattoo  ColorLogoVector (1)  facebook_1470431085163  Print  LOGOCOLORPhotoMarketJPG (1)   BeaconLogoWebLtBack2  businesscard WellnessConnectionWeb   k_colettelogo


2016 Portland Independent Business and Community Alliance – Portland Buy Local Annual Meeting Report

Articles, In the Media, News, News & Events, Organizational Documents  


The Portland Buy Local campaign was launched in July 2006 by Portland business owners and citizens hoping to counteract the rising influence of national chains through collective marketing and education. After receiving an enthusiastic response from both businesses and residents, the initial working group incorporated the Portland Independent Business and Community Alliance (PIBCA) in September 2006 and formed the organization’s first Board of Directors and Advisory Board.

In its ten-year history, PIBCA has welcomed more than 750 business members, with a current annual average of 400 members. Members proudly utilize free Portland Buy Local window decals, posters, and countertop thank-you cards, while supporters wear t-shirts, display bumper stickers, and carry canvas shopping totes throughout the Greater Portland area. We have so much to celebrate after our first decade, thanks to you: our members.


  • Established in July and incorporated in September.
  • Held a press conference with then Governor Baldacci to officially launch our campaign/organization.
  • The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) Executive Director declares “[PIBCA has] come out of the blocks faster than any other independent business alliance.”
  • Established the logo and those iconic stickers and t-shirts.
  • Established the first concentrated holiday campaign to encourage locally purchased gifts.


  • Membership grows to 175 businesses and nonprofits.
  • Conducted first annual impact survey.
  • Launched the Buy Local Morning poster (a.k.a the “underwear” poster) – you can buy underwear locally!


  • Won the first of multiple Portland Phoenix Best of Awards for Best Local Cause.
  • Celebrated 1st Annual Independent’s Day, highlighting local food producers at the Portland Farmer’s Market.
  • Established annual Indie Biz Awards, a fundraiser and celebration of the many diverse businesses Portland attracts and supports.
  • July of 2008, City of Portland proclaimed “Independent’s Week.”
  • First printed directory was published in July 2008.
  • Introduced semi-annual Downtown Worker Appreciation Day, a collaboration with Portland’s Downtown District; a celebration of those who choose to work every day in downtown Portland and a valuable promotional opportunity for Portland’s local businesses who are seeking to connect with those workers.


  • Joined the national Shift Your Shopping Campaign, encouraging consumers to redirect 10% of their spending at national chains to locally owned merchants and service providers.


  • Published the first print edition of the Portland Buy Local Directory, printing 15,000 copies to distribute to visitors and locals.
  • Won both Portland’s Best Local Cause and Portland’s Best Nonprofit in the Portland Phoenix Reader’s Poll.


  • Launched completely revamped website with interactive member directory searchable by category, location, or name, allowing members to edit and maintain their listings.
  • Introduced the Buy Local Political Survey, inviting responses from candidates for office at the local and state level about issues most important to local entrepreneurs.
  • Distributed and publicized the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) study showing that $100 spent at locally owned businesses contributes an additional $58 to the local economy vs. $33 from national chains.


  • Welcomed nationally renowned economist, attorney, entrepreneur, author, and activist Michael H. Shuman to speak with our members and the public.
  • Introduced wildly popular theme-specific posters highlighting scores of local options to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the end-of-year holidays, or a typical morning at home. Posters continue to be popular to this day.
  • Successfully transitioned the organization to the next generation of leadership after original Board of Directors reached their 6-year term limit.


  • Grew membership to over 500 for the first time ever.
  • Introduced Member Mixers where various businesses host monthly gatherings for learning, networking, and celebrating as a community.


  • Introduced rolling membership renewal, providing members the convenience and ease of online renewals on their schedule. Raised membership rates for the first time in 8 years to allow Portland Buy Local to expand initiatives for our members.
  • Established first stand-alone office at 306 Congress Street.
  • Introduced Brown Bag Lunch series, tackling a variety of topics to educate small business owners.
  • Hosted gubernatorial sessions for Portland Buy Local members to sit down and talk with candidates for Maine governor.
  • Represented Portland Buy Local members on city’s minimum wage committee. Surveyed all members about their thoughts on minimum wage and shared with city leaders and the media.


2015 – 2016

Portland Buy Local has really spread our wings since we were born ten years ago. We have interacted with even more of our members this year than ever before (and as the membership is growing even bigger that’s saying a lot!); we have participated in more community events and put on more of our own; and we have worked hard to promote our members and their viewpoints in a number of different spheres.  We also drafted a strategic plan, outlining our vision for the future and how we’re planning to get there.


Some of the highlights from our ninth year include:

Community Leadership

From meeting with Portland’s new mayor to joining the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce to writing an op-ed in the Portland Press Herald against the proposed CVS on Forest Avenue, Portland Buy Local has been working hard to raise the visibility and represent the viewpoints of local businesses here in our community. While our membership was split on the minimum wage proposal last fall, we participated in the Mayor’s Minimum Wage Task Force, and surveyed our members and released their viewpoints for discussion.


In Support of Thoughtful Development

In response to the citywide outcry over the CVS development proposed on Forest Avenue, District 1 Councilor Belinda Ray requested the Portland Planning IMG_0321Board consider a zone change in this location. On March 22nd, the Planning Board voted to recommend a zoning change to B-2b in this location in just one example of several mechanisms that are being explored by the City to protect the existing buildings as well as guide future development to be mindful of local desire to preserve character and independent businesses, and promote a walkable, dense streetscape on Forest Avenue. The Portland Buy Local Board submitted a letter to the editor in the Portland Press Herald earlier this year stating its position in support of a built environment that allows local, independent businesses to thrive in Portland, and spoke about the issue during an interview on Channel 8.

In an effort to better understand how policy shapes local economies, Portland Buy Local has worked with local business owners, community organizers, and researchers at the Muskie School of Public Policy to identify policies that Portland might consider adopting. These findings, combined with research from the Institute for Local Self Reliance, are the foundation of case studies that are currently being conducted.


Membership Development and Outreach: Portland Buy Local now has 450 members, an increase of 26% from last year. It’s exciting to enter our 10th year in such a strong position. Our Program Manager, Jenn Thompson, and our membership committee have put a lot of effort into bringing new businesses into the organization and to connecting with as many of our existing members as possible. We also launched our ‘Buy Local Hero’ card this year, which members use to claim discounts at 43 of our diverse member businesses.


Portland Buy Local Organized Events: The 2015 Indie Biz Awards was our most successful community building and fundraising event ever! More than 200 people attended to celebrate local business here in Portland and we had more sponsors supporting the Buy Local cause than ever before. Planning for the 2016 event is already underway; mark your calendars for October 6, 2016 at the Portland House of Music!

We also organized five Brown Bag Lunch Forums, which more than 100 people came together to focus on:

  • Hiring & Firing: Explored the ethical, legal, and interpersonal aspects of hiring and firing employees.
  • How to Wear all the Hats: Being CEO, CFO and CMO All in One – Discussed financial management, marketing, partnerships, legal structure and more.
  • ADA for Businesses: Covered ADA compliance and what businesses can do (and in some cases, are legally required to do) to accommodate customers, employees, and clients with disabilities.
  • Social Media: Using social media to market your local business.

We continued our longstanding Buy Local Member Mixer series, sponsored by Sebago Brewing Company, with events at Peloton Labs, The Sunrise Guide, and New England Distilling.


Community Outreach: From the Farmers’ Market to Downtown Worker Appreciation Day to Rosemont Harvest in the Hood, Portland Buy Local has been all around town. President Tony Cox represented Portland Buy Local on a panel at Creative Portland’s The Challenge of Change: Are We Loving Portland to Death event to share our member’s perspectives on rising commercial rents, minimum wage and more, plus we exhibited at the event. More than 200 community members came together to talk about the vision for Portland’s future.

Other places you’ve run into Portland Buy Local this year include:

  • Boat show
  • East End Holiday Stroll
  • Old Port Festival
  • The Portland Farmer’s Market
  • Frontline at CVB

Educational Outreach: Portland Buy Local puts a significant amount of effort over the course of the year to educate the public about the importance of buying locally. This past year, we’ve reached more than 20,000 people with our Portland Buy Local directories and were present in more tourist oriented locations, including the Portland Jetport, Gateway Terminal and area hotels. We’ve also discussed local economic ethics in the Bollard, MPBN, WMPG, Portland Press Herald, Dispatch Magazine, Channel 8, The Forecaster, West End News, Portland Downtown’s Guide, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You’ve probably also seen “BUY LOCAL” on the Time and Temp building several times throughout the year!


Engagement in Numbers:

  • 8,900+ Facebook likes; 4,600+ Twitter followers, 1,500+ Instagram followers
  • 60,000 website page views, 18,000 new users (as defined by Google), improved engagement by increasing time on site by 16% year over year to 2:15

Treasurer’s Report:

In the beginning of this fiscal year, the board approved a budget of $56,677 with the expectation that the organization would increase spending in certain areas to grow membership and use up to $10,277 in savings.

For the fiscal year of July 1, 2015 through June 3, 2016 we had an income of $42,867.89 with $33,046.46 coming from membership dues and $9,829.68 from the Indie Biz awards. During the same period we had $48,000.00 in expenses for a net operating loss of $5,932.82.

In comparison for the fiscal year of July 1, 2014 through June 3, 2015 we had a total income of $41,873.59 and total expenses of 38,869.42 for a surplus of $3,004.

The rise in expenses affected all areas of our operations with Program Manager compensation and the board’s decision to produce locally sourced tote bags being noteable line items.


Portland Buy Local Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Articles, Highlights, In the Media, Uncategorized  

Portland Buy Local Gift Ideas – Forgo the Maine Mall this year and shop in your downtown. This year we reached out to our members to ask them for the best local gift ideas for Mother’s Day.

Handbags – $170

Kurier is a small boutique that has an array of beautiful, and locally made, products ranging from handbags and accessories to apparel and personal goods. Featured in the photograph is the Lenore handbag for $170.








615A Congress St., Portland






Banana-Strawberry-Nutella Crepe with Ice Cream – $5.75

Normally priced at $6.45, this delicious treat is available with the purchase of a drink and is an amazing way to kick start Mother’s Day. But who is to tell Mom she can’t have dessert all day? Swing by Tu-Fri from 9am to 8pm, Sa-Su 8-8.





Sip of Europe

229 Congress St., Portland





Soy Candle  – $24

Give Mom the gift of relaxation with a curated apothecary candle to help her create her own oasis. Visit Angela Adams for unique handmade jewelry and life-style accessories sure to make every Mom feel beautiful this Mother’s day.




Angela Adams

131 Middle St., Portland





100% Beeswax Candles – $19.99

The Honey Exchange has a wide variety of sizes and styles for Mom’s indoor and outdoor candle needs! Supply her with one of these patio or formal dining table candles featured, and it will burn clean for 50 hours and remove allergens from the air!

beeswax candles





The Honey Exchange

494 Stevens Av., Portland






Pembroke White Bow Tie – $59

The perfect addition to any spring outfit, from nautical chic Maine weddings to country cocktail parties by the lake!



Bowline Co.

35 Hammond St., Portland






Baby Book – $17.99

Little Ghost Vintage has lots of different goodies for Mother’s Day! A beautiful and slightly modern version of a baby book is featured for $17.99, but they also have A Guide to Discovering Nature. Kits to do with Mom include Nature Art Kits and Seedling DIY Solar System Kits.






Little Ghost Vintage

477 Congress St., Portland






Recycled Reflections – Price Varies

Gardiner, Maine artist Curt Brown works tirelessly to salvage old barn doors and windows from across Maine to make into beautiful mirrors. Having a Recycled Reflection mirror in your home helps preserve some of Maine’s history in a stylish, functional way.






Home Remedies

83 West Commercial St., Portland






Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Lesson – $45

If your mother likes being on the water and hasn’t tried SUP, an introductory lesson could make a great gift. Portland Paddle’s weekly SUP lessons begin in early June, so you can reserve a spot for your mother or give her a gift certificate so she can reserve one herself.

IMG_20150630_185452480 (1)



Portland Paddle

East End Beach, Portland






Vivid Motion’s production of Peter Pan – $13 adults/$6 kids under 13

This Mother’s Day send mom on a vacation she’ll never forget; a trip to Neverland! Soak in the native culture while luxuriating in the mermaid lagoon. Sail the seas with Captain Hook, explore the island with the Lost Boys, and soar through the skies with Peter Pan and Wendy! Get tickets for Vivid Motion’s production of Peter Pan.  Proceeds benefit the Center for Grieving Children.  Shows: 5/13 – 7:30, 5/14 – 2:30 &7:30, 5/152:30.




Vivid Motion

St Lawrence Arts, 76 Congress St., Portland







Totes – start at $15

Patti’s Machine Quilting & Gallery has you covered for any and all tote needs! Whether mom needs a garden tote, market tote, book tote, or shopping tote while shopping local! Mention this ad in the store and receive 10% off your tote or table runner!






Patti’s Machine Quilting & Gallery

570 Brighton Ave., Portland








Jewelry – $25 (bracelet), $15 (earrings)

Why spend money buying Mom pre-made jewelry when you can design and make something special for less? You can make this sterling silver and gemstone bracelet for less than $25.00, and either pair of earrings for under $15.00! Caravan Beads Retail Store’s friendly and knowledge staff can help you create and customize a memorable gift for Mom on her special day. All skill levels are welcome.





Caravan Beads Retail Store

915 Forest Ave., Portland






Rhubarb Smash Liqueur (375 ml) – $21.49

Something sweet & tart for Mom this Mother’s day from Sweetgrass Winery & Distillery. This liqueur is made from 95 % Maine rhubarb and 5% Maine elderberries. Something for Mom to sip and savor.




Sweetgrass Farm and Winery & Distillery

324 Fore St., Portland





Wallet Card Bottle Opener –  

Summer is coming and that means grilling, back yards, bonfires and sipping on the best summer time local craft beer’s. Open your favorite beer with your favorite state. Introducing our 50 States Wallet Card Bottle Opener Collection.





Zootility Tools

170 Anderson St., Portland







Birth Stone Rings – Prices begin at $120

Celebrate Mother’s Day with Folia’s updated classic birthstone rings! Easily stack-able and infinitely versatile. Textured solitaire bands showcase the birthstones of all of your loved ones — custom made at Folia in your choice of gemstone and precious metal.

SIMPLE silver and gold stackers (1 of 1)





50 Exchange St., Portland







Full Dog Wash – price varies, starting at $20

Baths in the kitchen sink? Save it for the photo album. Let your loved one take advantage of The Dog Wash Etc ergonomic tubs, professional equipment and expert staff. No bending, no lifting, no struggle, no mess! A gift certificate for a self- or full-service dog wash guarantees a clean dog, tidy bathroom and quality one-on-one time with their second favorite.






The Dog Wash Etc

1037 Forest Ave., Portland







Rising Tide Items – Prices listed

Provide mom with useful items that rep Rising Tide! Spread the love of one of Portland’s local breweries!
4 pack of Maine Island Trail Ale: $11
Rising Tide Brewing Company Maine Island Trail Ale Tee Shirt: $18
Bar of handmade Hop and Barley Beer Soap: $6
Handmade Beer Lotion: $12
Hand Crafted Rising Tide Bottle Cap Earrings: $9 
Rising Tide Mother's Day Image



Rising Tide

103 Fox St., Portland







Cards and Chocolate Boxes – Prices vary by selection

Wide selection of unique cards and custom chocolate boxes made for mom!

OPC & OPCW Gift Guide





Old Port Candy Co. & Old Port Card Works

3 Moulton St., Portland






In Spa Package – $89  

This package from SOAKOLOGY will cater to a very special Mom for a wonderfully affordable price. The package includes: an aroma therapy foot soak and foot massage along with a snack and beverage plus a personalized gift to take home. Also available are SOAKOLOGY gift cards if you are unsure when Mom will able to take the time for a spa package. Gift cards never expire and hold their value for ever.

Create an oasis of relaxation for Mom ‘at home’ with the pre-packaged gift set! This gift set includes a pot of tea, a bit of chocolate to savor with the tea and an essential oil bar for massage & soak (geranium, rose, cocoa & neem) for only $20.

Mother's Day  Gift Set soak tea-chocolate 2






511 Congress St., Portland







“Little Mainer” Jumper – $22

For new Moms or Grandmas, snag a little something for their new little something from Little Tap House! Available inside are the Little Mainer Classic Style Jumpers! They are wicked pissah cute!





Little Tap House

106 High St., Portland





3 Mystic Spray Tans – $66

Send some love in the form of a spray bottle this Mother’s Day. Mom will look and feel amazing for that special occasion or her regular routine! Maine may not have Florida’s sun, but thankfully it does have Tanorama Tanning & Clothing. Make it a date and go together!





Tanorama Tanning & Clothing

287 Marginal Way, Portland





DOG IS GOOD Never Walk Alone Hoodie – $49.99

Whether fosters, sitters or lifetime caretakers, dog moms do a lot!  They take care of everything from feeding to potty accidents, training sessions that require lots of patience, and administering lots of love and walks. If you want to thank a dog mama in your life we’ve got you covered with these fun tee’s totes & sweatshirts!


Moms Day





Fish & Bone

195 Commercial St., Portland






Touareg Loose Leaf Tea – $4.50 – $10

For a mom that does so much, give her a gift she can truly indulge in! There is a massive variety of loose leaf teas for Mom at Dobrá, including specialties like Touareg. Dobrá also has black, herbals, green, pu-er, white/wild and oolong teas available. She can brew some you pick out special for her or brew her own with a gift certificate!

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 6.09.00 AM





89 Exchange St., Portland







House Cleaning – $259

A Common Area Special! A deep cleaning of your Entry/Mudroom, Kitchen, Dining Room, Living Room, ½ bath, and staircase. This will be done  by one of Green Clean Maine’s Earth-Loving, Dirt-Fighting cleaning teams who will scrub, polish and shine your home to perfection, all using their own hand-made, super-effective cleaning supplies. You’ll love the results, and the time you’ll free up to focus on the more important things in life!

GreenCleanMaine_Logo_CMYK (1)



Green Clean Maine

179 Sheridan St.,  Suite 200, Portland







Salt Caramels (package of 8) – $17.50

Give that sweet mama of yours some sweet love from Dean’s Sweets! Choose from the many yummy treats inside that include a box of yummy salt caramels and chocolate Xs and Os (to spell out your love!). Go visit the store with Mom on May 6th (First Friday) for a book signing by Nicole Chaison, author of the graphic novel The Passion of the Hausfrau: Motherhood Illuminated.





Dean’s Sweets

475 Fore St., Portland







Beading Party – Price depends on materials

Get Mom and her whole gang together for a private beading party at The Bead Hound! With beautiful materials, the parties are open for all levels of bead designers and is a great way to make memories and celebrate Mom!

image1 (1)




The Bead Hound

477 Congress St. Suite 9W, Portland







Maine Voices: Forest Avenue project chips away at city’s character and hurts tax base

Articles, In the Media, News, News & Events  

The Portland Buy Local organization, now in its 10th year, has a mission of educating its members and the public about the benefits of supporting our local economy. It is in this capacity that the board of Portland Buy Local would like to convey its concern over the recent proposal on Forest Avenue by CVS to demolish five existing buildings, several of which house local, independent businesses, in order to build a national chain store. We would be remiss if we did not point out to the city leadership both the physical and economic impacts of the CVS proposal.

The Portland community has recently been engaged in a citywide conversation about growth and change. At the heart of the debate is the question of not whether Portland should grow or change but how. We at Portland Buy Local believe the proliferation of local businesses is an essential and desirable component of Portland’s character. A proposal like the one on Forest Avenue erodes the fundamental DNA that locals and visitors alike cherish about our city.

First, there is a physical benefit to preserving buildings like those proposed to be torn down by the CVS project. Recent attention has been given to Forest Avenue as a major corridor with streetscape improvements at Exit 6 and plans to transform Woodfords Corner.

Replacing five existing buildings on Forest Avenue with a single building surrounded by parking drastically changes the character of this critical gateway location and undermines work that has already been done. Not only does preserving the existing buildings keep the desired feel of the street, it also has the impact of preserving small-scale, affordable real estate for our local, independent businesses.

Second, there is economic benefit to the City of Portland in preserving buildings like those proposed to be torn down by the CVS project – higher tax revenues and employment. Cities gain more income through property taxes when there is a high number of small, dense parcels with buildings. By tearing down five buildings and combining several smaller parcels into one larger parcel with only one, low density building, the City will lose property tax revenue in the process and jobs will be displaced. In other words, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

The Portland Buy Local board hopes that the community outcry over the CVS project brings to light some of the policy changes needed in the city to protect our local character and quality of life.

With the city’s recent stated interest in concentrating more effort in developing Forest Avenue, we hope those goals are achieved through thoughtful planning and not simply letting those with the deepest pockets determine the future of that area. Portland has grown tremendously as the economic engine of Maine and as a magnet for innovative, entrepreneurial individuals of all ages and backgrounds.

The appeal of our city for those who want to vacation here, live here, and work here stems from the unique character our independent businesses and restaurants create. Tourists want to visit our city because it is not like any they have visited before. Residents want to live here because of the variety of offerings and the close connections our locally-owned businesses provide.

And business owners want to locate and start their businesses here because they see it is a place that values independent businesses and it is a place where they have the potential to thrive.

If we as a city do not carefully plan our development, we may end up with a series of strip malls and chain stores that do not add to our city’s vision of creating a good life for all and, in fact, detract from it economically, aesthetically, and culturally. While we will continue to advocate for our mission and our membership, we also welcome the opportunity to be a resource and community partner as the city tackles the challenge of change.



Danielle Sarmir is a Portland Buy Local Board Member and Jennifer Thompson is the Portland Buy Local Ambassador. Both live in Portland.


View the original article in the Portland Press Herald


Portland Buy Local Celebrates 10th Birthday in 2016!

Articles, In the Media, Member Updates, News  

As we reflect on the past ten years, and look forward to the next ten, we are grateful to all of the wonderful businesses that have joined our organization and have left a mark on our city. We can’t help but ponder how the local economic climate will change during the coming ten years, and what businesses we will be welcoming to our city. Together, we must nurture and protect the local business culture that brings so much texture to our lives. Independent business owners invest in our city. They employ Portlanders, serve our visitors, neighbors, and fellow Mainers.

We invite you to join us as we continue to advocate for Portland’s independent future. Become a member today. Volunteer with us. Shoot us an email at Where do you want Portland to be in 2026?


Thank you sustaining members!

Aikido of Maine   /   Andrew and Debra Tenenbaum   /   angela adams   /   BENCHMARK Residential & Investment Real Estate   /   The Brand Company   /   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   /   Liquid Riot   /   Joan Leitzer   /   Longfellow Books   /   Marsh Agency   /   Nine Stones   /   Nomads   /   OTTO   /   Peter Metsch   /   Old Port Magazine   /   Port Property Management   /   Portland Downtown   /   Portland Farmers’ Market   /   Renys Department Store   /   Sebago Brewing Company   /   Stacy Mitchell   /   Supreme Clean   /   The SunriseGuide   /   Thurstons Wicked Good Burgers   /   Tsunami Tattoo   /   University Credit Union   /   Vervacious   /   XPress Copy

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