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Portland Buy Local to host forum on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

In the Media, News, News & Events  

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and Portland Buy Local is hosting a brown bag lunch forum on ADA compliance. Learn what your business can do (and in some cases, is legally required to do) to accommodate customers, employees, and clients with disabilities.  This session will also include an overview of aXs Map – an app where users review business on accessibility. Program will include presentations from Alpha One Now and AXS Map and a question and answer session.

When: Thursday, September 24, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Where: Think Tank Coworking, 533 Congress Street

Email with questions or for more information.


A Great turnout for Instagram and Facebook Marketing Forum

Articles, In the Media, News & Events  

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On Thursday, July 23, over 20 people gathered at PelotonLabs to hear Erin Kiley, of Portland Flea-for-All, and Charlie Fox, of Maine Surfers Union, talk about using Instagram and Facebook to market their Portland businesses. The chairs filled up fast, and many people stood at the door of the Bramhall room to get inspired by Erin and Charlie’s success. Seasoned social media experts joined aspiring users for an hour of learning. For those of you who were unable to join, you can check out Portland Flea-for-All and Maine Surfers Union for some great examples, and think about incorporating these social media take-away tips:

– Have fun with your posts and write what you would be interested in reading

– Do some research and find out what hashtags are trending

– Collaborate and connect with other companies: share, tag, like, comment & regram

– Use Facebook Analytics to find out more about your followers

– Regram posts to network with other businesses and show your followers what you like

Follow Portland Buy Local on Facebook to stay up to date on our future events!  

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Portland Buy Local hosts forum on social Media July 23

Articles, In the Media, News & Events  

Thursday, July 23, 2015 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Location: Peloton Labs, 795 Congress Street, Portland, Maine

For more information:

Portland Buy Local is hosting a brown bag lunch forum on using social media to market your local business on Thursday, July 23 at Peloton Labs, 795 Congress Street in Portland. The event is free and takes place from 12:00-1:00pm.

Charlie Fox of Maine Surfers Union will share his experiences marking his Portland business using Instagram, and Erin Kiley will share her experiences using Facebook to market her business, Portland Flea-for-All. Open to all business owners and managers interested in seeing what other local businesses are doing in the world of social media.


Portland’s future development sparks local attention

Articles, In the Media, News & Events  

Portland has gained national attention for its livability, growing food scene, and authentic spirit.  We are at a crossroads as we consider what the future might hold for this wonderful city of ours.  The local movement certainly has a foothold here in Portland, but we must continue to represent our local businesses and non-profits in future development projects and city politics.  Portland Buy Local board member, Deb Tenenbaum’s thought provoking op-ed encourages us to think carefully about responsible and sustainable development:

I have lived in Portland since 1999. I realize that doesn’t make me a native, but that also doesn’t stop me from loving and feeling invested in this city.

One of the reasons my husband and I moved up here was Portland’s independent feel. Since then, watching the growth of incredible restaurants, the opening of businesses in previously undesirable areas such as Bayside and the proliferation of shops in smaller neighborhoods such as Rosemont has been so exciting.

Through the years, Portland has gained more and more national attention as a great place to visit, work and live. It is all of those things.

However, I can’t help but worry about the future of our city. Growing up in Massachusetts, my friends and I spent a lot of time in Cambridge’s Harvard Square. Like Portland, it was a diverse, vibrant and funky place, with its own identity powered by independent shops and restaurants. And then an influx of chains moved in. The Limited, Abercrombie & Fitch, Pacific Sunwear and Starbucks, to name a few, changed the look and feel of Harvard Square, making it no longer unique but more like the mall in my hometown.

These chains could pay more for rent, thus increasing rents for the entire area. During this period, many local businesses closed down or moved, unable to absorb the increase.

Most of these chains later found the Square not as profitable as they hoped, so they shut down and moved on. Behind them they left inflated rents, increased vacancy rates and a slightly tarnished image for the Square.

While independent businesses are moving back in, Harvard Square is still fighting to regain what it lost after its chain bubble burst and to rebuild that image of independence it once had.

I look at Portland now and worry that what happened down in Cambridge could also happen here. As a board member for Portland Buy Local, I posted on our Facebook page the recent Portland Press Herald story about the development of a Chipotle, Dunkin’ Donuts and another national retailer in the former Century Tire space on Marginal Way (“Developer plans retail mall in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood,”Dec. 30).

We had never seen such engagement in an issue, with 99 percent of the over 100 comments against more chains. I also looked at the Press Herald’s Facebook comments on that article and found the same thing.

While I admit the Century Tire building is an eyesore and the street it is on has a number of chains already, what those comments say to me is that people in Portland are worried about the increasing number of chains moving into town. The national coffee shops, restaurants and furniture and clothing stores that have moved into downtown Portland over the last few years have created a sense of alarm that our city is losing its unique identity.

I was relieved to see I wasn’t alone in my concerns. However, I know comments on Facebook aren’t going to solve the problem.

What we need is more thoughtful consideration from city residents and city leaders alike.

Residents, if you want to protect Portland’s distinctive character, the best thing you can do is shop locally when you can. Before making any purchase, see if you can buy it locally first (the Portland Buy Local directory is a great place to start).

Independent businesses are up against incredible competition from national and online outlets. At the same time, they are the ones truly dedicated to our city. They take risks on new neighborhoods. They enliven Portland with new foods, products, services and ideas. They give back to our community. They are a reason Portland lands on all those “Best of” lists.

The time is now for this planning and discussion if we don’t want to end up like too many other cities and towns nationwide that have lost their identities. Let’s not lose all that makes Portland so special just because we didn’t take the time now to stop, think and plan.

Debra Tenenbaum is a resident of Portland and a board member of Portland Buy Local.   Special in the Press Herald

In light of the recent developments and national chains moving into the city, we will be working this year to find more ways to preserve Portland’s independence.  We invite you to join us.  If you’d like to be part of this movement, please email us at

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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.


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   /   Danielle Marks   /   The Fish & Bone   /   Goodwill Industries of Northern New England   /   Green Clean Maine   /   Joan Leitzer   /   Joe Gervais   /   John McVeigh   /   Kristen Smith   /   Longfellow Books   /   Marsh Agency   /   Mitch and Peg Cyr   /   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   /   Stacy Mitchell   /   The Great Lost Bear   /   The SunriseGuide   /   TruChoice FCU   /   Tsunami Tattoo   /   University Credit Union   /   Vervacious   /   XPress Copy

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