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Portland Buy Local Seeks Executive Director

Articles, Highlights, In the Media, Member Updates, News, News & Events  

Portland Buy Local is seeking a driven and self-motivated individual to fill the newly formed full time Executive Director position. The chosen candidate will work with the Board of Directors to build upon the organization’s current trajectory of growth, and will possess strong leadership skills that will nurture and grow the Portland Buy Local campaign and promote the mission. This position requires a high degree of professionalism and customer responsiveness as the first point of contact for the organization for new inquiries and requests from members, partners, national colleagues, and funders. This position also requires a high degree of comfort with a variety of technological platforms, the capacity to write and speak to a variety of audiences, and the ability to work independently as well as with Board members, business members and community partners.


  • Oversight of 75k annual budget
  • Fundraising and event planning
  • Membership development
  • Program management and development
  • Communications
  • Mission advocacy


Skills & Qualifications:

  • Passion for the mission of PIBCA and the City of Portland
  • Experience with community organizing
  • Excellent organizational, written and oral communication skills
  • Comfortable with public speaking, and proven public presentation skills a plus
  • Proven Customer Service experience
  • Strong computer skills (we use WordPress, Excel, Google Docs, gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, myEmma, Hubspot, Square, and MediaTemple. Photoshop and desktop publishing skills a plus) 
  • Experience generating social media and website content
  • Ability to attend multiple frequent meetings as early as 8am and at different times of day; occasional weekend and evening availability required
  • Experience with Event Planning
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, upbeat attitude, and the ability to represent PIBCA in a professional manner with diverse constituencies
  • Self-motivated and self-regulated
  • Ability to prioritize and delegate
  • Must have access to a car for periodic deliveries and member visits
  • Must be able to lift 30 pounds



Salary  – 32-35k per year. Opportunity for growth, pending organizational development.

2 weeks paid vacation, (80 hours per year)

  • 5 days/ 40 hours of sick time,
  • 8 paid holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, one floating day

To Apply:  Qualified applicants should send a cover letter and resume with three references by email to Tony Cox at  (Subject: Executive Director Position)  The search will continue until the position has been filled.


The Portland Independent Business & Community Alliance is an equal opportunity employer.



Portland Buy Local Mixer at Maine Yoga Kids

Member Updates, News  

Join us Wednesday, February 22, for our next Portland Buy Local mixer! The mixer will be held at Maine Yoga Kids, 251 Danforth Street, from 5:30 – 7:00pm. Buy Local Member Mixers are informal networking and social events for members, friends, and anyone who would like to know more about Portland Buy Local. Come unwind and catch up with other indie biz enthusiasts, plus get updates on the latest happenings in the Buy Local scene. Portland Buy Local mixers are generously supported by Sebago Brewing Company.

When: Wednesday, February 22, 5:30 – 7:00pm
Where: Maine Yoga Kids, 251 Danforth Street

RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook!


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.

paddling in group

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Member Updates, News, 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 Father’s Day.



Beer Sleeve – $25

Dad is a hard worker, don’t make him work harder while he relaxes with a beer! Kurier has beer sleeves and mason jar Camp Mugs available in beautiful local leather every Dad will appreciate!







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 Father’s Day. But who is to tell Dad he can’t have dessert all day? Swing by for a delicious treat during weekday hours on Tuesday-Friday from 6:30 am to 6 pm, opening at 8 am on the weekend.





Sip of Europe

229 Congress St., Portland





Mini Cut Chop Board – $125

Busy Dads work hard and play hard, get them going with invigorating men’s apothecary available at Angela Adams. Does Dad fancy himself a bit of a culinary wiz? What about a new chop board fit for the domestic king in your life. Angela Adam’s curated kitchen accessories will have him ready to entertain in style!






Angela Adams

131 Middle St., Portland





100% Beeswax Candles – $19.99

The Honey Exchange has a wide variety of candle size and styles to help you find the perfect fit for Dad this Father’s Day. Get his collection started with or add to the mix, one of these outdoor patio or formal dining table candles! They will burn clean for 50 hours and remove allergens from the air!

beeswax candles





The Honey Exchange

494 Stevens Av., Portland





Milbridge Bow Tie – $59

A hipster Dad, funky Dad, and classy Dad all walk into a bar. What do they have in common? They are all rocking an awesome Milbridge bow tie and have style you’re proud of! The perfect addition to any outfit, from nautical chic Maine weddings to country cocktail parties by the lake! Keep Dad in style while he tells those classic Dad jokes.




Bowline Co.

35 Hammond St., Portland





Seedling DIY Solar System Kit – $50

Little has lots of different goodies for Father’s Day! They are equipped with gifts such as “A Guide to Discovering Nature”, and kits to do with Dad from Nature Art Kits to Seedling DIY Solar System Kits! For someone who has taught you so much, do something you both can learn about together!







477 Congress St., Portland





Hand Carved Oyster Trays – $120

These beautiful pieces are hand carved in Maine, and an absolute must for Oyster lovers. Make it a gift set with the Oysters of North America tea towel, and the “Oyster, A Gastronomic History” (with Recipes) Book. Dad will be thanking you between every bite!





Home Remedies

83 West Commercial St., Portland





Sea Kayak Tour to Fort Gorges  – $52 per person, $26 for fathers

Portland Paddle has two sea kayaking tours scheduled for Father’s Day that head to Fort Gorges, the Civil War-era fort surrounded by water near Portland harbor. All fathers get 50% off for the day! A great adventure to enjoy the sights and test any history buff Dads on their Civil War-era knowledge!

paddling in group



Portland Paddle

East End Beach., Portland





Three Crow Rum – $32.49 (750 ml, 40% Alc.)

Classic Three Crow Rum from Award wining Maine craft distillery Sweetgrass makes a perfect gift for Dad this Father’s day.  Let him prop up his feet and relax for the day with his favorite rum cocktail!






Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery

324 Fore St., Portland







Pocket Monkey – $14

PocketMonkey® is a 12-in-1 multi-tool that fits in your wallet, so it’s always there when you need it. From opening bottles to adjusting screws, PocketMonkey helps you conquer life’s everyday tasks. And it’s even TSA-approved, so you can take it with you whenever you fly. A few of its features include: bottle opener, phone kickstand, flat, micro and Philips screwdriver, ruler, orange peeler and more!





Zootility Tools

170 Anderson St., Portland






Full Dog Wash – start at $20

Baths in the kitchen sink? Save it for the photo album. Let Dad take advantage of our 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 dad with useful items that rep Rising Tide! Spread the love of one of Portland’s local breweries this Father’s Day, and go in for a beer while your at it!
4 pack of Maine Island Trail Ale: $11
Rising Tide Brewing Company Maine Island Trail Ale Tee Shirt: $18
Hand Made Beer Lotion: $12
Bar of handmade Beard Shaving Beer Soap: $7 
Rising Tide Baseball cap: $12

Rising Tide Father's Day Image




Rising Tide Brewery

103 Fox St., Portland





Cards and Chocolate Boxes – Prices vary by selection

Dads come in various types and so do the cards at Old Port Card Works. They provide a wide selection of unique cards and custom chocolate boxes made for every Dad.

OPC & OPCW Gift Guide





Old Port Candy Co. & Old Port Card Works

3 Moulton St., Portland






In Spa Package – $87

SOAKOLOGY is offering a package that will cater to a very special Dad 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 Dad will be able to take the time for a spa package. Gift cards never expire and hold their value for ever.

A pre-packaged gift set is also offered that includes Maine Forest soaking salts and a full size bar of Maine Forest soap. Both are large enough to enjoy for quite a few baths and/or foot soaks & showers; a favorite wonderful woodsy fragrances of spruce and eucalyptus for $28.

Mother's Day  Gift Set soak tea-chocolate 2







511 Congress St., Portland








Little Tap House Gift Card – personal choice of price

Enjoy a pint of local beer and easy atmosphere with Dad this Father’s Day at Little Tap House! A great place to share all your favorite stories and reasons why he is the best guy around!




Little Tap House

106 High St., Portland








3 Mystic Spray Tans – $66

Send some love in the form of a spay bottle this year! Dad will look great with the perfect spray tan for that special occasion or just his everyday routine. Maine may not have Florida’s sun, but Tanorama Tanning & Clothing has Dad’s perfect tan! Also look into The Tuxedo Shop at Tanorama, and take him out for a night he will feel a million bucks for!




Tanorama Tanning & Clothing

287 Marginal Way, Portland







Dogs: Better Than Therapy Tee – $22.99

Who’s your Doggie Daddy?  Know someone who treats his best pal to car rides (with the window open!) and lots of extra treats before bedtime?  Dog loving Dads will love these T shirts to wear on their next trip to the dog park!

Dad's Day



The Fish & Bone

195 Commercial St., Portland







Staroborshov Chilled Tea – $4.25

Bring dad in for a beer! A “tea beer” that is! Dobrá’s Staroborshov makes for a fabulous sunny weather treat, as does their Kyoto Kinen and many other chilled drinks!

Dobrá Tea

89 Exchange St., Portland








House Cleaning – $259.00

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., Portland






How to wear all the hats: being CEO, CFO, and CMO all in one: a Brown Bag Lunch Forum

Events, Member Events, News, News & Events  

Are you a sole proprietor or small business with just a few employees? Are you running your business or is your business running you? Managing your business can be even more challenging when you’re small because you have to manage all aspects and be both the jack and the master of all trades.

Portland Buy Local is hosting a Brown Bag Lunch Forum on 5/26/16 at the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce to share insights and best practices on managing your small business. Come share your experience with fellow small business owners while we facilitate a discussion covering best practices, pitfalls, and recommendations on such topics as:

Financial Management: when to do it yourself, what tools or software to use, and when to outsource
Marketing: Guerrilla marketing, referrals, and social media
Partnerships: How to develop relationships, referrals, and networks around town
Legal structure: How to go from being a sole proprietor to incorporating
When: Thursday, May 26, 12:00- 1:00pm

Where: Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, 443 Congress Street

RSVP on Facebook. 


Thank you sustaining members!

Aikido of Maine   /   Allagash Brewing Co.   /   Andrew and Debra Tenenbaum   /   angela adams   /   BENCHMARK Residential & Investment Real Estate   /   Bull Feeney's   /   Caravan Beads   /   Casco Bay EyeCare   /   Casco Bay Frames & Gallery   /   Coffee By Design   /   CornerStone Building & Restoration   /   CrossFit Beacon   /   The Fish & Bone   /   Green Clean Maine   /   Joan Leitzer   /   Teel Law Office, LLC   /   Liquid Riot   /   Maine Business Immigration Coalition   /   Malone Commercial Brokers   /   Marsh Agency   /   Nine Stones   /   Nomads   /   OTTO   /   Philip Spalding   /   Port Property Management   /   Portland Downtown   /   Portland Farmers’ Market   /   Portside Real Estate Group   /   Renys Department Store   /   Rich Nowak   /   Sebago Brewing Company   /   Stacy Mitchell   /   Supreme Clean   /   The SunriseGuide   /   Tsunami Tattoo   /   University Credit Union   /   University of Southern Maine   /   Wellness Connection of Maine   /   XPress Copy   /   Young’s Furniture

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