Starting a Buy Local Campaign in Your Community

Although we support independent businesses throughout Maine, because of our limited resources and capacity — we are a mostly volunteer-run organization — the Portland Buy Local Campaign is exclusively focused on businesses located in the city of Portland.

If you have a business elsewhere, we encourage you to start a similar initiative in your community. Here are some great organizations and resources that can provide advice and help you get started:

American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA)
Portland Buy Local is affiliated with AMIBA, a national organization that helps Independent Business Alliances start and grow in cities and towns across the country. AMIBA offers a how-to guidebook, templates, on-site workshops, and loads of advice for organizers.  We relied heavily on AMIBA when we launched.  It is the single best source of guidance for starting a successful campaign and avoiding common pitfalls.

New England Local Business Forum (NELBF)
If you are in New England, we strongly encourage you to attend the next NELBF gathering.  NELBF is a regional coalition of about 15 “buy local” organizations.  It organizes two day-long, mini-conferences a year, in the spring and fall (details on the web site).  These gatherings provide a great opportunity to meet others and learn the nuts and bolts of creating a successful campaign.

Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR)
ILSR’s Independent Business Initiative produces research on the economic and community benefits of locally owned businesses, tracks the growing “buy local” movement and its impact, and offers a range of resources, including key studies on the benefits of independent businesses, as well as news and analysis of innovative initiatives from around the country.

Buy Local / Independent Groups and Advocates
This is a LinkedIn group for those engaged in, or interested in, efforts to help independent businesses thrive. The group is intended to serve as a communication hub for all those sharing common interests and includes people from buy local campaigns, trade associations, non-profit organizations, government officials and others.

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