Survey Finds “Buy Local” Drawing New Customers to Local Businesses

March 15, 2011 — In a recent survey, 86 percent of Portland Buy Local members said the campaign had had a positive impact on their business, with 57 percent rating the level of impact as “moderate” or “significant.”

More than half — 55 percent — said the campaign had brought new customers into their businesses, while 57 said it had fostered greater loyalty among existing customers.

The survey, which was conducted online, was sent to all of Portland Buy Local’s business and nonprofit members, 52 of which responded.

Launched in 2006, Portland Buy Local is a grassroots nonprofit organization that now counts more than 360 locally owned businesses and organizations as members.

Among other key findings of the survey, 85 percent of Buy Local members said that public awareness of the benefits of supporting locally owned businesses had increased in the last year, while 10 percent said it had stayed the same.

Nearly all of the survey respondents — 88 percent — said that being locally owned and independent is a factor that some or most of their customers consider when deciding where to buy goods and services.

Portland Buy Local launched a new web site in January that allows eligible businesses to join online and manage their own business profile in the site’s searchable directory, which now includes an interactive map and other enhanced features.

A new printed directory is also in the works. Those businesses that join or renew their membership in Portland Buy Local by April 1 will be included in the new 2011-2012 Guide to Portland’s Locally Owned Businesses & Organizations, which will hit the streets in June.

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