December 17, 2008

Portland Buy Local December Board Meeting Minutes Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Portland Downtown District Conference Room

Board members in attendance: Bill Duggan, Nancy Lawrence, Joan Leitzer, Susan Tran, John Rooks. Stacy Mitchell, Kristin Smith.

Advisory Board members in attendance: Elise Loschiavo, Jan Beitzer Visitors: Kathy Palmer, Fetch

Susan opens the meeting.

The Board reviews and approves the minutes from the November 19, 2008 meeting.

Susan discussed the Executive Committee:

  • Met on December 10, 2008. Discussed the need to add third person to list of signatories for checks. Motion to add VP on to list of approved signatories.
  • Bill to update Fiscal Policy.
  • Chris Buzby needs a leave of absence from the board for January and February. He is removed from the email list temporarily.
  • Next Executive Committee Meeting Date is 1/7/08 noon @ Maples 151 Middle St. This is a change to the first Thursday of each month.

Bill reported on finances:

  • Balance is $12,354.50 in checking.
  • Collected $580 in new memberships in last.
  • Spent $6,673.89 in marketing and activities.
  • Complete report is in January.

Stacy reported on grant funding:

  • Maine Community Foundation approved a 2500 grant for the research project
  • $1000 grant from NE grass roots fund.
  • Stacy met with city staff and is working on application for $15,000 grant at the suggestions of Kevin Donohue. Board moved to approve the submittal.

Kristen reported on membership:

  • Kristin Smith reported that there will be a membership committee meeting on January 6, 2009. There are some new people joining the committee. At that meeting they will set a timeline for the membership drive for next year, as well as talk about changing membership parameters and report back at January board meeting.
  • Kristen purchased FileMaker Pro ($299).
  • Invite membership committee to January board meeting.
  • Stacy suggested we do a membership survey in January.
  • > Add questions about mentoring (being or working with).
    > Perhaps offer an incentive to fill out the survey.
    > Sue and Kristen offered to review the questions.

Susan reported on marketing:

  • We are without a chair currently while Chris is on leave. We are looking for a marketing chair.
  • Elise offered to handle it in the spring.
  • There should be a marketing committee meeting right after the holidays.
  • PDD has a new event called Winter Rush in Feb 6 – 14. We might want to cluster a marketing push around that. This is a big, outdoor, family related event. Valentines day is the 14th.
  • Phoenix will run the Buy Local again (Thanks to PDD!)
  • Web traffic is up, due in part to MPBN underwriting. Last few weeks have been of 1700 unique visitors per week (up~600). Lots of activity in the directory.
  • Winter marketing needs should be discussed at the marketing committee level.
  • Stacy mentioned the development of a “member to member” coupon referral program.
  • Members would provide coupons to other (non-competing) members at checkout. This is being done to some limited extent and could be expanded.
  • Jan/Elise will look into a Buy Local credit card program.
  • Jan will meet with PowerPay, the new credit card processing company in town.
  • With the economic crisis, we may see a glut of “for lease” in the market and there is concern that local and absentee landlords will look to Chains to fill the spaces. We may want to think about how to educate them.

Other Business:

  • IndieBiz Awards are important. We are looking for a committee to start pulling together in January. 2008 awards were in March.
  • MEBSR contacted us to acknowledge that they have new leadership and that they have an event downtown in Jan. Susan will send information.
  • 10% Shift campaign across New England encourages consumers to shift 10% in chain spending to local chains. It will include a web site and pr to promote. There will be a “calculator” on the web site that could drive traffic to our site. Looking for groups to contribute $100 to $500 to support the campaign development. We will $150 to support this effort.
  • Upcoming Board Meeting Dates: 1/21/09, 2/18/09, 3/18/09 Meeting adjourned.

Minutes recorded by John Rooks, Secretary

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