January 16, 2008

Portland Buy Local Meeting Minutes Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Portland Downtown District Conference Room

Board members in attendance: Chris Busby, Bill Duggan, Judy Halpert, Nancy Lawrence, Joan Leitzer, Stacy Mitchell, Sally Struever, Susan Tran

Advisory Board members in attendance: Carole Ansheles, Jan Beitzer, Elise Loschiavo

Bill opens the meeting. The Board reviews and approves the November 14th meeting minutes with one change: Stacy Mitchell was not at the meeting and should be removed from the attendance roster.

Marketing Committee

Chris updates the group on the Find Your Independents poster series. The committee will choose the next three subjects at its next meeting with an eye towards distributing the new posters by February 14th.

The Board discusses current economic conditions and possible campaigns for 2008. Bill wonders if there are national events we could tie in with, and Susan suggests we participate in American Unchained in November.

Jan shares information on a few PDD-sponsored events happening in the coming weeks including a special advertising push for Presidents’ Day weekend and Frostbite Maine, gay and lesbian travel event happening in early March. Jan suggests that Buy Local consider offering a prize package for the latter. The Marketing Committee will look into it at their next meeting.

Sally introduces the idea of an IndieBiz Awards fundraising event. Sally will pull together a subcommittee to create a proposal for consideration at the next full Board meeting.

Chris reports that the committee will work on a 2008 campaign calendar at its next meeting. Stacy suggests we all be mindful of the current economic environment as we pull together our plans for 2008.

Sally wonders if we should do more to reach tourists. Stacy suggests a “Where the Locals Go” flyer/brochure to meet this demographic.
Chris also requests a marketing budget and update of available marketing funds from the Finance Committee.

Elise reports that she met with John Marshall of the Portland Phoenix, and he would like to partner with Buy Local on more co-op ads. Susan suggests that monthly may be too frequent but quarterly could work.

Finance Committee

The next Finance Committee meeting will be at the North Star on Wednesday, February 6th at noon. Judy reports that we currently have $5,400 in our checking account. Sally reports that she has $200 of receipts that she will submit to Judy for reimbursement.

Stacy requests an update on t-shirt/tote bag money. Nancy reports that there’s nothing recent. And all sales at the Annual Meeting were in cash (those funds were turned over to Judy).

Stacy and Judy will work together on an updated spreadsheet and provide a full report at the next Board meeting. The committee will also discuss streamlining the financial protocols to avoid confusion in the future.

Nancy will take an inventory of remaining merchandise.

Membership Committee

The next Membership Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 22nd at 3:30.

Sally reports that the committee will look at a policy for expired members, on-line directory, and FY09 renewal.

Sally will provide an updated membership report via e-mail following the Board meeting.

The next Member Mixer will be held on Wednesday, January 23rd from 5:30-7:30pm; location t.b.d. In speaking with member-panelists, she feels that they may wish to pull together a subcommittee focusing on green business practices. The Board agrees that we should support this endeavor.

Sally requests a discussion of Portland Green Streets’ request to share information with our membership. Bill suggests it be discussed at the next Executive Committee meeting.

Executive Committee

The next committee meeting will be held at Maple’s (Middle Street location) on Wednesday, January 23rd at 11am. On the agenda is a review of the Strategic Plan and Critical Issues document.

Stacy shares the results of the post-holiday survey. There were only 32 respondents (about half as many as last year). Susan suggests this may be due to the time frame; we sent it out a week earlier this year, perhaps too close to the holidays. Jan suggests it may also be an indicator of a rough holiday season for members. Stacy will write up a summary of our findings for the web site.

Stacy provides a report on Buy Local’s web traffic. The Board discusses many possibilities for web improvements including allowing members to offer coupons in their IndieBiz Directory listing and a password protected member discussion board.

Other Business

Jan updates the Board on zoning issues in Bayside. The definitions for this area are back on the table, and it may be wise for PIBCA to take an advocacy stance. A separate group will be formed to discuss the issue.

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes recorded by Susan Tran.

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