Portland City Hall, Room 209
Board Members attending: Carole Ansheles, Chris Busby, Bill Duggan, Stuart Gersen, Nancy Lawrence, Joan Leitzer, Stacy Mitchell, Anne Samson
Advisory Board Members attending: Allison Ayan, Jan Beitzer, Judy Halpert
NOV. 18 EVENT Chris, Cmt. Chair, reported that the tentative location for the Nov. 18 event is the ICA at MECA on Congress Street, LIZ will follow up with the landlord; location decision (backs-ups are Longfellow Books and the Public House Market) DEADLINE is Oct. 18. Discussion about its time (originally 7) resulted in suggested start times of 5, 6 and 7; after discussion the group determined mingle time will start at 6 and Stacy’s talk at 7. CHRIS volunteered the Cmt. to handle event arrangements (food, power, publicity, etc.).
TEES and BUMPER STICKERS Nancy gave update on the new t-shirts and bumper stickers: the email with ordering info (DEADLINE: Oct. 12) went out yesterday, Oct. 3, to participants and the board. $11/tee with $2 of that to PBL, and suggested retailer add only $2 so $13 retail price. An order for 500 bumper stickers (cost $16/100) already sent by Karl. “Girlie” tee sizes running small; need to consolidate and move out the remaining white tees (businesses will trade among themselves).
PACKET RESUPPLY/NEW PARTICIPANTS Only nine packets remain to resupply participants; NANCY is picking up the remaining 100 (50 each of Reasons 1 and 2) posters from the city after the meeting. Those re- supplying participants with the posters reported good feedback; Bill said he suggested businesses use the limited Thank You cards for any new customers. Discussion on status and quality of packets for new recruiting effort (list of 150 to be approached by Nov. 18) – so how many existing packets available with new decals, posters, etc. ANNE will send email [BY DATE?] around to determine how many packets remain of the 100 in our second batch to determine if/how many additional packets to be made. ALL to turn in any unused recruiting packets to NANCY. Discussion about costs/availability: Curry did last 5000 Thank You cards for $350 at cost; decals [& posters?] done by city at unknown cost to them (CAROLE attempting to obtain information on what cost for what quantity of what materials); the welcome letter, participants list, etc. were copied by Curry because Stacy and Bill’s PCs were unable to communicate [where did we leave this on more of them?].
VOTE: Chris motioned, Stacy seconded that the Executive Cmt. (Officers: Bill, Stacy, Susan and Carole) can authorize the expenditure of funds for resupply of the recruiting packets, once they are provided with the necessary information ( most likely will go for same source/same price); passed unanimously.
HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN Bill opened discussion by saying his thoughts had been on how the campaign can fulfill the mission and focus areas; he noted how easy it is for the chains to get coverage as each year there are shots of the crowds at the mall. Chris reported the Marketing Cmt. decided the poster and message should be community- centric, not business-centric, maybe something featuring Portland streets and the social aspect; Stacy suggested the message refer to giving a gift to Portland/our community (since more money stays in the community when purchases made at local independent businesses – LIB); more discussion on themes. CHRIS said the board will see the poster no later than the NOV. 1 MEETING, and perhaps earlier by email. For publicity purposes, STACY will try to determine how much money could stay in the community if all shopping was done with LIBs in Portland (obtain holiday per capita spending and multiple by percentage left in community).
Discussion about more media coverage for the holidays. Jan noted we have visibility and therefore power now, so we could propose media tell us how they’d package some advertising coverage, but we need to act quickly since holiday time is being sold right now. Chris said radio station CLA proposed some coverage; discussion on whether we advertize on non LIB medium; realization that’s all that’s available for some and key is getting coverage.
MRKT CMT will address at their Oct. 15 meeting [is this right date?]
On behalf of Sara, Cmt. Chair, Stacy reported we have our EIN and Post Office Box, will soon have a checking account, and will have proposals for our fiscal policy and by laws for the Oct. 18 board meeting. She reported that after discussion the Cmt. recommends we incorporate as a 501(c)(6), which, while not providing for tax-deductibility of contributions, will give us more freedom in our activities. Should we receive a large donation and/or need 501(c)(3) status for grants, we can use AMIBA as our 501(c)(3) fiscal agent (they’ll take 5% admin. fee). VOTE: Jan motioned and Stacy seconded motion: incorporate as a 501(c)(6); passed unanimously
Stacy noted need for strategic planning to work out a plan for our vision and what we’ll do over the next year (objectives/goals, number of members, etc.); to do so, really need a facilitator and she proposed a two-hour morning meeting. Jan suggested four hours really needed; discussion followed on length and time of meeting; consensus reached that it would be after the first week of Jan., STACY would check with the two recommended facilitators she spoke with Steve Schuitt of Green Shoe Group (Joan recommended) and Craig Freshley of Good Group Decisions (Stacy knows) to have them give a few dates to check out with the board.
Stacy gave an overview of the program, which involves a Travelers check-like document that can be used at any participating businesses (locally and across the country). We would have to provide AMIBA with the list of participating businesses and take other actions, but program would not result in any funds going to our organization. Discussion followed on the pros, cons and unknowns of the program; consensus reached that given everything else on our plate, we’d leave this along for this year.
They offered us a free table at the Dec. 12 conference; should we accept and who could staff the table? Consensus we should accept; JAN volunteered to staff it (and find others to help with that).
Stacy mentioned the City Council will be having a workshop on this next week. Board discussed how we have not made any formal decisions on public policy and will refrain from doing so until we do strategic planning. Board members are free to speak as individual, as long as they clearly identify they are NOT speaking on behalf of the organization.
Carole noted the Task Force report has the community as well as the City Council as its audience, and that the TF was looking for interesting factoids for the report. The board agreed with her proposal CAROLE to submit the Reason 1 information (funds retained in the community) to go with the previously submitted mission statement/focus areas.
Chris reported that Ari Meil, owner of Portland’s Best, will donate 10% of his profits for the Oct.-Dec. period to our organization. CHRIS will pass on the board’s thanks and we’ll send written thank you upon receipt.
Stuart, Cmt. Chair, noted the Cmt. needs another member; after a brief discussion, STUART will recruit another member for the Cmt.
Minutes recorded by Carole Ansheles.
BAYSIDE BARK / Bayside Bowl / Benchmark Real Estate / Bull Feeney's / Caravan Beads / Casco Bay EyeCare / Clark Insurance / ClickToast – Digital Advertising / Coffee By Design / CornerStone Building & Restoration / CrossFit Beacon / The Fish & Bone / Float Harder Relaxation Center / Gorham Savings Bank / Green Clean Maine / Joan Leitzer / Knack Factory / Liquid Riot / Longfellow Books / Maine Business Immigration Coalition / Malone Commercial Brokers / Marsh Agency / Nine Stones / Nomads / OTTO / Philip Spalding / Port Property Management / Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours / Portland Food Co-op / Portland Downtown / Renys Department Store / Taproot Magazine / The SunriseGuide / University Credit Union / Wellness Connection of Maine / XPress Copy / YMCA of Southern Maine / Young’s Furniture