Saturday, July 01, 2006

Local Group Launches 'Buy Local' Campaign

A local group has launched "BUY LOCAL: KEEP PORTLAND INDEPENDENT" - a campaign to raise awareness of the economic benefits of buying locally.

For every $100 dollars spent at a locally owned business, $45 goes back into our community, according to the group. At a chain store, only $14 comes back, and studies have also found that local businesses contribute more than twice as much of their revenue to charitable causes as do corporate chains.

Locally owned businesses give cities and towns their unique character, infuse downtowns and neighborhoods with life and vitality, contribute a great deal to the health and well-being of communities, and are powerful economic engines for the state. Despite their importance, Maine's independent businesses have struggled as national chains have opened stores across the state and captured a growing share of the market.

"I'm participating in this effort with one of my direct competitors because we value the larger social and economic benefits our community enjoys by having a diverse array of strong, independent, locally owned businesses," said Allan Schmid, owner of Books, Etc., "This effort is important to our community and our way of life."

Joan Leitzer, a Portland resident and consumer, said she's been helping with the campaign "because I want to keep more of my dollars working in my community, and locally owned businesses are essential to maintaining the vitality of our downtowns and building strong communities."

This launch is the first phase of what will be an ongoing campaign to educate the public about the benefits of buying locally. Local independent Portland businesses are invited to join the effort. With a twenty dollar donation, businesses will receive a "BUY LOCAL" window decal, a window poster, customer thank-you cards, as well as educational material detailing the benefits of shopping at locally-owned, independent businesses.

For more information on the benefits of supporting locally owned businesses or to join this effort, visit or contact Stacy Mitchell, Portland Buy Local Committee/Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Office: (207)774-6792
Cell: (207) 232-3681
Nancy Lawrence, Portland Buy Local Committee/Portmanteau
Store: (207) 774-7276
Cell: (207) 332-6142


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