From back to school supplies to summer reading… Portland Buy Local businesses have you covered
By Mary Alice Scott
August is the Sunday evening of summertime — school is about to be back in session, vacations are wrapping up, and time is running out to do the things you wanted to do before returning to your regularly scheduled weeks – like summer reading!
Shift to Local – Clothing, Books & Arts
Each month, we encourage our community to reflect on their purchasing habits and shift 10% of their shopping to locally owned, independent businesses. This August, we’re focusing on clothing, books, and arts.
While big chain stores may try to entice you with shiny sales flyers and well-targeted social media ads, don’t be fooled! Local businesses often have better prices, just without the advertising budget (that’s where Portland Buy Local comes in!). Locally owned shops like Reny’s offer good deals year-round for the whole family.
August means back-to-school prep, but it also means summer reads on the beach or at the lake. If you didn’t get your summer reading done, it’s not too late! Check out locally owned bookstores like Longfellow Books, Print: A bookstore, Greenhand Bookshop, Sherman’s Books, and Letterpress Books.
This part of summer also provides the perfect setting for First Friday, Creative Portland’s monthly celebration of our local arts community. Take a stroll down Congress Street to visit the local galleries and consider what local art might look good in your home!
Recently, the Friends of Woodford’s Corner have also started a Third Thursday celebration in the vein of First Friday. There’s local art, music, and a community gathering in Trinity Park. These celebrations of local arts give you a taste of our unique community character, in addition to supporting our local economy.
Increase your impact
If everyone in Greater Portland made the 10% shift, it would generate $50 million annually in new economic activity for the region and create 600 new jobs. (These figures are derived from studies in other cities and adjusted to reflect Portland’s size and spending patterns.) This impact is driven in large part because local businesses also support one another — creating a “multiplier effect” that benefits our whole economy.
Visit our website for a list of locally owned shops that offer clothing, books, and arts at www.portlandbuylocal.org/directory.
Mary Alice Scott is PBL Executive Director. Publisher-editor Tony Zeli is President of the Board and West End News is a Portland Buy Local media partner.