By Mary Alice Scott
It feels a little strange (actually, it feels very strange) to be moving towards “normal” operations right now. Between a global pandemic, important and long overdue conversations about racial injustice, and general feelings of uncertainty about the future, it’s hard to pick up where anything left off in March – especially when the landscape looks so different.
Local entrepreneurs are navigating dire straits.
Even cornerstone businesses are grappling with how to keep their lights on. The everyday challenges of running a business feel small when held up to the challenges of the day. But for all these reasons, our work at Portland Buy Local is more important than ever. The past few months, we’ve dropped all our “normal” activities to focus on advocating at the local, state, and federal levels. Our full-time staff pivoted, making sure the voices of local businesses were heard in every room, at every table. We’ve won some great victories, but there’s a long way to go.
As we re-envision our streets and communities, we must ask ourselves who and what we want to survive. If we still believe in the power of local business to drive the economic and social engines of Portland and beyond, then the fight must go on. Have you been a member in the past or have you thought about joining? Are just learning about the organization through projects like our Customer Conduct Decals, our Town Hall Series, or our Green Cleaning Supply orders? Now is the time to fight with Buy Local, so we can fight for our local business community.
Our organization is driven by membership because we’re driven by our members.
Membership starts at just $10/month. And we have created a scholarship program for businesses who can’t afford those costs right now.
Because Portland Buy Local doesn’t qualify for financial support programs like the PPP, and many of our members cannot afford their dues this year, support from the community is more important than ever.
You can help keep our community organization going by becoming a member as a business, nonprofit, or individual.
If you are a community member – you can donate to Buy Local! Or better yet, you can sponsor a business to make sure that local businesses in our community have access to critical resources and support. Visit https://www.portlandbuylocal.org.
Mary Alice Scott is Portland Buy Local Executive Director.
Discloser: Publisher Tony Zeli is president of the board of directors and a media partner.