About Us

The Portland Independent Business and Community Alliance (PIBCA), is a membership-driven, business-focused organization based in Portland, Maine. Its members include locally owned, independent, non-franchised businesses, community nonprofits, and individual members who share a passion for building and sustaining a thriving local business community. PIBCA is primarily known by the name of its central campaign, Portland Buy Local.

The organization provides services to help business members thrive through education, marketing support, business development, and connection with each other and the community at large. It also organizes events and produces materials that promote its members, educate the community about why buying local matters, and inspire consumers to choose local first.

The Portland Buy Local campaign was launched in July 2006 by Portland business owners and citizens working to counteract the rising influence of national chains through collective marketing, education, and advocacy. After receiving an enthusiastic response from both businesses and residents, the initial working group incorporated the Portland Independent Business and Community Alliance as a 501c(6) in September 2006 and formed the organization’s first Board of Directors and Advisory Board.

Mission:

We champion local, independent businesses, the heart of Greater Portland’s unique appeal, through marketing, education, business development, and community connection.

Vision:

Greater Portland is known for its thriving local businesses and is a place where everyone chooses local first.

Tagline:

Championing local, independent businesses, the heart of Greater Portland’s unique appeal.

Our four focus areas are:

Education:

Informing consumers, policymakers, and the media of the value provided by locally owned businesses and their importance to the local economy, culture, and community.

Marketing:

Promote locally owned businesses on PBL online platforms. Offer branding, promotion, and advertising to elevate their collective profile and provide some of the advantages enjoyed by chains.

Business Development:

Provide opportunities for locally owned businesses to reach consumers through events, printed materials, and online, as well as learning opportunities to help them grow their business.

Connection:

Building relationships, increasing a sense of community, and providing networking opportunities for local business owners and employees to connect with each other.

To join PIBCA, a business must be locally owned, independent, and non-franchised. Hundreds of local businesses have joined our movement – displaying Portland Buy Local window decals, posters, countertop thank you cards, tee-shirts, bumper stickers, and other educational materials in their businesses, as well as incorporating the Buy Local logo into their own marketing and advertising.

PIBCA is an affiliate of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), a 501c3 organization that helps people start and sustain Independent Business Alliances (IBAs). PIBCA is one of over 50 IBAs in the U.S. It also serves as our fiscal sponsor for charitable donations and grants.

Our monthly board meeting minutes are available by request. If you’d like to view them, please contact us at info@portlandbuylocal.org.

Arrow Pointing Up
back to top