PORTLAND, Maine — In you're passionate about supporting and buying from local businesses, you're in luck -- on Wednesday, the city of Portland released its 'Buy Local Guide' for the 2019 season.
Portland Buy Local is part of the Portland Independent Business & Community Alliance, designed to lift up local, independent businesses through a variety of events and programs. It also aims to educate the public about the importance of going local.
The event to promote the city's 'Buy Local Guide' for this year comes as the temperature rises and more people plan to take a trek out to Vacationland.
Portland's visitor bureau says that the city is expecting a lively tourist season this summer.
"All trends are showing upward, especially for the greater Portland area," said Christopher Riccardo of Visit Portland. "People are coming to Maine -- it's a destination. They like our authenticity."
That authenticity is rooted in the thousands of local businesses in Portland that provide services from food to real estate to tours, and everything in between.
Printed copies of Portland's 'Buy Local Guide' were handed out at Bayside Bowl on May 22. Throughout the season, the group expects that more than 25,000 copies will make their way around the city.
Mary Alice Scott, Executive Director of Portland Buy Local, says that all of the group's 400 member businesses display these guides to catch the eyes of people walking from storefront to storefront.
"When you spend money in a local business, it's three and a half time more likely to stay within our community," said Scott. "So we want to make it as easy as possible for people to connect with local consumers and local independent businesses to really build community."
Local business owners say they stand out from big box companies because of their personal touch.
"We have local knowledge. We know the side streets, the little streets -- we have relationships with the businesses that we work with, and it's a big difference to people when you walk in, and the owner greets you by name, and you ask about their kids and their family," said Norman Patry of Summer Feet Cycling.
"Even though folks may be in competition, it's a community," said Riccardo. "And if you bring people in, it benefits everybody."