Shop Small / Buy Local Movement?

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Topic: Shop Small / Buy Local Movement?

General Newburgh Discussion February 13, 2016 at 10:12 am

Shop Small / Buy Local Movement?

Hey Everyone –

Meandering through Newburgh Restoration and the web this morning, I thought I’d ask our second question regarding a “Shop Small” or “Buy Local” movement. I lived in Portland, Maine for almost 20 years and in 2006, we formed Portland Buy Local ( in order to support locally owned, independent businesses. Portland has seen a dramatic transformation over the last 20 years – going from a rough-around-the-edges middle class town to an explosive destination filled with amazing restaurants, thriving small businesses and incredible swarms of tourists in the summer. I owned and operated Maine Cocktail Tours ( for two years before moving to NYC. Anyway, I saw the incredible work that Portland Buy Local did for the community, and I’m a strong believer that a coalition of small businesses is part of the key to a successful revival of a city.

Is there currently any Buy Local movement in Newburgh? I’ve seen posts for Small Business Saturday, but I haven’t been able to find any other resources.

If there isn’t any current 501(c)(3) organization in this realm, is there interest from the business owners and entrepreneurs of Newburgh for this type of coalition?

Happy Saturday!


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Hi Noah,

Every year when American Express launches their Shop Small campaign, it is mentioned, but nothing much beyond there. From the 7 years I’ve been writing this blog I think the energy is really starting to concentrate and take off for business owners working together as a group. A huge help has been Last Saturday’s and the Newburgh Illuminated Festival – both of which focus on fostering the businesses of Liberty Street and Lower (eastern) Broadway. There was also the cash mob, which, one Saturday a month would go to a local business, all promising to spend about $20.

Honestly, a buy local/shop small organization/business improvement district is needed. I think some of us have our hands in many projects, so it’s hard to create a new one. But if a new person was to come in with a passion, energy, and time to start something like this, I think we would all support it. Liberty Street currently has 4-5 food/drink locations. There are 3 more that are about to open. There’s a need to market the area as a destination and make these businesses and the other surrounding ones to work together…especially to the 2 college campuses within walking distance. I hope if you come that is something you could make a reality!

Noah, A relative introduced this coupon book to me a couple of years back.
It didn’t ‘do it’ for me, as the offerings weren’t necessarily to my wants and the focus on ‘local’ was mixed (a corp. franchise with a local zip code, not). The portlandbuylocal program seems to have an advantage in those aspects. Personally, coupons are not the determinant I use as a consumer. Local, yes, you better be the real deal. As per Newburgh, I don’t think it’s an awareness issue, more of a perception one. Absolutely, I agree with Cher regarding the growing number of small biz establishments. Yes the colleges, med centers and muni offices are here, but… . I know a lot of people are anxiously waiting to see the aftereffect of the Broadway Corridor project. So far what we know is empirical, drawn from reads such as those provided by Cher. Your arrival time may be fortuitous.

Re>Think Local has been doing some great pro-active things in this vein. Their holiday market at Space Create (where they have an office) was a huge success. They had photographers and videographers recording each business that they post on their website- and used some photographs in co-op advertising. They also host localized gatherings in different locations throughout our region. At the moment Newburgh’s retail and restaurant markets are somewhat disjointed and still developing. Speaking as an owner of one of the few retail vendors, Newburgh Art Supply, I believe that as more stable businesses take hold, we will work better as a team to market our city as a destination. As for forming an organization, trying to find leadership from busy business owners is a big challenge. Organizations like Re>Think Local understand that challenge and are working regionally with a paid staff. And with a fresh eager staff in our city’s Economic and Development Office, I’m hopeful that they will embrace the buy local movement as they re-prioritize their purpose.

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