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Buy Local Orlando vs other cities

A Misleading Name
After reviewing the requirements businesses must meet in order to join the City of Orlando "Buy Local Orlando" campaign, which is "open to any business located in the City of Orlando that has a current City-issued business tax receipt," and after seeing that this campaign uses the terms "Local" and "Buy Local" in its name and marketing materials, we feel this campaign is misleading the public and should strike the terms "Local" and "Buy Local" from its name and marketing materials.

The True Goal
The campaign's true goal is to promote business in general, not local-only businesses. This is wonderful and productive. Its a "program that supports and strengthens Orlando’s businesses and local jobs and keeps more dollars spent in our community." The name and marketing materials should reflect this stated purpose.

Explore Other Cities
Five cities' policies for businesses joining their own Buy Local campaigns are below, taken directly from their websites. We invite readers to explore these requirements and then compare them to Orlando's requirements, which are listed at the bottom of this post.

Portland (website)
To participate in Portland Buy Local and be included in the online directory, a business or organization must be locally owned and independent. We define these terms as follows:

"Locally owned" means the business is privately held and the owner or the majority of the owners are Maine residents and live within 50 miles of Portland at least half of the year. This includes employee- and cooperatively owned businesses, as well as nonprofits, but not government units. The business must be registered in Maine with no corporate headquarters outside of the state.

"Independent" means the owner or owners have full decision-making authority over the business, and the business has no more than 10 outlets, with the majority located in Maine.

People often ask us if we are against chain stores. The Portland Buy Local campaign was not formed in response to any specific store opening or retail development. Rather, it seeks to educate consumers about the benefits of locally owned, independent businesses, and to inspire shoppers to support them. Part of that effort sometimes involves pointing out the negative impacts corporate chain or "big box" retailers have on our local economy and community, but this campaign is committed to keeping its overall message and focus positive.

Boise (website)
You must answer "yes" to all questions to join Think Boise First:

-Does this business have a location in Boise or Garden City?

-Is this business privately held?

-Is this business registered in Idaho with no corporate or national headquarters outside of Idaho?

-Do the business owners, totaling 50% or more of the business ownership, live in Ada or adjoining counties? The counties adjoining Ada County are:
-Boise (Idaho City)
-Canyon (Caldwell)
-Elmore (Mountain Home)
-Gem (Emmett)
-Owyhee (Murphy)
-Can your business make independent decisions regarding the name and look of your business?

-Can your business make independent decisions regarding all business purchasing, practices, and distribution?

-Do you pay all of your own marketing fees, rent, and other business expenses without assistance from a corporate headquarters?

Savannah (website)
Philosophy - Buy Local Savannah

To support our local community by encouraging participation in the Buy Local Committee, AND facilitating advertising and networking of local businesses. Our goal is to enable local businesses to compete with economies of scale used by franchise companies in areas such as advertising and purchasing.

Philadelphia (website)


Baltimore (website)
MEMBERSHIP Eligibility: Business must be locally owned (this means that majority ownership must live within 50 miles of the business location) and independently operated (sorry, no franchises).

Orlando (website)
Membership is open to any business located in the City of Orlando that has a current City-issued business tax receipt. ...the goal of Buy Local Orlando is simply to connect the businesses in Orlando with the buying power of our local community. Buy Local Orlando... is intended to be a multi-year program that supports and strengthens Orlando’s businesses and local jobs and keeps more dollars spent in our community.