Effective May 2013, Buy Local RI was transitioned to the Rhode Island Foundation.
As you may remember, Buy Local RI grew out of the recommendations of the Small Business Advocacy Council in 2009. The office of Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts has developed and operated the initiative with a deep commitment to its mission and potential. In order to sustain and grow the effort, the office has been looking for a community partner to shepherd the next phase of Buy Local RI.
In September 2012, the Rhode Island Foundation convened 300 private sector leaders for Make It Happen RI to initiate ways to revitalize Rhode Island’s economy. Buying local emerged as a major theme. Individually and organizationally, Rhode Islanders are enthusiastic and emphatic: they want to support local businesses. Given the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to meeting Rhode Island’s most pressing issues and the needs of its diverse communities, the Foundation is pleased to support Buy Local RI.
Buy Local RI’s mission will remain the same: to build a strong economy and vibrant community by promoting locally owned independent businesses, strengthening our state’s merchant and commercial associations, and providing a unified public resource where businesses and individuals can find and connect to local products and services. Going forward, the goals are to increase membership, incorporate a more robust business-to-business component, and continue to engage Rhode Islanders on how they can support the local economy. The plan is to do this by maintaining the existing brand, improving online functionality, and enhancing visibility.
You will hear more about specific efforts in the coming months. If you have any questions or suggestions in the meantime, please contact Jessica David, Foundation vice president for strategy and public affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (401) 427-4005.
We thank you for your support of this initiative and for all you do for Rhode Island. We look forward to partnering to make Buy Local RI an even more important and effective community resource.
Log on to the Buy Local RI website and register your independent, Rhode Island-based small business at no cost to you: www.buylocalri.org. It's easy to register and connect your business to other businesses and consumers throughout the state.