Portland Buy Local launches city-wide gift exchange

PORTLAND — The first city-wide gift exchange has been launched by Portland Buy Local just in time for the holidays.

Portland Gift Swap, a joint venture with Knack Factory, Mission 3/65, Shop Indie Local and Black Owned Maine, is open to all residents 18 and older in greater Portland.

“In a year with so many of us feeling the effects of the pandemic and facing uncertainty going into the winter months, we thought this would be a fun way to spread cheer, while encouraging people to shop at Portland’s local businesses,” said Portland Buy Local Executive Director Mary Alice Scott. “Shopping local this holiday season is one way that we as a community can help support small businesses during this time.”

Scott said 76% of money spent at locally owned, independent businesses stays in the community and if everyone in Cumberland County shifted just 10% of their shopping to such businesses, it would generate an additional $127 million into the local economic.

Those interested in joining the gift exchange can do so by signing up at giftswap.portlandbuylocal.org by Wednesday, Dec. 16. Participants will be randomly assigned and gifts will be purchased based on an individual’s likes, interests or favorite local business. A $25 limit has been suggested.

Gifts to exchange must be purchased by Friday, Jan. 15, and can be dropped off and picked up at designated businesses.

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