Rhode Island’s small businesses bracing for a long, cold winter got a spark of excitement today when the state’s tourism regions announced a partnership with the Rhode Island Foundation and BankNewport to revive the Foundation’s iconic “Buy Local RI” campaign.

 “Small businesses are the backbone of Rhode Island’s economy, we all know someone who is connected as an employee or owner – they are our friends and neighbors, and need our support,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and chief executive officer of the Rhode Island Foundation. “As the state’s community foundation we’re glad to partner with BankNewport and the state’s tourism regions to bring this campaign to life.”

The Foundation has lent the regions the use of the brand, and the website BuyLocalRI.org for the promotion, which centers on a listing of “100 Ways to Buy Local in Rhode Island.” The Foundation and BankNewport are also providing financial support for an advertising campaign that will run from December through February.

“As a true community bank, we are committed to investing in the myriad of small businesses that make up the unique fabric of Rhode Island,” said Wendy Kagan, Executive Vice President and Director of Employee and Community Engagement at BankNewport.  “We are proud to be a part of the revival of the ‘Buy Local’ campaign and hope that it serves as a reminder this holiday season and beyond to support the businesses that are integral to the success of every community throughout the state.”

The effort is a partnership among the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, Block Island Tourism Council, City of Warwick, Discover Newport, Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB), and South County Tourism Council, all of whom worked on developing the campaign.

“One of the small silver linings in this pandemic is that it has fostered a heightened spirit of collaboration,” said Kristen Adamo, PWCVB president and CEO.  “This is a project that we have all been working on for months, in hopes of helping our retailers, restaurants, hotels and other small businesses survive the winter.” She noted that the project is compatible and complementary to Commerce RI’s ShopLocalRhodeIsland.com effort.

It was important to the regions that the campaign extends beyond the holiday season into January and February, which are typically slow tourism months.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with the other tourism regions to provide just a snapshot of 100 ways to shop, dine, and stay local throughout our destinations. This is just the beginning of some of the ways you can show your support for your friends’ and neighbor’s businesses. And the best part is the campaign will continue into the New Year,” stated Kathryn Farrington, vice president of marketing for Discover Newport.

Those wishing to show support for the move are asked to post their purchases on social media using the hashtag #BuyLocalRI.

For more information and to see a full list of businesses, visit BuyLocalRI.org.