September 1, 2016
The almost-three-year-old Portland, ME-based startup Buoy Local has just been acquired by Bangor Savings Bank. Buoy Local was featured at a Tech.co event, the Maine Mixer and Startup Showcase, in 2014.
The company got its start in Portland, co-founded by Sean Sullivan and Kai Smith, where it sold gift cards useable only at a selection of local businesses. The goal: Boosting revenue circulation within local networks in a way that business owners can easily quantify. They later expanded to Bangor.
“It is considered an “open loop” gift card since it is not tied to one specific business. Statistics show that for every $100 spent in locally owned businesses, $73 stays in the same city or town. This is compared with only $43 of every $100 spent at non-local businesses in the same city or town. Oh, and it should go without mentioning that $0 of your well-spent Amazon Prime money is re-circulating around your town.”
Today, Buoy Local’s networks include over 100 businesses, who join with a one-time fee and annual dues, and has processed over $185,000 in revenue for these businesses.
Local Businesses Will Continue Being Bouyed
Bangor Savings’ interest in Buoy Local stems from their shared goal of supporting local businesses, as Maine Startups Insider reports:
“We believe that Buoy Local fits perfectly with our brand and our support of Maine’s small business customers,” Bob Montgomery-Rice, Bangor Savings’ president and CEO, said in a statement. “We care about Maine’s communities and local merchants, and we know that promoting the notion of shopping locally is important in helping Maine’s small businesses thrive.”
Sullivan and Smith will serve as consultants during the transition period. No financial details about the deal were disclosed, and the acquisition will not affect Buoy Local’s business network or its gift cards’ balance. Buying local will continue to bouy local businesses.
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