September 2, 2016

Bangor Savings 'buoys' Portland gift card startup Buoy Local

Courtesy / Bangor Savings Bank
Courtesy / Bangor Savings Bank
Bangor Savings Bank President and CEO Bob Montgomery-Rice, left, is joined by Sean Sullivan and Kai Smith, co-founders of Buoy Local. Montgomery-Rice, Sullivan and Smith announced the Bank's purchase of the Portland-based company Buoy Local and its gift card program at a gathering at Rising Tide Brewing Company on Thursday.

Bangor Savings Bank announced at an event at Rising Tide Brewing Co. on Thursday that it has purchased the Portland-based gift card company Buoy Local and plans to expand the service statewide.

As Mainebiz reported in 2015, when Bangor Savings Bank established a marketing partnership with the startup, Buoy Local was founded in November 2013 after co-founders Sean Sullivan and Kai Smith met at the inaugural Portland Startup Weekend. Buoy Local gift cards are currently accepted at over 100 local businesses in greater Portland and Bangor, with the goal of encouraging Mainers and others to support the local economy.

More than $185,000 has been spent locally with Buoy Local gift cards since the company's founding, according to Bangor Savings.

"We believe that Buoy Local fits perfectly with our brand and our support of Maine's small business customers," Bangor Savings President and CEO Bob Montgomery-Rice said in a release. "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."

Bangor Savings says that hundreds of retail merchants, local chambers of commerce and downtown associations will participate in the expanded service. Both Sullivan and Smith will stay involved with the business during the transition as consultants.

"Bangor Savings Bank has had a significant role in the success and growth of Buoy Local, and Kai and I are excited for the future of the business and the positive impact it will have on more communities throughout Maine," Sullivan said in a statement.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Read more

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Portland gift card startup partners with Bangor Savings to pursue statewide expansion


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