Crowing about the Buy Local RI t-shirt campaign
The Rhode Island Foundation joined the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB), the Rhode Island Hospitality Association (RIHA) and retailer Frog & Toad to celebrate the success of a Buy Local RI t-shirt campaign that raised $3,500 for the Rhode Island Hospitality Employee Relief Fund, while also encouraging the public to support local businesses, artists and the hospitality industry at large. In addition, the Foundation contributed a matching $3,500 to bring the total to $7,000.
The Foundation has managed the Buy Local RI brand since 2014 when former Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts handed off the campaign that her office launched in 2008. Late last year, the Foundation loaned the brand to PWCVB and a coalition of local tourism organizations for a marketing campaign to support local restaurants, attractions, hotels and more across the state and provided funding to support an advertising campaign.
and its partners created a grassroots movement that expanded the brand and
ignited interest across the state,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO
of the Foundation. “From the ‘100 Ways to Buy Local’ website to ensuring access
to messaging in Spanish and English and launching creative partnerships like
that with Frog & Toad and the Hospitality Association, they encouraged
Rhode Islanders to support local businesses and workers during the COVID-19
shut-down last year and continue to remind them as the state reopens.”
incredibly grateful for the Rhode Island Foundation’s generosity and support in
allowing us to not only showcase their iconic Buy Local RI logo but to allow
local artists the freedom to interpret the logo in new and exciting ways,” said
Kristen Adamo, PWCVB president and CEO. “We made sure to keep everything about
this project local, from the artists and printing to the neighbors, friends,
and families supported through donations from sales.”
tourism and hospitality business continues to return to pre-pandemic levels,
the additional funds from this campaign have helped ensure financial support
remains available through the RI Hospitality Employee Relief Fund,” said Dale
Venturini, RIHA president and CEO. “Even though most business restrictions are
behind us, the financial hardships incurred over the last 14 months are still
with many of our industry workers. We hope this assistance can help lessen some
of those burdens as they return to work.”
examples of employees using grant funds include covering the costs of groceries
for children enrolled in distance learning, medical supplies and medications
for family members, securing housing, funeral arrangements for family members
lost to COVID-19, and basic living costs while out of work and exhausting other
three T-shirts are still available for purchase, but quantities are limited and
these designs won’t be reproduced again. The first T-shirt released features
the original Buy Local RI brand design while the other two shirts showcase fun
variations of the brand created by two local artists, Maret Bondorew and
are $22 each and can only be purchased online at frogandtoadstore.com.
Curbside pickup is available at Frog & Toad’s 795 Hope St. location and
free nationwide shipping is available for orders over $50.
project has been awesome because it's shown how much Rhode Islanders care about
each other,” said Frog & Toad co-owner Asher Schofield. “That's what
shopping locally is. Supporting our local economy is supporting the friends and
neighbors we have that run or are employed by locally-owned independent
businesses. When you buy local, 68% of your money returns to the local economy
via taxes, payroll and other expenditures versus just 48% when you shop at a
more information about the RI Hospitality Employee Relief Fund, please visit rihospitality.org/RIHEF-Employee-Relief-Fund.
more information about 100 Ways to Buy Local RI, please visit BuyLocalRI.org.