Greater Portland businesses do good in the community

I’ve gotten a string of announcements lately from or about Greater Portland businesses helping out in the community in one way or another, and while I realize these are sent out precisely with the intent of getting good publicity, sometimes it’s nice to indeed recognize some of the businesses who are giving back.

Without further ado:

Grand New Flag, Saco

Grand New Flag gives back 5 percent of net profits each year to Maine veterans through an initiative which funds programs that support local veterans services organizations. This year, the company is dedicating the donations to the Wounded Heroes Program of Maine, and as always, veterans and those in active duty receive 15 percent of their purchases with Grand New Flag.

This local company makes sure to sell only flags made in the U.S.A., and sells American made SpartaCraft memorial cases and shadow boxes as well.

Berlin City Toyota, Portland

Toyota held a nationwide contest to award “100 Cars for Good,” and wouldn’t you know it, Camp Sunshine in Casco won one of them.

Berlin City Toyota in Portland was scheduled today to hand over a Sienna mobility van to the camp, which serves children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

SSS Brothers Smoke Shop, Portland

SSS Brothers Smoke Shop, not far from Portland’s Riverton School, was recognized as a “Star Store” under a program run by the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Protection and the nonprofit NO BUTS! — or “Blocking Underage Tobacco Sales.”

According to a Portland city announcement, the Star Store designation recognizes “a responsible retailer who takes seriously their role as a community member in reducing the visibility of tobacco advertising to kids.”

In the case of SSS Brothers, the local convenience store and gas station reduced tobacco advertising by 50 percent and refused to put up any promotions or signs considered to be geared toward youth.

Said Stephanie Pooler of Healthy Portland, in a statement:

Reducing the volume of advertising that kids are exposed to can make a serious difference in preventing Maine’s youth from starting tobacco. We’re extremely pleased thatSSS Brothershas become Star Store certified, and encourage other retailers in the community to do the same.

The sad truth is that the tobacco industry spends $59 million in Maine alone each year to promote its products. That means that youth are exposed to clever, aggressive marketing that requires our diligence. The Star Store program is a great step that responsible retailers can take to help reduce Big Tobacco’s influence on kids.


Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.