The Age-Friendly Portland Steering Committee recently launched a new program to help local business owners become more sensitive to the needs of older customers and received recognition for efforts to make their business more “age-friendly” and accessible to all. The group will certified and honored 13 new businesses with this designation.
A presentation ceremony with City Manager Jon Jennings, Linda Weare, the City’s Elder Advocate, Lori Parham, AARP Maine, Quincy Hentzel, the CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber, and the business reps took place on June 13, 2019 at 10:15 AM at City Hall in the State of Maine Room on the 2nd Floor.
The Age-Friendly Business application contains a checklist of criteria that can earn a business points in different categories of “Age Friendliness”, including accessibility of interior and exterior spaces, customer service, marketing strategies, and general sensitivity to challenges that may affect the ability of older consumers to patronize a business or agency.
Companies that meet a minimum number of required criteria will receive an Age-Friendly Business Certificate of Award and a decal to display in the storefront window. The designation may also be published on company websites, in advertising, and in local guides for visitors.
Maine has the oldest population in the nation, by median age. More than 41% of Mainers are currently over the age of 50. It is more important than ever for businesses and organizations to recognize and understand the needs of an aging customer base. An age-friendly business ensures a comfortable and accessible environment for older customers, and allows customers of all ages to visit, shop, dine, and fully participate in whatever the company has to offer. Older adults tend to be loyal customers with strong purchasing power. An Age-Friendly Designation can help businesses attract and retain new customers and increase business growth.
An Age-Friendly designation shows that a business supports Portland’s vision for the creation of an age-friendly community; one that supports and values residents and visitors of all ages and promotes active participation and meaningful engagement in all aspects of community life.
For more information about Age Friendly Portland, or to apply for the Age-Friendly Business program, please email requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Linda Weare at 207-541-6620.