Community Banner Program

Community Banner Program Implementation

On January 28, 2019, the Town Council approved by a vote of 5-2 (Councilors Ujifusa and Katzman dissenting) the implementation of a Community Banner Pilot Program in cooperation with CGI Communications. 

However, problems were encountered when attempting to determine suitable sites for the banners.  Since virtually all the potential utility poles that were selected for review are owned by National Grid.  Since it is National Grid's policy to not allow commercial advertising on their poles, the CGI Banner initiative could not go forward.

For historical purposes, the below is provided.

The History of the Banner Initiative

It is very difficult to come up with programs to help our businesses that may not be consistent with some of our community values. So, when one such as this comes along, it deserves serious consideration.  

This program endeavors to provide local businesses a vehicle by which to put forth their identity while supporting something that has the potential to convey our community pride to all those who visit our town.  The best part of the program is that we can back out completely if it does not work. 

The approval had the following stipulations:

  1. The agreement would be for 1 year (starting date to be determined) with the decision to discontinue to be by either the Town of CGI at the end of that period.
  2. Only Portsmouth Businesses or organizations would be solicited as sponsors

Other stipulations that will be in the originally presented CGI agreement are that:

CGI will provide

  1. Full Color, custom graphic vinyl banners on all permissible poles
  2. The Pilot Program will consist of a MAXIMUM of 25 total banners in four town areas:
  • Cory/Hedley Intersection
  • Town Center Area (East Main Rd at Turnpike Ave)
  • Union St at East Main Rd
  • Entrance to Seveney Sports Complex

The Portsmouth Economic Development Committee will be charged with coordinating an ad-hoc working group to discuss banner themes and to liaison with CGI program developers to implement the program. The group will also be developing some measures on which to evaluate the program to make recommendations on whether or not to continue after one year. 

If you desire to be part of this working group please contact the Portsmouth Director of Business Development, Rich Talipsky, at 401-643-0382 or email Rich Talipsky

More Information About the Program

Fall River -banner-compressed


CGI Communications, a private firm, offers several public outreach programs. One is the “Video Tour of Portsmouth” video clips that are available on the Town Web Site home page ( These videos were produced by CGI at no cost to the Town.

CGI has offered another program, called the “Community Banner Program” that offers large streetscape banners on existing utility poles. The program is also offered at no cost to the Town with CGI doing all design, installation and maintenance of the banners. Of course, CGI must recoup these costs. They do that by soliciting “sponsorships” to local businesses and organizations for a fee (as they do for the “Video Tour” videos). With the banner program, they offer the bottom 30% of the banner area to display the sponsor’s message.

Banner Program Overview

To see an overview of the plan for Portsmouth that describes the candidate areas, download the following PDF slide show.

Community Banner Program Presentation (Jan 16) (PDF File)


In summary, the program is designed to

  • Enhance Civic Pride
  • Boost Community Identity
  • Promote Local Businesses

The Portsmouth Economic Development Committee debated the merits of the program and decided to recommend a pilot program to try out the initiative in a selected area of town. The area recommended would be the Park Ave section of Island Park. Several sections of Park Ave have been selected as candidates for the program and, if approved, the Town will work with CGI designers on the details of the program and exact banner treatment and locations.

The banners would be installed on existing structures (mainly utility poles) in areas mutually agreed to by the Town and CGI.  The banners would be approximately 5 feet high by 2.5 feet wide. Several local communities (North Providence and Fall River) have adopted the program.


Fall River -banner-cropped

Fall River Banner 6

Fall River Banners2

Approval and Execution of the Program

It is expected that the program will be discussed at a Town Council meeting and, if the Town approves, CGI will work with the Portsmouth Director of Business Development on the details of the program including banner design and placement.

What would be the obligation of the Town?

The obligation of the Town for the pilot program would be to install a minimum of 25 banners for a period of one-year. After the one year the town can opt to continue the program, expand it or eliminate it altogether.

What have others said about the Community Banner Program?

Click on the following links to see what the Better Business Bureau and some of CGI's clients have had to say.

Better Business Bureau

Customer Testimonials

Utica NY Banner Program News

The Portsmouth Economic Development Committee has discussed the program and has endorse trying it out under the Pilot Program.

How can I see what the banners look like?

SAMPLE BANNER AT TOWN  HALL - A sample banner will be on display at Town Hall

NEARBY COMMUNITIES - If you happen to be driving through Fall River or North Providence, they are using the Community Banner Program in their communities.

How can citizens voice their comments and questions?

OPEN DISCUSSION FORUM - An open forum will be held at Town Hall on Thursday January 17, 2019 at 5:00 PM 

TOWN COUNCIL MEETING - The program was approved by the Portsmouth Town Council on January 28, 2019.  

CONTACT THE DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT - Comments on the implementation of the program can be addressed to Rich Talipsky, the Portsmouth Director of Business Development by calling 401-643-0382 or emailing .