These are strange times. The COVID-19 weirding experience that we are all facing personally and professionally continues to hang over our homes and the economy.
Reflecting on the challenges we face, we fall back on our strengths. This means going back to the basics. Why do we do what we do? What are the most important parts of our lives and work?
Local First has been the voice of the local, independent business community for 13 years. Our logo is a cairn reminding you to “Look Local First” and follow the cairns from shop to shop as you support the business owners that are an integral part of our community and economy.
Local First has been reminding our community for more than a decade now that shopping local and independent means local money stays local – when a customer spends $100 at an independent business, $68 of it stays in the community compared to $43 spent at national and franchise businesses; independent businesses give back to the community and have the freedom to support local causes and other local vendors, and it increases the local tax base to support infrastructure and much needed public services like schools, libraries, open space and transit.
If you are a local, independent business owner, think about waving your Local First banner high! Place our logo on your website or say you are a “proud member of Local First” on your radio ads and in print advertising. Being part of the Local First family makes you stand apart from the rest of the pack. Your customers want to support you right now for keeping it local.
For the community at large, this week businesses are coming back to life and our economy is getting back in action. Take a look for those cairns on storefront windows. And take that Be Local Coupon Book out of the car door or drawer you put it in, and put it back in action! By ripping out a coupon and entering safely into a shop, you are showing your support for local, independent business. If you haven’t picked up your book yet, head on over to Maria’s Bookshop and get your copy today.
And don’t forget, on page 125 of the Be Local Coupon Book there is a $5 coupon from the Payroll Department that makes a donation to the Local First Foundation for its work to support local self-reliance. Drop the coupon off at Maria’s or take a selfie with it and post it on social media. If you take a selfie, tag Local First and three other local businesses you love! Each post will count as a $5 donation for the Local First Foundation. If everyone redeemed their $5 coupon, Local First would raise $20,000 towards our efforts. Yet another great example of an awesome, local, independent business – The Payroll Department – giving back to the community.
And speaking of getting back to the basics and remembering why we love where we live – Local First’s mission is to build an economy that values people, the planet and prosperity for everyone. These are words to be cherished in an unprecedented time of race inequality and environmental destruction. Keep that triple bottom line accounting mantra (people, profit, planet) in the top of your mind and remember why we love this wild place and why we have chosen to reside in remote southwest Colorado.
Monique DiGiorgio is executive director of Local First Foundation in Durango. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.