COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Shopping Locally Strengthens Our Community

Local First Alliance was created eight years ago as an effort to make it easy for customers to find local businesses in their community.

Why shop local? Most people shop at locally owned stores and businesses for a few reasons. They might know the owners and employees. They might realize that their dollars make a larger difference in the community. They might feel good about making purchases in sustainable ways. Whatever the reason, shopping local means making the choice to support a robust local economy.

Local First Alliance was created eight years ago as an effort to make it easy for customers to distinguish local businesses from those owned wholly or partly by a national chain. “A breadth of quality choices can only come from a Main Street filled with a mix of entrepreneurs,” says Terry Martin, Vice President of Commercial Credit at Mascoma Savings Bank.

You might have seen the green and blue signs in windows and at counters in one of the 69 towns that host Local First Alliance businesses. Over 250 businesses have joined Local First Alliance since its inception. “When customers see those signs, there’s no question they are indeed at a locally owned business,” Terry says.

Terry points out that not only do the business owners and employees benefit from local dollars, but nonprofit organizations, youth sports teams, music groups, and other community agencies thrive as well.

“Local businesses donate both financial and practical support to a variety of local causes,” explains Terry. “The fabric of our community depends on locally spent dollars.”

Over 250 businesses have joined Local First Alliance since its inception.

For every dollar spent with a local business, 45 cents is reinvested in that community to create jobs, support charities, and increase the region’s sustainability. That’s compared to only 15 cents from non-local businesses.

Are you interested in keeping your dollars local? Search the database at the Vital Communities website for businesses who have joined Local First Alliance and committed themselves to the community we share:

VitalCommunities.org/localfirst/memberdirectory.cfm