History

2003

An informal group of business owners gathers around the idea that local ownership matters.

2007

Elissa Sangalli is hired as the Executive Director of Local First.

2008

The first local business directory is printed.

2012

Local First merges with the Lakeshore Independent Business Alliance (LIBA) and starts working with B Lab, a global organization in charge of B Corp certification

2013

Local First and B Lab create a shortened version of the B Impact Assessment, and collaborates with the City of Grand Rapids to launch MyGRCityPoints

In 2017, Local First launches Good For Grand Rapids to highlight the businesses going through the Quick Impact Assessment

2018

Good for Grand Rapids goes statewide and becomes Good For Michigan.

2020

Local First takes its first steps into becoming People First Economy.

Along the way, we've formed the People First Economy core values to guide our team in the work we do alongside our business community.

Core Value 1

Accessibility

We create accessibility to a socially and environmentally resilient economy for all people
Core Value 2

Accountability

We challenge economic and systemic structures that inhibit equity by holding ourselves and our partners accountable.
Core Value 3

JEDI, Anti-Racism, Transparency, and Community

We prioritize justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism through public learning, transparency, and community building.
Core Value 4

Interdependence

We collaboratively foster thriving, interdependent economic ecosystems, rooted in human-scale relationships
Core Value 5

Innovation

We equip business leaders with place-based approaches to implementing global best practices

Good For Michigan

The Good For Michigan program gains traction and continues to support businesses in their sustainability journey.  Including an increase in participation across the state, more than a dozen industries represented, a growing number of  B Corps in Michigan, a B Corp speaker tour, and a robust workshop series.

Local First

When you support local business, you create a healthier community. The Local First program exists to support a People First Economy through local ownership. We do this because communities with higher percentages of locally-owned companies are healthier by nearly every social, environmental, and economic indicator.