Local First Blog

Local First


Recent Posts

Coffee Hour is Back!

Jan 11, 2021 5:04:03 PM / by Local First posted in Inclusive Economy

2 Comments

Coffee Hour is back in partnership with Bloom Credit Union!

Whew, we're so glad to have 2020 in our rearview! But if we learned anything from last year, it's the value of community and our need to connect. While Local First could not hold our in-person events (like bringing hundreds of people together to sample bites from dozens of local food businesses, enjoying live music and beautiful art, and networking together at a local business), we were and are able to keep our members connected and the conversation flowing. 

Read More

Safety Protocols for Small Businesses

Nov 19, 2020 1:43:01 PM / by Local First posted in Local Business

0 Comments

With court rulings impacting safety protocols for small businesses and changing reports on how Michigan businesses are expected to operate, it's fair to say, 2020 has been a year full of change and confusion.

Here is what we know for sure: starting November 18th, Michigan will Pause to Save Lives. 

Read More

Stock up at Martha's Vineyard

Nov 16, 2020 11:05:00 AM / by Local First posted in Holiday, Local Business

0 Comments

Photos sponsored by Corriveau Photography

Our Grand Rapids area feature is Martha’s Vineyard and its child companies. This unique collection of businesses takes up a block in the Heritage Hill neighborhood and is a healthy mix of made-in-Michigan products, house-made edibles, and goods from around the world.
Second generation leader, Ilana Chamelly, sat down with Local First to share their story.

Read More

The 2020 Holi-DAZE are here!

Nov 3, 2020 4:30:21 PM / by Local First posted in Holiday, Inclusive Economy

1 Comment

Fall and winter are busy times for all of us. Between year-end bookkeeping, social (distance) engagements, busy storefront hours, and personal holiday shopping, it's no wonder these months fly by. And this year is no exception - plus we have the added stress of rapidly changing safety precautions. It's enough to overwhelm anyone. But it doesn't have to be when we take advantage of our community resources! 

Read More

All you need to know about the new localfirst.com

Oct 1, 2020 9:20:51 AM / by Local First

0 Comments

The Local First team has been dreaming and scheming of the day we could build a more robust and modern localfirst.com to champion our local business members across West Michigan. After lots of hard work and feedback, it’s finally here!

Read More

Celebrating Virtual Fork Fest: A Guide to Local Food

Sep 25, 2020 2:59:05 PM / by Local First posted in Eat Local

2 Comments

Food naturally brings people together. Whether it’s making a meal, supporting a farmer, sharing a recipe, or celebrating a special occasion: food is communal. This is what we celebrate at our Fork Fest events. These events showcase West Michigan's agricultural abundance and focus on the relationships that drive our local food systems.

Read More

When putting Local First isn’t an option

Sep 1, 2020 12:00:00 AM / by Local First

0 Comments

Local First is proud to represent hundreds of locally-owned companies in West Michigan. We encourage residents and visitors to support these businesses and for our members to source from one another. But sometimes, there isn't a local solution. This is why we say “local first” – not “local only.” We know that from time to time, a local option just isn’t available.  

Read More

Celebrate our local, independent businesses!

Jun 15, 2020 10:56:00 AM / by Local First posted in Local Business

0 Comments

Independents Week: June 27 to July 4

Locally-owned, independent businesses are the backbone of our community. And they need us more than ever right now. Help us celebrate them during Independents Week!

Read More

Businesses Moving the Needle on Racial Equity:  A Dialogue Led by Local First’s Board of Directors

Jun 12, 2020 2:17:00 PM / by Local First posted in Inclusive Economy

0 Comments

Local First’s Board of Directors held a town hall-style event with member businesses on Friday, June 12 to discuss the role West Michigan’s local economy plays in systemic racism: as an enabler and as a catalyst for change. Vice-Chair of the Local First Educational Foundation and moderator, Tarence Lauchie of T. Lauchie & Associates, asked participants to think about their:

Read More

Marketing Matters (Part II)

May 18, 2020 11:50:00 AM / by Local First posted in Local Business

0 Comments

Thank you for joining the Membership Team for Part II of our marketing webinar series! Kathleen Roark and Katherine Jandernoa were joined by the following panelists to discuss why marketing matters and how to approach it during a pandemic:

Read More