Wege Foundation supports Grand Rapids-based B-Corp program
GRAND RAPIDS – Local First announced today it has received a major grant from the Wege Foundation to support its “Good for Grand Rapids” campaign that brings together companies as a force for good. This $200,000 grant will help build awareness of the “Good for Grand Rapids” effort and help to engage companies interested in exploring or becoming certified as a Benefit Corporation (B-Corp).
“We are grateful for the Wege Foundation’s generous support of our goal to help companies make a positive impact in our community,” said Elissa Hillary, executive director of Local First.
Slated to launch in early 2017, the “Good for Grand Rapids” campaign will inspire, support and celebrate Grand Rapids companies that dedicate their businesses to creating high-quality jobs, fostering stronger communities and protecting our air, land and water. The “Good for Grand Rapids” campaign is designed to engage all companies in the discussion about how they can make a positive environmental and social impact while earning a profit, regardless of their size or industry.
“Local First is working tirelessly to grow the B-Corp community in West Michigan,” said Mark Van Putten, president of the Wege Foundation. “Through the leadership of Local First, West Michigan is now leading the way in terms of launching new B-Corps and we are proud to see even more companies move in this direction in the coming years.”
The Wege Foundation grant will provide a key boost for the “Good for Grand Rapids” campaign which offers technical assistance for businesses going through Local First’s B-Corps Quick Impact Assessment and helps educate small businesses about the B-Corp movement.
There are 15 Michigan-based businesses certified as B-Corps, including 13 from Grand Rapids. West Michigan companies designated as certified B-Corps include Cascade Engineering, Gazelle Sports, The Gluten Free Bar, Bazzani Associates, Betterway Imports and Highland Group.
For more information about B-Corps, visit localfirst.com/sustainability/b-corp.