Local First Blog

Second Annual Independents Week

Jun 22, 2021 9:15:00 AM / by Local First

Independents Week is back! Celebrate our local, independent businesses with Local First the week of June 28th to July 4th.  


In a year where we've been more separated than not, Local First is proud to champion the businesses centering people and our place in order to create opportunity, putting our dollars to work locally, and building a more self-reliant economy. Locally-owned businesses - those that are owned and operated by a person or persons in the community served, headquartered in the same community, and are privately held - are the backbone of our community. Help us celebrate them during Independents Week!  

How can you get engaged and show your pride for our local businesses? We’re glad you asked! Our Second Annual Independents Week will include a bingo game contest with a variety of actionable ways to shift your spending to locally-owned businesses in Grand Rapids and along the Lakeshore; diverse business events and discounts, opportunities to connect with the mainstreet business corridor near you, ways to get social and dig deeper.   

Let’s Play Bingo

Access the Bingo card in English or in Spanish 

How to play:

Players mark their completed local action items to create a full row (five action items connected to form a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line). When your card is full, share it with us on Instagram (tag @localfirstwestmi and @downtownholland, the businesses you supported, and use the hashtag #IndependentsWeek) or email (membership@localfirst.com) and be entered to win a gift card giveaway powered by Downtown Holland! Winner will be announced on July 5th.   

Find Local Businesses, Events & Discounts Near You  

Looking for locally-owned businesses near you? The Local First Online Directory features local businesses throughout West Michigan. Search by keyword, business type, neighborhood, or ownership type to find new businesses and their current discounts and events. Local First’s Community Calendar provides an overview of current events offered by our member businesses.  

Connect with Your Mainstreet  

Did you know that for every $100 spent at a local, independently-owned business $68 of those dollars stay in the community (Local Works, Civic Economics)? When you buy local your dollars go toward improving the lives of the people around you and making our community more circular and sustainable. Your dollar is your vote in the community! Use them kindly and wisely by exploring the mainstreet business corridor near you and searching business directories available at organizations such as:

Let’s Get Social 

Facebook Frame 
  1. Navigate to your profile
  2. Hover over your profile picture and click Update 
  3. Click Add Frame
  4. Search Independents Week and select the frame by Local First West Michigan
Tag Your Favorite (Instagram Story Panel)
  1. Download the Instagram Story Panel in English or in Spanish.  
  2. Use this image in your stories, tag the businesses you love, and tag your friends. Then share a blank image to your story, tagging the same friends, so they can reshare and pass it along.
  3. Share how you’re participating via social media! Tag @localfirstwestmi, the businesses you support, and use the hashtag #IndependentsWeek.  

Dig Deeper 

Advocate for policies that support local, independent businesses with Small Business Rising. Small Business Rising is a coalition of independent businesses standing up for a level playing field. They're urging elected leaders to break the power of monopolies and safeguard our right to compete and serve the needs of our communities. Share your Small Business Rising support with these tools

Listen & Learn:

HubSpot Video


Local businesses put our dollars to work. Check out the lifecycle of a dollar through our local owners. This video is generously powered by Verhey Carpets!

From the local businesses we patron (for cheese, paint, shoes, takeout, candles, and more), to the independent businesses we employ (for lawn care, financial, photography, and real estate services), these businesses employ our family and friends, strengthen our economy, add character to our neighborhoods, and contribute to our pride in and sense of place. Every dollar we spend is a vote for the type of community we want to build and sustain. Thank you for championing locally-owned businesses this Independents Week! 

Local First

Written by Local First