Shopping local and supporting local businesses is crucial to the strength and success of any community.
Since it’s inception in 2003, Local First Arizona has served as a valuable resource for the community, encouraging the growth of local business and striving for greater city and state pride. With a directory of nearly 3,000 local businesses across the state, residents and visitors have a unique tool at their disposal to connect with shops, restaurants, suppliers and much more that serve as the backbone of Arizona’s economy.
Founder and Executive Director Kimber Lanning and her talented team have made leaps and bounds since she started fourteen years ago. She was inspired to begin her changemaking efforts after observing the lack of connection to place. With many people moving to Arizona from a different state or region, there were many residents who lived and worked here, but didn’t put up roots and cheer for the home team or feel truly connected to their community. “There were a lot of bright young people leaving and doing great things elsewhere, and it was important to build good hometown pride and connect people and get them to understand how this impacts us,” Kimber said.
In fact, people with minimal community pride are less likely to vote or give charitably. Another concern was creating a level playing field for local businesses, as big chain stores were receiving massive subsidies at the time.