About LocalFirst Community

join us!

The Local Business Institute is committed to the goal of helping locally-owned businesses across the country.

One of the best ways we can see to do that is to support the nonprofiit organizations that support the local businesses in their communities. We have committed our resources and assets to this mission.
To achieve these goals, we launched the LocalFirst Community as a place where we gather, collaborate and thrive. Membership in the LocalFirst Community is open to any nonprofit organization whose membership is comprised of locally-owned businesses. Whether you call yourself a Merchant’s Association, Independent Business Alliance, Collective, Guild or Group, if your members are locally-owned businesses, we welcome you to the LocalFirst Community.

We believe

We believe that the pursuit of owning a local business is the pursuit of happiness.

We believe that locally owned businesses run by people who care about our community are the foundation of a healthy local economy, not by creating commerce over people but by creating commerce with people.

We believe that local business is more than the exchange of money for goods and services. It is the action of needs being fulfilled, of human to human interaction. The “hello, how are you doing?” from a clerk, the smile from a waiter or a warm greeting from your favorite barista give us connectivity and a sense of place. Yes, I do need a cup of coffee. But I also need your smile, the chatter of other customers, the scent of warm pastries.

We believe that connectivity means more than 100 people in a room exchanging business cards. That’s an exchange of information. True connectivity comes from shared experiences, shared struggles, shared hopes and dreams. Local business owners share a connectivity because of who they are—they all had the ambition and courage to pursue a talent, a passion, a dream.

We believe in collaboration over competition and in inclusion over division. We all benefit from a healthy local business ecosystem and helping others is part of that.

We believe the Local Business Institute can best help locally-owned businesses by collaborating with the nonprofit organizations that serve them.

Come join us in these beliefs. Become a LocalFirst Community member.

our shop local campaigns


Celebrate Shop Local Week by being a customer to locally owned businesses every day from May 1-7.


A Staycation can rival the best vacation. Think not? Try a staycation and explore new things in your hometown.


Show your love for your locals in February and all year long.


When you can shop anywhere, shop locally-owned. Happy Local Holidays!