Local independent business owners recognized that they were facing unprecedented competition from larger chain competitors, internet merchants, and franchises whose branding power operated on a large scale.
The group understood that it was important to support unique businesses who provide meaningful service with a personal touch, and whose owners invest their lives into the community.
To bring a voice to Springfield merchants and businesses, Local First Springfield was founded in 2008 to encourage consumers to look to local, independent businesses FIRST.
Through extensive research we know that many consumers do not know why thinking and buying local matters. With just 20% of the population committed to the Local First cause and 20% not caring about the local message, we have a significant opportunity to influence change and purchasing habits with the remaining 60% of consumers. We need to let them know that 45% of every dollar spent with a local business stays within the local market, while only 13% at a chain operation stays local. Through education, we can work together with neighbors, friends, and other community members to positively impact the local economy one purchase at a time.
We encourage business owners to think where their business currently spends budgeted funds and modify them to purchase those items locally first. By simply switching even $100 a month of spending in 2-3 categories to a local firm versus a national chain, they could have a huge impact on local business. Businesses need to be willing to do what they ask consumers to do: Think Local First.
Local First works with community groups and public officials to improve the local economy by expanding jobs, increasing revenue and awareness of our message to THINK LOCAL FIRST. We will do our part to invest in economic studies and make a concerted effort to educate local officials about the many economic benefits of purchasing with a “Local First” mindset.
Board of Directors
The Local First Springfield Board of Directors is committed to helping independent, local businesses and their owners.
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Val Yazell
BOARD MEMBERS AT LARGE