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About CLF

Who Are We?

Cambridge Local First is a network of locally owned and independent businesses formed in October 2005 to build a strong Cambridge economy and a vibrant community.

We do this by:

  • Raising the awareness of consumers, businesses, and government agencies about the benefits of purchasing from locally owned businesses.
  • Bringing together independent businesses for mutual benefit and networking opportunities.
  • Supporting Cambridge ordinances and regulations that promote locally owned businesses.

Why do we do it?

In an era of global economy and outsourcing, businesses and customers are becoming increasingly separated from each other and from their communities. When consumers buy from large chain retailers or “big box” stores, only 35 cents of each dollar spent, on average, remains in the community—the rest goes to outside interests, corporate headquarters, or overseas. Large national or multinational corporations, because of the vast scope of their business, tend to show little concern for the environment, sustainable business practices, or the overall quality of life in a given community. Fortunately, consumers have an alternative. By supporting independent, locally-owned businesses, they can keep 58% more of each dollar in the local economy, and form long-term relationships with local businesses who are invested in their customers and their community…and this is just the beginning. To learn more, check out this list of the Top 10 Reasons to Shop Local.

Who are our Members?

Our Members are locally-owned and independent businesses & organizations in the city of Cambridge, and individuals who support CLF’s goals of supporting local, sustainable, and environmentally responsible commerce.

Find out more information on our Membership Pages.

Why do Members participate?

Some of our Members spend a lot of time with us—volunteering hours to develop the organization, and some spend less—attending events to learn or share, or simply providing monetary support. Each has their own reason for being a part of this network, but most relate to the following:

  • Ensuring that our place reflects our unique combination of characters, talent and industry.
  • A commitment to a strong community and thriving local economy with meaningful jobs, a diversity of business owners and involved citizens.
  • A desire for public awareness about the importance of supporting local products, services and retail outlets.
  • A desire to know and do business with others in the community who share similar concerns and values.

Find out more information about joining or supporting CLF on our Membership Pages.

Cambridge Local First is a project of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston (SBN), a nonprofit tax-exempt organization.