The Local Economy Movement (sometimes referred to as Local First or Buy Local Movement) officially began in 2001 when two national organizations were founded–the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). Since that time over 200 local networks have emerged, all with a common theme:
- When a purchase is made at a locally owned business 48% of the money stays in the community whereas when made at a chain only 13.6% stays locally–buying local has 3X the impact on the local economy.
- Local small businesses are the real job creators in this nation accounting for over 50% of all new jobs
- Local businesses are essential to a vibrant community, contribute at a high level to local nonprofits, and they provide better customer service
Cambridge Local First is celebrating its tenth anniversary and has emerged as a leader in the national movement:
- Cambridge Local First is one of the strongest networks in the nation comprised of 358 locally owned and independent businesses.
- CLF’s annual membership directory has connected residents with Cambridge businesses and this trailblazing publication has been used as a model by communities throughout New England and the nation.
- With CLF taking the lead the Cambridge City Council for many years has approved a resolution making Cambridge a Local Economy Community and promoting Cambridge Local Economy Week on November 8-14, 2015.
- CLF has been active in local government and has worked closely with City of Cambridge officials to find every opportunity to make life easier for local businesses.
- Cambridge is blessed with several local independent banks–three headquartered in Cambridge. CLF has successfully encouraged residents, businesses, and the City to `Move Your Money’ to our local communities and to keep our money in Cambridge.
We are lucky to live in the great City of Cambridge! Cambridge Local First is a big part of making Cambridge a terrific place to live and work and local business leaders look to CLF for inspiration. By supporting Cambridge Local First and choosing to consider local first when making your purchasing decisions you are helping build a strong local economy!
Laury Hammel, Founder and ED of the Sustainable Business Network and Co-Founder of BALLE