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Please donate to Cambridge Local First!

Our economy and especially locally- and independently-owned businesses are on the line, and the decisions we make now could make or break our economy. It is time to stand up for an economy that works for all.

A vibrant local economy improves the quality of life for all residents and makes our city more attractive to tourists who bring revenue for further investment in our city. This is a dire moment for our small businesses, which constitute the bedrock of our economy. Many are closing, and some estimates suggest that 40% of our local businesses will fail to reopen following this crisis, and an additional 25% within the year. By November of last year, 37% of small businesses in Massachusetts had closed. And, given that local businesses constitute 99.9% of  all U.S. businesses and employ 50% of all working Americans, their vitality will be critical to a robust post-COVID recovery.

For residents, this means a non-negligible loss of our Cantabrigian identity and the rich local character that makes this city ours. It’s easy to blame this tragic shift on the pandemic, but the truth is, it’s been going on much longer. Small-scale entrepreneurialism has been declining across the U.S. since the 1960s, a shift that also corresponds to rising wealth inequality. While the 1950s and 1960s saw over 150,000 new businesses created annually, this number was less than 20,000 in 2020. Given that small businesses employ nearly half of working Americans, it is an important tool both for employment and social equity as a route to upwards economic mobility for minorities whose loss we should not take lightly.

We are working hard to provide meaningful small business assistance, education to the public, and advocacy. We are a grassroots and community organization. We are determined to support Cambridge’s local businesses, but we can’t do it alone. We need help to support our staff and operations, so that we can be the best advocate possible for our local businesses to survive this crisis.

Please help support CLF’s small business assistance, education, and advocacy efforts, which you can view in full here, and to stand up and advocate for just and beneficial policies for our local economy.

We understand that many people are in a difficult financial position right now, but your contribution will help CLF to advocate for a sustainable economy, including relief measures to help our members, and through our federal advocacy efforts in partnership with many others, the millions of other businesses and their employees survive this pandemic.

Thank you so much for your generous donations! 

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Cambridge Local First is a nonprofit network of 500 local and independent businesses here in Cambridge, working in partnership with independent business associations nationally. Our mission is to support, promote, and celebrate a local economy community by educating the public and government about the significant environmental, economic, and cultural benefits of a strong local economy.