D.C. Group Launches 'Buy Local' Campaign

Local First DC is hosting a campaign throughout July encouraging metro area residents to support local, independent businesses.

Local First DC is a project of the Latino Economic Development Corp. based in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. It has declared July "Independents Month" in the hopes of inspiring residents to patronize local farmers' markets, retailers, theaters, restaurants and more.

The group is participating in a variety of events, from a fashion show with a fixed price menu at Rumbero's Restaurant to prize giveaways at the Mount Pleasant Films in the Park Series.

Economist and author Michael Shuman at the Think Local First 2008 campaign kick-off in March. (Photo courtesy of Trisha Clauson)

Local First, formed in 2006, also offers 20 tips to localize spending, which are excerpted from the book The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses are Beating the Global Competition by Michael Shuman, an economist and entrepreneur.

"We want to raise awareness and inform consumers about the benefits of shopping locally," said Trisha Clauson, program manager for Local First DC. So far, the project has been focusing on D.C.'s Ward One, which includes the U Street, Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan neighborhoods.

"Our ultimate goal is to bring it citywide with an emphasis on underserved regions of D.C., but this initiative is the first time we've really reached out to consumers," she said.

Most of Local First's funding comes from D.C.'s Housing and Community Development and Small and Local Business Development departments and private foundation grants. The group currently has about 125 member businesses that pay dues of $50 to $200 per year based on annual revenue.

"It's all about promoting the importance of shopping and patronizing independent business to showcase the benefits such as an increased tax base," said Clauson. "A dollar spent at a local store has three times the impact on the local economy than a dollar spent at a non-local store."

For a full list of reasons to shop locally, according to Local First, click here.

By Sharon McLoone |  June 26, 2008; 1:15 PM ET Calendar Events
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

This is a great idea. Independent business help lend a sense of "place". They provide a clue to the culture and a beat to the rhythm of society. Small businesses everywhere need to unite and encourage more local spending.

Posted by: Mina -the successful sbo | June 30, 2008 11:47 AM

I'm just about to click on the 20 tips to localize spending - thanks!

Posted by: Colleen | June 30, 2008 12:25 PM

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