Independents Week is coming up! Help us celebrate local, independent businesses in partnership with Local First West Michigan the week of June 28th to July 4th. Local First shares how in this guest blog post below:
Our friends at Local First are providing unique ways to champion the businesses that center people and place. These businesses create opportunity, put our dollars to work locally, and build a more self-reliant economy. Locally-owned businesses - those that are headquartered in our cities, privately held, and independently-owned and operated - are essential to building wealth and social capital. Let’s celebrate them during Independents Week!
Here is how you can get engaged
Local First’s Second Annual Independents Week will include a bingo game contest with a variety of actionable ways to shift your spending to locally-owned businesses in Grand Rapids and along the Lakeshore; diverse business events and discounts, opportunities to connect with the mainstreet business corridor near you, ways to get social and dig deeper.
Let’s Play Bingo
How to play: Players mark their completed local action item to create a full row (five action items connected to form a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line). When your card is full, share it with Local First on social media (tag @localfirstwestmi and @downtownholland, the businesses you supported, and use the hashtag #IndependentsWeek) or email (email@example.com) and be entered to win a gift card giveaway powered by Downtown Holland! Winner will be announced on July 5th.
Find Local Businesses, Events & Discounts Near You
Looking for locally-owned businesses near you? The Local First Online Directory features local businesses throughout West Michigan. Search by keyword, business type, neighborhood, or ownership type to find new businesses and their current discounts and events. Local First’s Community Calendar provides an overview of current events offered by our member businesses.
Connect with Your Mainstreet
Did you know that for every $100 spent at a local, independently-owned business $68 of those dollars stay in the community (Local Works, Civic Economics)? When you buy local your dollars go toward improving the lives of the people around you and making our community more circular and sustainable. Your dollar is your vote in the community! Use them kindly and wisely by exploring the mainstreet business corridor near you and searching business directories available at organizations such as Local First West Michigan, Uptown Grand Rapids, Downtown Holland, GRABB, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Let’s Get Social
Navigate to your profile
Hover over your profile picture and click Update
Click Add Frame
Search Independents Week and select the frame by Local First West Michigan
Shoutout your favorite locally-owned businesses with our “Tag Your Favorite Local” Instagram Story Panel and challenge your friends to do the same. Use this image in your stories, tag the businesses you love and tag your friends. Then share a blank image to your story, tagging the same friends, so they can reshare and pass it along. Download the Instagram Story Panel here.
Share how you’re participating via social media! Tag @localfirstwestmi, the businesses you support and use the hashtag #IndependentsWeek.
Advocate for policies that support local, independent businesses with Small Business Rising. Small Business Rising is a coalition of independent businesses standing up for a level playing field. We’re urging elected leaders to break the power of monopolies and safeguard our right to compete and serve the needs of our communities.
Listen & Learn:
From the local businesses we patron (for cheese, paint, shoes, takeout, furniture, design, candles and more), to the independent businesses we employ (for lawn care, financial, photography, and real estate services), these businesses employ our family and friends, strengthen our economy, add character to our neighborhoods, and contribute to our pride in and sense of place. Every dollar we spend is a vote for the type of community we want to build and sustain.
Thank you for championing locally-owned businesses this Independents Week!
- The Local First West Michigan Team