An informal group of business owners gathers around the idea that local ownership matters.


Elissa Sangalli is hired as the Executive Director of Local First.


The first local business directory is printed.


Local First merges with the Lakeshore Independent Business Alliance (LIBA) and starts working with B Lab, a global organization in charge of B Corp certification


Local First and B Lab create a shortened version of the B Impact Assessment, and collaborates with the City of Grand Rapids to launch MyGRCityPoints

In 2017, Local First launches Good For Grand Rapids to highlight the businesses going through the Quick Impact Assessment


Good for Grand Rapids goes statewide and becomes Good For Michigan.


Local First takes its first steps into becoming People First Economy.

Along the way, we've formed the People First Economy core values to guide our team in the work we do alongside our business community.

Core Value 1


We create accessibility to a socially and environmentally resilient economy for all people
Core Value 2


We challenge economic and systemic structures that inhibit equity by holding ourselves and our partners accountable.
Core Value 3

JEDI, Anti-Racism, Transparency, and Community

We prioritize justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, (JEDI) and anti-racism through public learning, transparency, and community building.

Core Value 4


We collaboratively foster thriving, interdependent economic ecosystems, rooted in human-scale relationships
Core Value 5


We equip business leaders with place-based approaches to implementing global best practices

Good For Michigan

A program that helps businesses identify, measure, and guide the implementation of practices that create positive social and environmental impact.

Local First

A business membership program that builds people-centered economies and celebrates the positive social and environmental impacts of local ownership.