When you support local business, you create a healthier community

The Local First program exists to support a People First Economy through local ownership. We do this because communities with higher percentages of locally-owned companies are healthier by nearly every social, environmental, and economic indicator.

Celebrating the Schuler Books anniversary!

Start Thinking Local First

It’s up to all of us to build a thriving local economy.

Local First has a passion for people living and working together in a sustainable community. We lead the development of an economy grounded in local ownership that meets the basic needs of people, builds local wealth and social capital, functions in harmony with our ecosystem, and encourages a joyful community.

Use Our Directory

Bookmark, share, and use the directory as your go-to resource for finding local businesses to support.

Build Community

Check out our events page, our blogs, or donate to help Local First support our local community.

Join as a Business Member

Local First members join a community that supports their business growth. Learn more and get involved.

Creating Accountability

Support Sustainable Business

Every dollar you spend is a vote for the type of world you want. And we’re here to help make those choices more clear. We provide the tools for businesses to measure their own impact. Use the links below to learn about Sustainable Development Goals, B Corps, and how businesses can hold themselves accountable.

Become the change

Building People First Habits

Businesses shape our local economy, but so do we as consumers. People First and Local First help you change your habits, so you can actively participate an economy grounded in local ownership, and create a stronger, healthier community. 

Connect to Your Community

May 28, 2024

People Behind the Business: Asian American Pacific Islander Month

Happy Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month! Supporting local businesses is creating human scale economies that celebrate our unique identities…
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April 24, 2024

Local First Workshop Recap: Civic Engagement 101

Decisions are made whether you engage or not. Find a seat at the table.  Last month, we were thrilled to…
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April 22, 2024

Ask Your Local Credit Union!

Happy Move Your Money month! Here at People First Economy, we know that where you hold your accounts has a…
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April 8, 2024

Keep the change (when you move your money)!

Keep the Change  Did you know that you can put the dollars you deposit to work!?    When you choose…
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March 7, 2024

Michigan’s Women-Led B Corps

March is B Corp Month and Women’s History Month!   Certified B Corporations™ (B Corps™) are for-profit companies that use the…
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February 28, 2024

People Behind the Business: Black History Month Feature

Why should you choose black owned businesses? People First Economy believes that by supporting black owned businesses, you are “building…
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February 6, 2024

Michigan Business Development Group Secures Government Support for Local Entrepreneurs

People First Economy Partners with the Center for Community Based Enterprise, Detroit Community Wealth Fund, and Michigan Center for Employee…
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January 22, 2024

People First Economy Welcomes Carlos Martinez as New President

Transition Marks New Era for Sustainable Economic Development in Michigan People First Economy, a leading organization in fostering sustainable economic…
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November 15, 2023

10 Years of City Building, Prepping for a World of Winter and Shopping Small

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) works with partners Downtown and throughout the community to create a vibrant and welcoming neighborhood…
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November 13, 2023

Your Roadmap to Meaningful Gift Giving

What is the best gift you've ever been given? I'll bet it has a fun backstory! Sitting here, I've caught…
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