I'd like to start highlighting local and regional groups who are working in their communities to raise awareness of shopping locally. First up: Local First Arizona.
Local First Arizona is currently the largest group of its kind in the country, with over 1300 members, and they're aware of the growing movement. As their mission states, "an explosion of sorts is occurring here and everywhere, as people look to define a sense of place, community and quality of life for their families and their futures."
Why shop locally? The LFA site has a compelling list of reasons, such as "When you shop locally-owned businesses, your money is re-circulated over and over and creates up to 75% more tax revenue to our community and state." They also provide a few simple steps you can take to make a difference in your community.
If you live in AZ or you're just in the area, find local businesses in the Local First Arizona directory. And if you have a shop local group you'd like to let us know about, send the info to me!