We believe in the power of local business to positively transform our communities. The benefits of Local First membership are designed to empower our members to affect that change.
Representing a growing membership of 800 businesses, Local First is the largest network of locally owned businesses in the Midwest, and the 3rd largest per capita in the United States. Our membership is representative of the diversity of West Michigan: you'll find software engineers and farmers, industrial manufacturers and retailers side by side at our networking events. They are all a part of Local First, and all a part of our mission to create and sustain a local, living economy in West Michigan.
"We have noticed that our newer customers are supporting our business because it is locally owned. It's not a new thing that Kingma's Market sells locally grown fruit and vegetables. It's not a new thing that Kingma's Market is locally owned. We have been in the business of offering locally grown fruits and vegetables for three generations.
What is noticeably different in the last couple of years is that our Grand Rapids area customers are more intentional about supporting locally owned and operated businesses. We would attribute that perception change to the various educational efforts of Local First.
Thank you, Local First, for making people aware of what we have known to be true for years - that locally owned and operated businesses drive a community's growth to a much greater degree than national chain businesses do."
Bob & Ed Kingma
Kingma's Market | Grand Rapids, Michigan