I (Abbie, that is) am a graduate of Scottsdale Leadership and currently serve on the organization’s advisory board. Each year, during Arizona Restaurant Week, Leadership coordinates a gathering of alumni for a dinner at one of the locally owned restaurants and brings in a guest speaker. This year we were honored to have Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona as our speaker.
I’ve met Kimber on a few occasions but hadn’t had the opportunity to hear her speak. Her passion and commitment for Arizona’s local business community is contagious. She shared some interesting information about the long-term economic benefits of investing locally:
The organization just launched a new program called Shift Arizona that suggests that you make a small shift (10 percent) of your spending habits to a locally owned business. A similar program in western Michigan created nearly $140 million in new economic activity, added more than 1,600 new jobs to the area and provided more than $50 million in new wages.
I am going to give it a try, how about you?