Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona

from Kimber Lanning

KimberLanningWe’re living more and more in a global economy, and local companies have opportunities to expand and grow by connecting outward to new markets. But there is economic strength and other benefits to be derived by encouraging business interaction within the local community.

The “buy local” movement has definitely taken hold in Arizona. Consumers are now actively seeking out independent businesses, and they understand that when they support the locally owned businesses in their neighborhoods, up to four times more dollars stay and circulate in the local economy versus money spent in national corporations. They know the money they spend goes toward creating more local jobs, and that the dollars re-circulate to create additional revenue that strengthens local schools and help protect unique and vibrant communities. Locally owned and independent businesses are getting the “buy local” message, too, and are acting with a more collaborative mindset by seeking out other local businesses for their service and supply needs. Consumers and businesses are working together to support Arizona-owned businesses, and are creating prosperity not only for themselves but for their neighbors and their communities overall.

Delving into the dialog about the impact of supporting local businesses, cover story writer Gremlyn Bradley-Waddell spoke with economic development managers in various Valley cities that have launched their own “shop local” campaigns, and looks at how they differ from the “buy local” movement. She also spoke with local retail companies as well as an economist at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business who provides a global context.

There’s also an increasing effort to build awareness far beyond our local communities of what Arizona businesses can offer and what Arizona can offer business. Eric Jay Toll explores the strategies and goals in this regard in his article “Branding Arizona”

In this issue’s “HR” feature, Christine Comaford discusses why employers counting on their employees to perform, innovate and help move the company forward should be focusing on meeting their basic and powerful need for safety, belonging and mattering. And the “Nonprofit” feature shares how one of our oldest community organizations — Valley of the Sun United Way — embraced a fundamental change in its strategy and increased its impact.

Local First Arizona is pleased to partner with In Business Magazine in creating the first annual Local Leaders Special Section. These pages showcase the best of the best where it comes to local businesses of all categories and emphasize the importance of supporting our local economy.

With its well-rounded focus on issues and operational matters that concern businesses large and small in our Greater Phoenix business community, In Business Magazine is a valuable resource and a good read. I’m pleased to introduce this “Local Imprint” issue.


Kimber Lanning
Founder and Executive Director
Local First Arizona

Kimber Lanning is an entrepreneur and economic specialist who works to cultivate vibrant, sustainable communities and inspire a higher quality of life throughout Arizona. Lanning is actively involved in fostering cultural diversity, economic self-reliance, regional planning and responsible growth in the Greater Phoenix area. She is the founder and executive director of Local First Arizona, an economic development organization focused exclusively on creating, growing and supporting Arizona talent.

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