Economic Development, Nonprofits, and Small Business & Startups

Local First hosting annual meeting

January 17, 2018
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Local First Annual Meeting crowd
A crowd settles in for the Local First Annual Meeting. Courtesy Local First/M+K Photography

The Local First Annual Meeting will take place downtown next week.

Local First’s eighth-annual meeting is from 5-9 p.m. on Jan. 25 at the Goei Center in Grand Rapids, at 818 Butterworth St. SW.

The meeting will celebrate the organization’s 15th anniversary and include a “State of Local First” update from Local First President Elissa Hillary.

Local First will also announce its 2018 Measure What Matters program series, designed to help businesses grow as a force for good in the community.

“For 15 years, Local First has been working to bring the community and businesses together to create a stronger, more sustainable West Michigan,” Hillary said.

“We are excited to celebrate the amazing businesses across West Michigan making a positive impact in our local neighborhoods and on our economy. I look forward to sharing highlights from 2017 and what’s in store for the future of Local First.”

Local First will also honor one individual or organization with the Guy Bazzani Local Legacy Award.

The award recognizes a business or individual who has demonstrated “unceasing commitment to the Local First mission.”

Past winners include Rob McCarty and The Image Shoppe, Amy Ruis, Jaye Van Lenten, Bing Goei, Laurie Beard, the City of Grand Rapids and the Romence Family.

“After 15 years, Local First is now imbedded in the culture of West Michigan,” Bazzani said. “Each year, we are inspired by the businesses and individuals who embody our mission. We are honored to recognize a Local Legacy Award recipient who is driving positive change for the community, environment and economy.”

Annual meeting tickets can be purchased online.

New this year, the LocalMotion Awards have been moved to the inaugural Lakeshore Annual Meeting in Holland on Feb. 8.

In March, Local First will host its Good for Grand Rapids awards, which will honor local businesses across Grand Rapids that use their business to make positive social and environmental impacts.

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