Nonprofits, Small Business & Startups, and Sustainability

Local First names LocalMotion winners

January 29, 2014
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Local First names LocalMotion winners
Grand Rapids-based 616 Development redevelops “underutilized” urban spaces. Photo by Noun Studios

Local First has announced the winners of its fourth annual LocalMotion Awards.

Last night, the awards went to local businesses and individuals that made a significant positive impact on West Michigan's economy and community in 2013.

The nonprofit Local First also explained why each winner won.

LocalMotion Awards winners

The Triple Bottom Line, Up & Coming Business: CityFlatsHotel

Since its founding in 2011, CityFlatsHotel Grand Rapids has "demonstrated its commitment" to the triple bottom line, especially through its building practices.

Its recent LEED Gold certification makes it the second hotel in Michigan to receive the designation.

CityFlatsHotel also sources products and food locally as much as possible.

The Triple Bottom Line, Longstanding Business: TerraTrike

TerraTrike — the world’s largest manufacturer of recumbent tricycles — is an “ambassador” for West Michigan local businesses, with both larger buyers and individual customers and through the product section of their storefront.

TerraTrike’s product promotes a green lifestyle, and its day-to-day business operates in a way that “reduces its carbon footprint” and pays its employees “living wages” in a safe and fun environment.

The Mover & Shaker Award: Spoonlickers

The award is given to a business that demonstrated a significant shift in its supply chain to local during the past 12 months.

Spoonlickers produces 100 percent all-natural yogurt, exclusively sourced from a local dairy farm.

When in season, Spoonlickers purchases local produce for toppings and creates almost all of its toppings in house, and it uses local distributors for its other product needs.

The Local Hero Award: Jamiel Robinson

The award is presented to an individual or family who has demonstrated a significant shift towards local purchasing and sustainable living.

As the founder and CEO of Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses, Robinson connects business owners together and provides support to businesses trying to become more sustainable.

His family shifted their purchasing to support businesses in underserved black neighborhoods, and Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses created the “30 days 30 dollars” challenge to encourage people to spend money at locally owned black businesses.

Robinson has played a role in promoting “economic equity in black neighborhoods” by championing local businesses.

The Change Agent Award: 616 Development

The award is presented to a locally owned business or organization that is growing and can be credited for revitalizing a neighborhood or business corridor.

616 Development and sister company 616 Lofts operate four full mixed-use historic buildings in downtown Grand Rapids, each being renovated from a dilapidated state.

616 also works to connect those that live and work in its buildings to the locally owned businesses nearby.

The Guy Bazzani Local Legacy Award: Laurie Beard, president and CEO of Founders Bank & Trust

The award recognizes lifetime achievement and honors an individual or business.

Beard is an “outspoken advocate” for Local First and local business.

With Beard’s leadership, Founders Bank & Trust has been a charter member of Local First, and she has “incorporated Local First ideals into the Founders’ culture.”

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