Nonprofits, Small Business & Startups, and Sustainability

Local First updates 'impact' assessment tool

February 20, 2017
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Local First Quick Impact Assessment
The Quick Impact Assessment "gauges how your company benefits the local economy." Photo via

Local First has helped redevelop an online tool to help businesses measure their social and environmental impacts.

Grand Rapids-based Local First said it worked with B Lab, which certifies B Corporations, and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies on a new Quick Impact Assessment tool.

The Quick Impact Assessment is the first step for companies considering becoming a B Corp.

The tool is free and confidential.

The online assessment, which can be taken in about 60 minutes, looks at how companies stack up to best practices, including employee wages, community involvement, philanthropy and environmental impact, and how they compare to other similar companies around the world.

User experience

“We helped create and pilot the initial Quick Impact Assessment and have been actively providing feedback to B Lab about ways to improve the user experience,” said Elissa Hillary, executive director, Local First.

Specifically, Hillary said Local First has been helping to improve the user experience for small- and medium-size businesses.

“We wanted to make sure the platform was user-friendly and inviting,” she said.

The updated platform underwent a complete overhaul of its user experience, which resulted in “a more intuitive, descriptive and inviting platform.”

The new version makes it easier for the user to focus on each question in the assessment and provide more thoughtful responses.

The version came out last fall as a beta test.

Hillary said so far, the feedback on the updated tool has been positive.

“We’re excited to bring this amazing tool to more West Michigan businesses this year,” she said.

Completed assessments

There are more than 2,000 certified B Corporations from 50 countries and 130 industries.

The tool has been used by more than 100 business development organizations, and the assessment has been taken by more than 48,000 businesses globally since 2014.

Nearly 200 West Michigan businesses have taken the Quick Impact Assessment.

This assessment also helps Local First choose the recipients of the organization’s LocalMotion Awards.

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