Elissa Hillary

Elissa Hillary

Elissa Hillary is committed to working at the leading edge of values-based capitalism — building sustainable local economies that put people first. As the president of Grand Rapids-based Local First since 2007, Hillary has brought together nearly a thousand businesses in West Michigan to collaborate in building a vibrant community that encourages sustainable business development. She has been named an Exemplary Executive by the Grand Rapids Young Non-Profit Professionals, a B Corp Measure What Matters Champion and one of the Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty leaders three times. She is also a Business Alliance for Local Living Economies fellow and a B Corp ambassador.

ARTICLES

It takes a community to cultivate a culture of local first

July 31, 2018
When I graduated from college, it wasn’t uncommon for my friends to pick a place on a map and move across the country to find jobs. Over a decade later, Grand Rapids has become a bright spot on the map where people from all over the country want to move. Read More

5 simple ways to green your business

June 26, 2018
As a business owner, every decision you make impacts your bottom line. By taking steps to green your business, you can make a positive impact on the environment, your business and our community. Read More

7 non-traditional benefits small businesses can offer employees

April 30, 2018
Employers nationwide are struggling to attract and retain talent. In fact, 40 percent of U.S. employees are going to look for a new job this year, with one of the leading reasons being compensation and benefits, according to research by the Society for Human Resource Management. Read More

The impact of being a purpose-led business

March 30, 2018
Using business as a force for good isn’t just a West Michigan practice. It’s a movement that’s happening across the country and around the world. Read More

15 ways to shift your spending to local this year

January 31, 2018
Take a moment to think about the power of your wallet or pocketbook. Believe it or not, you have the ability to use your hard-earned money to not only support yourself and your family, but also strengthen your local community and economy by keeping your dollars local. Read More

Celebrating business as a force for good

December 29, 2017
Every year, we celebrate businesses that are doing great things for our local communities and economy through our LocalMotion Awards. This year, we are excited to share some changes to the LocalMotion Awards that will allow us to recognize the growing number of companies and entrepreneurs across West Michigan that are using their businesses as a force for good. Read More

Giving back all year long is good for business

October 31, 2017
The holiday season is upon us, and many businesses are getting ready to make their year-end donations or launch their annual toy drives. While the holiday season is an important time for charitable giving, it’s also a time to reflect on how a business can contribute to the community all year long. Read More

A strong local economy starts with you

September 25, 2017
The U.S. retail industry is changing. Acquisitions are happening every day. Big-box stores like MC Sports and Sears are closing or re-thinking the way they target today’s consumer. And earlier this summer, Amazon announced its $13.7-billion purchase of Whole Foods. Read More

Moving toward an inclusive economy

July 13, 2017
Here in West Michigan, we have several companies driving the growth of a more inclusive economy. These companies envision an economy in which businesses collaborate to be more inclusive, hire people from all backgrounds and cultures and protect the environment — all while earning a profit. Read More

From Tokyo to Grand Rapids: Building strong, local economies around the world

April 5, 2017
Last week, Local First had the incredible opportunity to host a group of business management consultants from Japan, who were visiting the United States for the fourth-annual Harvard Social Enterprise Conference in Boston. Read More