Local First Arizona partnered with EZBZ to create an online sub-marketplace where users can create inquiries and send them directly to businesses that carry the Local First Arizona badge in real time.

Need a locksmith? Find the closest one with one outgoing notice, which immediately reaches all locksmiths in the database. The joint venture combines EZBZ’s innovative marketplace and bidding technology with Local First Arizona’s local power to reach Arizona-based businesses that promote responsible and sustainable business practices. EZBZ enables consumers to hire contractors and service providers and purchase goods based on shared values rather than Google rankings. This partnership is just another way that LFA is working to connect consumers to Arizona’s local businesses. 

B Corporations

Local First Arizona continued to partner with B Corporation in 2015. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. In January, new legislation allowed Arizona businesses to incorporate as benefit corporations, and Local First Arizona worked to educate businesses about this new option on how to structure their companies. 

This year’s highlights:

  • Held the first B AZ mixer, attended by almost 40 business owners interested in becoming B Corps
  • Continued the Quick Impact Assessment - 95 businesses have taken the assessment
  • Launched the Local Impact Champions series to highlight business coalition members that are going above and beyond in operating their business with social responsibility in mind.
  • LFA staff attended the inaugural Measure What Matters Summit organized by B Corporation in Portland 

Local First Arizona’s Source AZ program looks at the purchasing power of locally owned businesses and anchor institutions with a goal of getting these businesses to switch their purchasing from national to local companies. Encouraging all local businesses to make this switch halts economic leakage and keeps more dollars circulating in the local economy, ultimately benefiting the surrounding community. 

Tucson’s Downtown Clifton Hotel 

LFA worked directly with Tucson’s Downtown Clifton Hotel to source local products for the in-room minibars in the new downtown boutique hotel. We obtained samples of over 30 local products, several of which were eventually purchased for the hotel. We hosted a food product “tasting” with the Downtown Clifton owners that was covered by Tucson Foodie. In addition to creating a business relationship for several local food producers, the project received highly positive press attention. The project was presented to the Southern Arizona Concierge Network and Visit Tucson partners as a case study for how to incorporate local products into the hotel experience. Several of the food products chosen were prominently displayed at the hotel’s Grand Opening party on March 28, 2015. 

Seminars, Webinars & Workshops

Local First Arizona hosted nine seminars and online webinars for LFA business coalition members. These classes offer technical assistance and important information to give local businesses a better chance at competing in the marketplace. Many local businesses are disadvantaged by having to compete on an uneven playing field, so equipping local businesses with all the tools and resources helps them stay in business and keep dollars circulating in the local economy. Course topics offered in 2015 included marketing, branding, legal affairs, business planning, productivity and time management, storytelling, and others.