The new year is already under way and I'm sure many of you have already set your sights on goals and resolutions to improve yourself and your life in 2014. Among these goals, don't forget to think about what you can do to support your community, which you can do by supporting the local businesses in your neighborhood! When you make the choice to Go Local, you're making a direct investment in your community. There are many small steps you can take to shift your spending to support local businesses, which all add up to make a huge impact in your community. Here are 14 easy ways to go local in 2014:
1. Get your morning cup 'o joe from a local coffee house
Photo: Brewd - A Coffee Lounge in Tucson
Skip the drive thru and head in to your favorite local coffee house for your regular morning fuel, or to pick up some locally roasted beans to brew your own coffee at home. Check out this list of all the great local coffee houses in Arizona!
2. Get your oil changed by a local mechanic
Photo: Community Tire Pro's & Auto Repair in Phoenix
When the time comes to get the oil changed in your car, drop by a local mechanic or car repair shop to have it done by a friendly staff! Many have offers and discounts listed on their Local First Arizona profile.
3. Choose a local restaurant for every meal
Photo: The Tavern Grille in Cottonwood
Whether it's a quick lunch, a long dinner with family, or a special occasion, choose a local restaurant. Plus, local restaurants are more likely to use locally-sourced ingredients! What local restaurants are in your neighborhood?
4. When out with friends, choose a local brew or wine
Photo: That Brewery & Pub in Pine
When heading out for a night on the town, remember to drink local and choose a locally brewed beer, an Arizona wine, or a locally-distilled spirit! The only problem is that there's just so many to choose from...
5. Shop local online
Photo: Scott's Marketplace
It's getting so easy to support local businesses online, especially with Scott's Marketplace, an online marketplace exclusively for local businesses! Many local businesses also offer their products and services for sale online so you don't even have to leave the comfort of your home.
6. Go to the farmers market
You know what makes the best meal? Good, wholesome, and locally-grown ingredients. Get the freshest ingredients at your local farmers market!
7. Get your pet supplies from a local pet store
Photo: Cortarto Farms Pet Hospital in Tucson
Your pup, kitty, or pet deserves the best. When Fido is low on food, find the local pet supplies store in your area. And don't forget to pick him up a special treat while you're out!
8. Get your next hair cut from a local salon
Photo: The Root Salon in Phoenix
Need a new style for the new year, or just a trim? Get the best service from a local salon or barber shop.
9. Decorate your walls with local art
Photo: TRUST Art & Design in Willcox
Anywhere you look in Arizona, you can find talented artists. Decorate your home and walls with their works!
10. Buy a book from an independent bookstore
Photo: Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe
You may be surprised to hear that in a world full of e-readers and online and big box book retailers, independent bookstores are on the rise. Pick up the next book on your list at a local bookstore.
11. Get your copies and other printing needs done with a local printer
Photo: Impact Printing Services in Phoenix
Need to make copies of that report or get invitations printed? Head to your local printer to get the best service and highest quality.
12. Choose a local movie theater
Photo: The Loft Cinema in Tucson
When you want to relax and watch a flick, choose a local movie theater! And don't forget to support the independent films at the local movie festivals.
13. Buy gifts from local stores and boutiques
Photo: Sweet Pea Antiques in Camp Verde
For birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and all other occasions, stop by your favorite local business when picking up gifts for your friends and loved ones.
14. Become a Localist
Declaring yourself a Localist is the ultimate local act you can do in 2014. You'll have insider knowledge of all the best local events, exclusive access to unique opportunities, and you'll have fun while supporting local businesses along the way. Declare yourself a localist today.
Need more local in 2014? Check out how you can local-ize your New Year's Resolutions.