Local First Arizona has been busy this summer, from hosting the national BALLE Conference on Localism, to touring southern Arizona's wine country, to our 10th celebration of Independents Week! That's right, we first started celebrating Independents week ten years ago, and since then we have progressively involved more and more businesses and individuals in our annual summer campaign to support local and independent businesses and spread community pride. We are pleased to report the findings of our participant survey: Arizonans spent over $40,000 shopping at about 250 member businesses in this year’s week-long campaign. Those dollars will re-circulate when local businesses in turn hire other locals to do business with. The multiplier effect will grow this impact exponentially.
Here are some of the highlights from this year's 10th Annual Independents Week:
About 250 Local Businesses Accepted the Golden Coupon
We had nearly 250 participating businesses from all over the state and all sectors of the economy participating in Independents Week this year! We had toy stores, restaurants, music stores, jewelry stores, plumbers, salons, yoga and massage studios, printers, candy companies, boutiques, pet stores, sporting goods stores, coworking spaces, and so many other businesses accepted the Golden Coupon all week long. Let us know in the comments which businesses you visited!
Golden Coupons Distributed Around the State
Thanks to our friends at Think! Graphic and Printing Solutions, we printed 20,000 Golden Coupons and distributed them across the state! Many consumers were delighted to pick them at nearby local businesses in their communities.
Many Golden Coupon users chose to go digital with their spending. During Independents Week, the Local First Arizona website received over 40,000 visits and 115,000 page views from users looking to download their Golden Coupon and find which businesses they planned to visit.
Spreading the Buy Local Message
We had an overwhelming presence in the media this year for Independents Week. We had great success earning media appearances in a number of outlets. We had 20 earned media hits on radio, television, print and online, as well as 300 PSAs on local radio stations KJZZ, KVOA, and KXCI. We had tremendous support from our 30 local media partners as well!
Check out these featured articles about Independents Week:
- Independents and Independence - Arizona Public Media
- Local First Arizona encouraging shoppers to think local for 'Independents Week' - ABC 15
- Shop local with discounts during Independents Week - Tucson News Now
- Young entrepreneurs, modern streetcar boost downtown Tucson boom - Arizona Jewish Post
- Arizona Businesses Offering 20 Percent Off During Independents Week - KJZZ
Fun Events Across the State
For Independents Week this year, we planned some events to engage the public in supporting local businesses in an easy and fun way! This was the second year that we held the Passport to Local Success in Tucson, which brought many people in to local Tucson stores, restaurants, boutiques, bars, service providers, and more. We were also happy to participate in the 5th "somewhat annual" Independents Bowl, an amateur bowling competition that raises proceeds for the Local First Arizona Foundation hosted by Psyko Steve and Let It Roll Bowl.
Additionally, we hosted the 3rd annual Independents Week Pub Crawl, this time heading to Old Town Scottsdale. We stopped at five local spots including Brat Haus, Craft 64, 5th and Wine, Hula's Modern Tiki, and RnR Scottsdale, where patrons could purchase $4 drink specials (in honor of the 4th of July!) and get to know fellow Localists. The crowd favorite was at Craft 64, which had just recently opened and hosted over 30 local craft brew taps. Pub Crawl Attendees also enjoyed yard games at Brat Haus, tropical cocktails at Hula's Modern Tiki, and fresh sangria at 5th and Wine, drinks and dancing at RnR. Overall, people enjoyed experiencing the local spots in Old Town Scottsdale!
Additionally for Independents Week, Local First Arizona's Phoenix Office, also Modified Arts, was transformed into an ode to Arizona imagery with "Painted Skies" by Lisa Olson and Terry Pisel, a showcase of art based on the natural and manmade beauty of Arizona. From the sprawling spectacle of the Grand Canyon to the gridded streets of Phoenix, Arizona holds a dramatic and ever-changing variety of landscapes that was captured beautifully in this collaborative show. Native Arizonans, photographers, friends, and collaborators, Olson and Pisel used their photographic skills to showcase some of the unique features of our state set against its biggest asset—the sky. You can read more about the artists and their works here.
Social Media Shout Outs
Participating businesses and consumers alike had fun on social media for #IndieWeekAZ! Even Congresswoman Sinema got in on the fun. Here are a few shoutouts from the week:
All in all, it was another great week to celebrate independent businesses. Here's to shopping locally for the rest of the season and beyond!