Wishing you a Happy & Local New Year from Local First Arizona

At Local First Arizona, we are always excited to ring in the new year. We have already begun planning and setting goals for 2013, and it looks like it's shaping up to be quite a year for the local economy and Local First Arizona! Here is a taste of what we would like to see in the new year:

“I would like to see more businesses sourcing from other locally-owned businesses. Whether it's accounting services, office supplies, coffee, decoration, or maintenance, there is a local business in Arizona that can meet your needs” - Helene Tack, Development Director

"I would like to see more of a connection between local manufacturing/production, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers, in whatever order it takes. We are heading in the right direction, but I feel that we are still developing the proper tools and relationships to make it happen. It's definitely the beginning of a new economy. It's also been very promising to see so many local businesses taking a hold of their online image and branding through their own unique social media campaigns, websites, blogs, videos, you name it. There are tons of creative innovators here in Arizona, and I'm excited to see where that goes in the near future" - Russ Baurichter, Membership Coordinator

For 2013 I would love to see more individuals supporting local businesses and organizations, but also becoming champions of the local movement! It would be a great accomplishment this year to grow Local First Arizona's stellar group of volunteers and get them more engaged and out in the community.  - Chrisal Valencia, Membership & Events Coordinator

“Our state government and Arizona cities should recirculate more of the tax dollars they collect to Arizona businesses by awarding more contracts to local businesses. They should also invest more money in local banks and credit unions, who are more likely to grant loans to hometown businesses” - Kimber Lanning, Executive Director

“I am excited to see the growth that our chapter has had in Tucson this past year, and hope that 2013 will bring even further awareness for the importance of going local in Tucson and Southern Arizona.” - Deanna Chevas, Tucson Coordinator

“I would like to see a greater level of involvement in Local First Arizona, particularly among newer members and volunteers. With so many new projects going on in 2013, there will be more opportunities for those who are a part of the organization to become more actively engaged in LFA’s mission.” – LaNella Bolds, Relationship Manager

“As agriculture is such an important part of our state's local economy, I want to see more of Arizona's restaurants sourcing from local food and beverage purveyors. I also hope to see the same for other institutions including schools, universities, other mass-catering/food service entities. Additionally, I look forward to having many more Arizonan's joining me at the various farmers' markets around the state!” - Margaree Bigler, Local Foods Representative & Devour Phoenix Coordinator

"I'm looking forward to greater participation by the Hispanic community through Fuerza Local. Thirty percent of people in Arizona identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino in the last census - it's easy to see what an powerful economic force they could wield if they shifted some of their buying to local businesses." - Becky Mc Ghee, Membership Retention Coordinator

“I hope to see more Arizonans commit to making the 10% shift by pledging to support more local businesses this year, especially during the hard summer months. 10% can be choosing to eat at locally-owned restaurants, switching to a local bank, or getting your office supplies from a locally-owned office supplier. The possibilities are endless!” - Erica Pederson, Communications & Membership Coordinator

These are certainly big goals, but we are confident that local businesses and consumers throughout Arizona will join us in realizing these efforts. You have already shown us so much support for 2012, let's have 2013 be the year of celebration for local businesses!