About High Country Local First


Where Are We?

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Our members consist of independent, locally-owned businesses, farms and organizations as well as individuals that are committed to the High Country region of North Carolina, its unique identity and quality of life.

High Country Local First strives to facilitate healthy, ongoing relationships amongst these key players in our community so that we can become supportive of one another’s efforts and to keep more of our money here in the High Country. We provide creative and effective marketing for businesses through our website and directory, resource sharing and learning, peer to peer consulting, community network building opportunities and other services to facilitate strong locally owned businesses and to encourage new ventures within our community.

Right here in the High Country there is an abundance of healthy businesses and farms that are owned locally and that contribute to the well-being of our community. If we can all make the choice to think locally first, before spending, we can keep more money circulating through our very own community.

Our Mission

Our mission is to catalyze and strengthen the local economy through social entrepreneurship and locally driven collaborative structures.

Where did the idea of “Local First” come from?

We are part of a network of local business networks across the country, called Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is North America’s fastest growing network of socially responsible businesses, comprised of over 80 community networks representing 22,000 independent business members across 30 U.S. States and Canadian provinces. BALLE networks create local living economies through the building blocks of independent retail, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, green building, local zero-waste manufacturing, community capital, independent media, and local arts and culture.” You can visit their website at www.livingeconomies.org to learn more.


Local business owners tend to participate in the community, donate more generously to non-profits and take good care of their customers. By strengthening our support of locally owned businesses, we promote more meaningful relationships between the business owners, employees, customers and neighbors.

Michael H. Shuman, author of Going Local writes, "Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs."

More Information

If you need information about any of our services, please feel free to use our contact form.