High Country Local First is a non-profit organization that seeks to strengthen our community and local economy by supporting locally owned, independent businesses and farmers through education, promotion and networking. High Country Local First envisions a community where local businesses are prosperous, where citizens make informed decisions on how and where they purchase goods and services, and a community that as a whole becomes more self-reliant by utilizing the strength of its own assets.
When purchases are made locally, rather than from national chains, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms – continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community. Also, significantly more tax dollars are kept in the High Country, helping to support schools, civic services and community improvements. When you purchase local, the health, wealth and vitality of the community are improved. Think Local First!
The Local First Campaign is an effort to increase awareness and support of independent, locally owned businesses in the High Country.
As 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."
The Food and Farming Program is dedicated to supporting and building a sustainable local food system in the High Country. This website is an effort to bring together the various sectors involved in the local food movement here in the High Country. Through our website, we will be able to provide the community with information on where to buy local food, why this is so important, what events and workshops to attend, and opportunities for individuals, organizations and businesses to network through our “communities” page. We have a plethora of farmers, organizations, restaurant owners, grocers and consumers who care about growing food locally and sustainably. We now need to get ourselves organized and networked to grow this vital sector of economy and create the health, wealth, capacity and connections of a resilient community.Click to find out more >>
Locally owned businesses can help communities thrive and survive climate change
By Stacy Mitchell
Cities where small, locally owned businesses account for a relatively large share of the economy have stronger social networks, more engaged citizens, and better success solving problems, according to several recently published studies. Click here for full story... click here for more
The Idea of a Local Economy by Wendell Berry
A TOTAL ECONOMY is one in which everything-"life forms," for instance,-or the "right to pollute" is "private property" and has a price and is for sale. In a total economy significant and sometimes critical choices that once belonged to individuals or communities become the property of corporations. A total economy, operating internationally, necessarily shrinks the... click here for more
A Rust Belt Revolution: A Story of Buffalo Pride & Revitalization
BALLE Fellow and Buffalo First! leader, Sarah Bishop, shares her perspective on returning to her hometown of Buffalo, NY in 2009, the humble Buffalonian pride seen among local business owners, and some of the incredible initiatives taken to revitalize and strengthen the Buffalo business community.
"While we can create alternative economies, the reality is we... click here for more
If you need information about any of our services, please feel free to use our contact form.
Written by: Michael Bragg
The next time you sit down at the bar in Boone Saloon, take a look at the craftsmanship and material of the surface you put your glass on.
Now consider that the bar is made of recycled, unclaimed logs. The organization responsible for this sustainable creation and... click here for more
*We would like to thank local photographers; Alistair Burke and Tommy White for allowing us to use their photographs on our website.
High Country Local First is fortunate to have fiscal sponsorship and business support from Inquiring Systems, Inc. (ISI) while we await our 501 (c)(3) status. ISI’s focus is directed toward developing, nurturing and maintaining the resiliency, viability and sustainability of ecosystems and related business entities. With over 30 years of experience in assisting organizations and businesses in the role of advocate, counselor, planner and consultant, they are positioned to help High Country Local First in growing the community you love