Putting local, first, since 2008!

Local First is a proud independent business alliance made up of 250+ La Plata County businesses and nonprofit organizations as well as passionate community members we call Localists.

Together, we work to create a thriving, equitable, and sustainable economy that values people, planet, and prosperity for everyone across southwest Colorado.

Anyone who has visited La Plata County can recognize that it’s a unique place. What makes it possible for so many people to thrive in our rural region is our strong community of local, independent businesses who attract tourists, provide jobs, and recirculate dollars into the local economy. Local First works hard to support our local and independent business community so our community can flourish for years to come.

But why does local AND independent matter?

“Local” means that the business physically resides in La Plata County. Rather than representing businesses with presences across the nation or on the front range, our alliance represents businesses that face our community’s challenges and act as a part of the solution.

“Independent” matters because it means that the owners also live in La Plata County and are not part of a national chain, giving these owners full authority to make decisions relevant to the people that live here. We ask that people use our members first, not “local only” or “local or nothing”.

We’re hiring! Join the movement!

Local First Staff

Doug McCarthy, Local First healthcare

Doug McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer


Meg Maurillo

Megan Maurillo, Programs and Events


Louise Snodgrass, Executive Assistant


Board of Directors

Mary Oswald, Chair

Kip Koso, Vice Chair

John Lopez, Treasurer

Claire Attkisson, Secretary

Kristen Muraro

Geoff Wolf


By making your purchases at a locally owned independent business, you and our community benefit. More services provided by our local government can help lighten your personal load and improve your quality of life. For this reason, Local First fights to support and strengthen the mom-and-pop culture of La Plata County.

If you think about all of the great locally owned, independent businesses in our community, you think about your neighbor or your friend. When you purchase goods and services from an independent business, you are communicating with someone who knows your needs, can relate to your experiences and can give you the best and most honest advice.