Need a few good reasons to shop locally? We’ve got plenty!

  • Keep money in the community. Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses keep dollars local longer, enriching the whole community. For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, nearly half goes back into the community and our tax base. For every $100 spent at a chain store, less than 15% is recirculated.

  • Embrace what makes us different. 
In an increasingly homogenized world, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinct character have an economic advantage. If we wanted to live somewhere that looked like everywhere else, we wouldn’t be living in La Plata County.

  • Get better service. 
Local businesses often hire people who have a better understanding of the products they’re selling, and take more time to get to know customers.

  • Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy. 
A marketplace of small businesses means low prices over the long term. Small businesses choosing products based on what their customers love and need—not a national sales plan—guarantees a more diverse range of product choices.

  • Create more good jobs. 
Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally, offer greater loyalty to their employees, and in most sectors provide better wages and benefits than chains do.

  • Help out the environment. 
Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, and walkable town centers, which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution. Many local businesses are making extra strides for the environment. Check out a growing list of Durango’s sustainable businesses here. 

  • Support community groups. 
Nonprofits receive an average 350% more support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses.

  • Invest in the community. 
Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining our historic town centers and linking neighbors. Local businesses are owned by people who live here, work here, and are more invested in our future, because they directly feel the impact of our decisions.

  • Put your taxes to good use. 
Local businesses need comparatively less infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.

  • Attract Talent. 
Individuals are more likely to invest in, or move to, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and unique attitude.

How Can You Help?

A few simples changes in your life can make a huge difference!

  • Find and patronize a locally owned business whenever possible. Commit to shifting just 10% of your purchases! 
  • Dine at a local, independent restaurant and treat yourself to a unique and personal dining experience.
  • When you shop online with out-of state companies, it doesn’t contribute a dime to the local economy. Check for members who offer the same products locally.
  • Look for the Local First Member sticker when you shop, and tell other independent businesses about Local First.
  • Use our business directory to locate businesses offering specific goods or services, or you can view a complete list of Local First member businesses and the categories in which they are listed.
  • Tell your associates, family, and friends what is happening and why. We all create our communities. Let’s create a strong and vibrant community as a legacy for those who follow.
  • Support Local First by joining as a business, non-profit or supporting member of the Local First Foundation!