By Chris Irish
Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director
If you’ve never met Kimber Lanning, you should. She’s a small woman in her mid-thirties with lots of passion. At a recent Scottsdale Leadership alumni event and in several articles in the Arizona Republic, Lanning talked about her grass-roots organization, Local First Arizona.
Did you know that out of every 1 dollar you spend in a nationally owned business only 13 cents stays in Arizona? Or, that if you spent that same dollar in a locally owned business 45 cents would stay in our state. That is a 288% increase, huge in these tough economic times.
Small businesses are the backbone of Arizona’s economy. And while I think most of us agree that we’d like to support locally owned businesses, it isn’t always part of our spending thought-process.
Kimber Lanning and Local First Arizona are working to change that thought-process, one person at a time. Their latest campaign, Shift Arizona, encourages consumers to shift 10% of their spending from nationally to locally owned businesses. A study in Michigan found that if 600,000 people shifted just 10% of their spending to locally-owned business, it would generate $130 million dollars into the local economy!
With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, it’s a great time to take this challenge to heart. I’m willing to shift, are you?