Local First Arizona
David Krietor has served as CEO of the newly-formed Downtown Phoenix, Inc. (“DPI”) since April 8, 2013. In that time, he has begun work with community stakeholders to develop the downtown we want. “Your Downtown” shares his thoughts and DPI’s progress with the downtown community and beyond. Read the other chats here.
A week ago, Kimber Lanning, Downtown Phoenix Inc. board member and Local First Arizona executive director, shared with me some interesting observations from attendees of the national BALLE Conference on Localism held in Phoenix in June. Hundreds of Localist leaders from across the U.S. visited Downtown Phoenix to talk about the best practices for building strong local economies. Here are some of the comments received from conference-goers about their stay:
- “I didn’t know much about Phoenix before this conference. I feel like I got a privileged view of so many amazing people and initiatives working to address their challenges in creative and collaborative ways. I now love this city and would love to come back.”
- “I had no idea Phoenix had such a vibrant arts district!”
- “I am an Arizona resident but don’t live in the Phoenix area. I was very impressed with how many committed, thoughtful organizations and activists are doing great work in city… The city was far more walkable than I anticipated and the [welcome] guide was very helpful.”
- “Phoenix has so much life, energy, pulse that I didn’t know about.”
- “I’ve always thought of Phoenix as a pretty rough place. I was impressed not only by the downtown but, significantly, by the passion of the folks working on local issues.”
- “I live in the East Valley of Phoenix and never come downtown. After my time at the BALLE Conference I realized I have been missing a big part of my town. Downtown Phoenix is really coming into its own. I will return.”
- “[Phoenix] is much greener than I expected!”
With those kind and positive words, I could stop right now, but there’s a lot more news and information to share about downtown:
IN THE PINK
- ASU ends on-campus psychiatric-care program
- ASU provides hope for an iconic downtown building and its residents
- UA & St. Joe’s Cancer Center comes to Downtown Phoenix
- How the UA Dignity Health cancer center almost wasn’t
- Will South Phoenix Light Rail affect your health?
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
- How transit spurred downtown growth, and could shape the whole city
- Banner to Midtown Phoenix neighbors: 3 years of construction
- Chicanos Por La Causa Pickle House incubator wins $50K SBA grant
- Condo project to take shape near Park Central Mall
- Downtown Phoenix’s growing residential boom shown in new study
- Hotel Monroe construction causes closure of Central Avenue
- New “one-stop shop” for homeless vets opens in Phoenix
- Phoenix asks for new bids for 100-year-old “Psycho” building
- Westward Ho owners get fed-backed loan for upgrades
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
- Be Coffee opens on Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix
- Breweries craft expansions after drafting state law to boost production
- Cibo is a tasty, charming gem in Downtown Phoenix
- Downtown Phoenix storefronts in detail
- 15 places to eat near ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus
- Phoenix food truck looks to spice up Food Network show
- Summer dining deals around downtown, metro Phoenix
- Ten Best Kids’ Menus in downtown, metro Phoenix
- The Bosque plant boutique opens on Roosevelt Row
- Two restaurants to open in shared space in Downtown Phoenix
- WebPT ranks on Inc. 5000 list of nation’s fastest growing companies
- Burton Barr Central Library looking for artists to feature in 2016 gallery
- Emerging designers present at downtown preview of Phoenix Fashion Week
- First Fridays August music guide for Downtown Phoenix
- Mural in Downtown Phoenix highlights plight of migrants
- Nic Wiesinger founds Rhetorical Galleries in Downtown Phoenix
- Theater in Downtown Phoenix keeps its ear to the ground
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
- A prudent college path
- ASU boasts diverse achievers in freshman class
- ASU student move-in is a welcome sight for Downtown Phoenix
- Phoenix banks on Peter Pan theory of Millennials
- Young African leaders complete civic leadership training at ASU
- Coyotes’ biggest question: Is there a future in Glendale?
- Phoenix 10K and Half Marathon celebrates 40 years
- The one guy who can keep four pro sports in the Valley
SAVE THE DATE (UPCOMING EVENTS)
- AIA Placemaking Series Panel Discussion on “Work,” Aug. 20
- Space Between Grand Opening, Aug. 21
- Get Your PHX Vote On with Vice Mayor Daniel Valenzuela, Aug. 22
- Roosevelt Row Artist Meet & Greet, Aug. 25
- Artist Grants Information Session & Grantwriting Workshop, Aug. 26
- Marine Week Events, Sept. 10-13
- Urban Ale Trail, Sept. 12
- Phoenix Public Market launch of Downtown Sundown, Sept. 24
Congratulations to Lindsay Kinkade who provided DPI staff with excellent strategic communication and design support in creating our new #dtphx brand. Lindsay was just appointed Design Director of ASU’s Enterprise Marketing Hub. Her job will be to lead design in the Hub to collaborate across campus in building tools to tell the story of ASU far and wide. She will also continue to teach in The Design School and advocate for all good things downtown.
In recognition of National Independents Week, Local First Arizona will honor locally owned and independent businesses across the state from Saturday, June 27, through Sunday, July 5. The nationwide Independents Week campaign, coordinated by the American Independent Business Alliance and known as “Indie Week,” takes place during the week of Independence Day with the purpose of enlightening consumers to the importance of supporting local businesses.
“Independence Day is a time for us to reflect on what makes our state and country great,” says Kimber Lanning, Director of Local First Arizona. “Arizona’s independent business community is the backbone of our local economy and the driving force behind what makes us proud to call Arizona home. Up to four times more money stays in the local economy when consumers choose an independent business over a national chain. Independents Week is our way of drawing attention to the important role independent businesses play in our daily lives.”
This year’s Independents Week will feature the return of the Golden Coupon, an Independents Week contest with great prizes, and fun events with local businesses in the Phoenix Metro area and across the state:
TAKE THE ‘BUY LOCAL’ PLEDGE
Arizonans are encouraged to take the pledge to ‘Buy Local’ and support Arizona’s independent businesses during Indie Week. Anyone can take the pledge by visiting http://localfirstaz.com/independents-week/ and filling out the simple form. Pledgers can choose to publicly have their names listed on the Local First Arizona website or remain anonymous. All pledgers will be entered in a raffle to win a Phoenix staycation package, which includes a one-night stay at the Clarendon Hotel, a $100 gift card to the Vig and admission for two to the Phoenix Art Museum.
THE GOLDEN COUPON RETURNS
The popular Golden Coupon, printed by Think! Graphic and Printing Solutions, is the ticket to saving 20% off purchases from hundreds of locally owned establishments including auto repairs, home furnishing stores, boutiques, florists, restaurants, yoga studios, nurseries, and more. Individuals can simply print out the Golden Coupon from the LFA website or download the coupon on their smart phone and use it at as many participating locations as they please throughout Independents Week. The Golden Coupons present the perfect opportunity for consumers to visit participating stores that they have wanted to try and to find new spots they may not have known about, all while spending locally and saving money.
INDEPENDENTS WEEK EVENTS
Independents Week is always accompanied by several events celebrating local businesses:
5th Somewhat Annual Phoenix Independents Bowl: Grab your friends (and a ringer or two) on Sunday, June 28, and set up your teams for this sometimes annual bowling tournament supporting Local First Arizona. Organized by Steve Chilton of Psyko Steve Presents & LFA, this is a fun get-together at locally owned Let It Roll Bowl in Phoenix.
“Painted Skies” by Lisa Olson & Terry Pisel at Modified Arts: Lisa Olson and Terry Pisel invite you to join them in celebrating the striking beauty of Arizona. From the sprawling spectacle of the Grand Canyon to the gridded streets of Phoenix, Arizona holds a dramatic and ever-changing variety of landscapes. Native Arizonans, photographers, friends, and collaborators, Olson and Pisel use their photographic skills to showcase some of the unique features of our state set against its biggest asset—the sky. Using hand-transferred photographs altered using unconventional mediums, the artists portray a series of wide-ranging scenes: from cactus to pine tree, city to mountain, valley to mesa. Their wood panels feature interpretive regional landscapes giving homage to the forests, deserts and majesty of our home. Opening reception is Third Friday, June 19, at 6:00 p.m.
Independents Week Pub Crawl: Local First Arizona is taking over Old Town Scottsdale on Friday, July 3, for our annual Independents Week Pub Crawl. Hit the streets with us as we trek around sipping libations in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Each local stop along the way will feature one $4 drink special exclusively for attendees. Attendees can participate in a scavenger hunt throughout the evening for the chance to win prizes. Pub Crawl stops include Brat Haus, Craft64, 5th and Wine, and Hula’s Modern Tiki. Free to attend, guests are responsible for purchasing their own beverages. Find more details on Independents Week at http://www.localfirstaz.com/independents-week/
If you noticed an unusual abundance of energetic tourists in Downtown Phoenix during the second week of June, don’t worry; you’re not going crazy.
They weren’t just tourists. They were attendees of the 2015 BALLE Conference, which brings together the most active minds in small business from around the country. With seminars held in the Orpheum Theatre, ASU Downtown Campus, and the Crescent Ballroom, our out of town guests truly got a taste of what makes Phoenix so special.
Ushered in by Local First Arizona, the biggest local business association in the country, visitors took part in seminars that looked at every part of the small business process. Topics ranged from launching a new idea to the necessity of collaboration among local business owners to answer the needs of their own communities.
Niambi Cacchioli, founder and head artisan of Bloomsbury Sq. Bath and Body from Jersey City, NJ, spoke during the Innovation for Good seminar on Friday, noting the need for local business owners to connect with the local community.
“When we often talk among ourselves and we often talk about the “shared economy.” It’s a beautiful idea, but why doesn’t everybody do it?” she asked during her presentation.
“Because it’s really hard. Because everyday is a negotiation.”
But, as the co-founder of shared workspace 942 Summit, Cacchioli has dealt firsthand with the intricacies of local business owners coming together to create a destination for community members, and found the reward of committing to her own backyard with creative solutions as a business owner.
Business owners and community leaders from around the country congregated in Phoenix, braved triple-digit weather, and shared stories on how to make small business work in every setting. Representatives from Detroit’s Hopeful Harvest and FoodLab/Detroit Kitchen Connect discussed the need to engage the community by creating jobs and opportunity for growth to locals who have a deep investment in the future of the community.
In support of our state’s local and independent businesses, Local First Arizona will recognize Independents Week from Saturday, June 27 – Saturday, July 5. Learn how you can support local businesses during Independents Week through shopping, contests and events.
Photography: Ivan Martinez
Downtown Phoenix is about to host the biggest gathering of local business owners in the nation.
The 2015 Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Conference will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center, June 10 – 12. View the conference agenda here.
BALLE works to support local business associations around the country by providing education and an annual fellowship program.
The revitalization of Downtown Phoenix is due in no small part to the efforts of our own local business association, Local First Arizona, which effectively takes the collective hopes of multitude downtown residents and helps translate them into a vibrant local community. They do this by fostering local business growth, offering support and a structured environment for local entrepreneurs to develop their trade in our city.
Local First AZ is also the world’s largest local business association, and boasts two BALLE Fellows in Founder Kimber Lanning and Fuerza Local Director Carlos Velasco, making Phoenix an ideal location to host the 2015 conference.
Further earning its local credentials, in the past two years Phoenix has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Municipal Equality Index, and is featured prominently on a number of national business-friendly indexes. Not only that; in 2014 Roosevelt Row was named one of the top 10 arts districts in America by USA Today.
The welcoming atmosphere and record of success will be on prominent display as small business owners from around the country descend upon Phoenix in the coming days.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Local First Arizona Brings Localism Conference, Local Economy Leaders to Phoenix
WHAT: The 13th annual BALLE (Business Alliance of Local Living Economies) Conference is a three-day event that explores how locally rooted economic systems solve environmental, financial, and social problems. Approximately 700 local business leaders, social entrepreneurs, community funders, policymakers and local economy leaders of all kind from across North America and beyond are expected to attend this year’s BALLE Conference.
The theme, “What’s Working Locally,” will inform this year’s conversation around practical solutions and wisdom that attendees can take back to their own communities to advance the emergence of a new economy that is just, fair, and healthy for people, place, and planet.
WHO: The 2015 BALLE Conference is hosted by BALLE and Local First Arizona. BALLE is a non-profit organization focused on creating real prosperity by connecting leaders, spreading solutions, and driving investment toward local economies. BALLE equips entrepreneurs with tools and strategies for local success, and provides a national forum for the most visionary local economy leaders and funders to connect, build their capacity and innovate.
Local First Arizona (LFA) is a statewide non-profit organization working to strengthen communities and local economies through growing, supporting, and celebrating locally owned businesses throughout the state of Arizona. LFA seeks to promote, support, and celebrate a vibrant and sustainable Arizona economy by educating consumers, stakeholders, business leaders, and policymakers about local business ownership, social equity, cultural diversity, environmental kinship, and collaboration.
WHEN: June 10 – 12, 2015
WHERE: The 2015 BALLE Conference will be hosted at a variety of venues in downtown Phoenix. Optional excursions before and after the conference will take attendees to different areas of the state including Cottonwood and Arcosanti.
WHY: Studies consistently show that communities with higher density and diversity of local, independently owned businesses have more wealth, jobs, and resiliency. The BALLE Conference offers an opportunity for local economy leaders from around the globe to come together and share best practices for advancing strategies and policies that support local businesses and local economies. By sharing this knowledge, these leaders can return to their communities to grow and support their own local economies, thus working towards creating prosperity for all.
The BALLE Conference has chosen Phoenix as its host city for a number of reasons. Since the Great Recession, Phoenix has transformed into a beautiful, new city that now embraces Localism, innovation, entrepreneurship, and diversity. With an eye towards the city’s core and a special focus on adaptive reuse, hundreds of new local businesses have established themselves in the heart of downtown Phoenix over the past five years, and they’re thriving. Ridership on the recently constructed Light Rail line has exceeded all expectations, and is further spurring economic development in Phoenix’s central corridor. For the last two years, Phoenix has received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Municipal Equality Index.
In a dramatic shift based on these factors, an increasing number of young people are choosing to start their lives and careers in Phoenix, where the cost of living is low and the quality of life is high. Arizona is home to a thriving Localist community and Local First Arizona, the largest BALLE member and local businesses coalition in the country with over 2,600 members across the state.
REGISTRATION & COST: Registration is now open with an advanced discount rate of $450 per person. On February 23, registration will increase to $550 per person for the early bird rate. On May 3, registration will increase to the regular rate of $650 per person. Registration includes attendance at all BALLE Conference activities, including regular conference programming, six meals, evening parties, and more. Registration, programming, and more information is available at bealocalist.org/conference