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Your financial support helps Local First Chicago fulfill its mission to educate citizens, community groups, and policy makers on the positive and enduring economic, social and environmental impacts of local, independently owned businesses.

To help further spread this message, LFC makes the following available to all Chicago local independently owned businesses:
  • Unlimited use of the LFC logo to show your wide support for our mission
  • An LFC decal to display at your front entrance identifying you as a true local business
  • Inclusion in LFC's online community with a link to your website
  • A marketing kit that makes it easy for you to participate in our city-wide educational Unwrap Chicago holiday campaign and other buy local campaigns
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About Local First Chicago

The Coffee Studio

Our Mission

The mission of Local First Chicago is to build thriving, local communities by educating citizens, community groups and policy makers on the positive and enduring economic, social and environmental impacts of local, independently owned businesses, connect and grow a broad base of locally owned independent businesses and train businesses and other parties in socially, environmentally and economically sustainable practices.

Local First Chicago is a network of locally owned, independent businesses, community organizations and citizens joined together to keep money and character in our neighborhoods and build a thriving local living economy.  In doing so, we hope to promote the overall social, economic, and environmental health of our economy and communities.

We have a vision for Chicago that is Local, Fair and Green!

Who we are?

We are an inclusive network of independent, locally owned businesses & services, farmers, non-profits and community members.  We are a network of BALLE - the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.

What we do?

  • Buy Local Campaigns to educate members of the community about the importance of voting with your dollars.
  • Collaborate/Partner with existing local organizations/groups that are working towards similar goals to multiply the impact of our mutual missions.
  • Provide a voice for small businesses to influence the governmental issues that affect them directly by advocating for policies at the local, state, and national level. 
  • Work to keep more dollars here through events and other programs that build our local economic capacity.
The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies(BALLE) is North America’s fastest growing network of socially responsible businesses, comprised of over 80 community networks representing 22,000 independent business members across 30 U.S. States and Canadian provinces.  BALLE networks create local living economies through the building blocks of independent retail, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, green building, local zero-waste manufacturing, community capital, independent media, and local arts and culture.

We envision a sustainable global economy as a network of Local Living Economies, building long-term economic empowerment and prosperity in communities through local business ownership, economic justice, cultural diversity and a healthy natural environment. Independent businesses create wealth by engaging local people in the production, marketing, and consumption of goods, they pay taxes, and reinvest in our communities.


Local First Chicago was formed in October of 2005.  In the summer of 2006, Local First Chicago went citywide covering every corner of Chicago with a great geographical and cultural diversity. Visit our Business Directory