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Local First Utah | Locally Owned and Independent Businesses - Displaying items by tag: Independents Week

Independents Week Community Relations Coordinator


Local First Utah is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the mission to empower a movement to recognize the value and vitality of locally owned, independent businesses to our communities and our economy. We do this through educating and engaging the public, the businesses and our statewide community partners.

Independents Week is one of Local First Utah’s annual educational campaigns. Held during the first week of July 1st – July 7th the goal of Independents Week is to proclaim the value of locally owned independent businesses to the governing bodies of the communities wherein those businesses operate, and to encourage citizens to consider the contributions made by those same businesses which uphold the character of their communities.

Project Overview:

In each of our annual campaigns, we develop methods of engaging with our three primary constituencies: government agencies, citizens and business owners.

The Community Relations Coordinator will work along side the Executive Director to oversee communication between Local First Utah and mayoral offices, city councils, state legislators, county commissioners and other governing bodies invited to sign a proclamation in support of the valuable contributions locally owned businesses make to our communities and economy.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Research contact information for elected officials in all levels of government in the State of Utah.
  • Draft invitations to mayors and other elected officials to sign the Independents Week Proclamation.
  • Oversee follow up with appropriate staff members of elected officials to ensure that proclamation is signed in a timely manner.
  • Assist Executive Director in the production of press releases, media alerts and with the coordination of press events during Independents Week.
  • Support Executive Director in distribution of branded Local First Utah educational materials to authorized partner businesses.

There is a $1,000 stipend available with this internship. To apply for this internship, please send a cover letter, resume and references to Executive Director Kristen Lavelett at by April 30, 2018.

Published in Local First Utah Blog


Mayor James H. Hadfield, American Fork

Mayor Calvin Blach, Blanding

Mayor Derk Timothy, Bluffdale

Mayor Tyler Vincent, Brigham City

Mayor Maile Wilson, Cedar City

Mayor Tom Sorenson, Centerfield

Mayor Paul Cutler, Centerville

Mayor Mark Shepard, Clearfield

Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, Cottonwood Heights

Mayor Troy K. Walker, Draper

Mayor Christopher Pengra, Eagle Mountain

Mayor Jim Talbot, Farmington

Mayor Don Carroll, Fruit Heights

Mayor Bruce Blackham, Gunnison

Mayor Carmen Freeman, Herriman

Mayor Robert Dahle, Holladay

Mayor Steve Hiatt, Kaysville

Mayor Bob Stevenson, Layton

Mayor Bert Wilson, Lehi

Mayor Dave Sakrison, Moab

Mayor Ray Little, Morgan

Mayor David Blackham, Mt. Pleasant

Mayor Brent Taylor, North Ogden

Mayor Len Arave, North Salt Lake

Mayor Mike Caldwell, Ogden

Mayor Jack Thomas, Park City

Mayor Rick Moore, Payson

Mayor Mike Daniels, Pleasant Grove

Mayor Toby Mileski, Pleasant View

Mayor John R. Curtis, Provo

Mayor Dave Ogden, Richfield

Mayor James Brackner, River Heights

Mayor Bill Applegarth, Riverton 

Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake City

Mayor Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County

Mayor Tom Dolan, Sandy

Mayor Kirk Hunsaker, Santaquin

Mayor Cherie Wood,  South Salt Lake

Mayor Stanley Smith, Springdale

Mayor Roger Fridal, Tremonton

Mayor Kim Rolfe, West Jordan

Mayor Ron C. Bigelow, West Valley City 

Published in Local First Utah Blog

In conjunction with Governor Gary Herbert, dozens of mayors across the state of Utah have signed individual proclamations in support of the locally owned, independent businesses in their cities. It is exciting to see so many elected officials join in the movement as we celebrate independents businesses! 

Never before have the contributions of local business owners received such profound support from the elected officials of our state. For two years running, more than 30 mayors have recognized Independents Week. These actions signify that the tide is turning in favor of all things local -- in every city and every community all across Utah. More and more people are recognizing the contributions of independents businesses that add to the character of Utah, our economic well-being, and keep the American Dream alive. 

If your mayor has signed the Independents Week Proclamation thank them! Make sure your elected officials know when they are acting in your best interests. If you mayor did not sign the proclamation, encourage them to sign next year. If they need a little nudge, Local First Utah Executive Director Kristen Lavelett is available to speak to any audience, large or small regarding the benefits of buying locally. 

Elected Officials in Support of Independents Week:

Governor Gary Herbert, State of Utah

Mayor James Hadfield, American Fork

Mayor Randy Lewis, Bountiful

Mayor Tyler Vincent, Brigham City

Mayor Paul Cutler, Centerville

Mayor Maile Wilson, Cedar City

Mayor Mark Shepard, Clearfield

Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, Cottonwood Heights

Mayor Troy K. Walker, Draper

Mayor Jim Talbot, Farmington

Mayor Richard Squire, Ephraim

Mayor Brent K. Marshall, Grantsville

Mayor Bruce Blackham, Gunnison

Mayor Carmen Freeman, Herriman

Mayor Bert Wilson, Lehi

Mayor Bob Stevenson, Layton

Mayor Dave Sakrison, Moab

Mayor Len Arave, North Salt Lake

Mayor Brent Taylor, North Ogden

Mayor Mike Caldwell, Ogden

Mayor Eric Houston, Panguitch

Mayor Michael Daniels, Pleasant Grove

Mayor Toby Mileski, Pleasant View

Mayor Vaun Rayn, Roosevelt

Mayor Kirk Hunsaker, Santaquin

Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City

Mayor Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County

Mayor Cherie Wood, South Salt Lake

Mayor Patrick Dunlavy, Tooele

Mayor Mark Allen, Washington Terrace

Mayor Ron Bigelow, West Valley City


Published in Local First Utah Blog
Friday, 15 May 2015 00:00

"Independents Week in Utah"

It's official. In conjuction with dozens of mayors across the State of Utah, Governor Gary Herbert has issued a declaration making July 1st - July 7th, 2015 "Independents Week in Utah."

We're honored by Governor Herbert's support, his recognition of the power of independent business, and the importance of locally owned businesses to the character of Utah. 

Governor Herbert's Independents Week Declaration reads: 

"Whereas, Utah is recognized nationally for its business-friendly environment and entrepreneurial spirit, exemplified by our local independent businesses and their owners and employees; 

Whereas, Utah's local independent businesses help preserve our state's unique culture and character, and enrich our purchasing selections and experiences with a variety of distinctive products and services;

Whereas, the health and growth of Utah's economy depends largely on our support of businesses owned by our friends and neighbors;

Whereas, independently-owned businesses give back to our communities not only by providing goods and services, but also by creating jobs, generating additional business, and producing tax revenue; and 

Whereas, we salute Utah's local independent businesses, which are integral to the unique flavor of Utah, and we commend their myriad contributioins to the high quality of life in Utah;

Now, therefore, I, Gary R. Herbert, governor of the state of Utah, do hereby delcare July 1-7, 2015 as INDEPENDENTS WEEK IN UTAH." 

Published in Local First Utah Blog
Thursday, 14 May 2015 00:00

Take the Independents Week Pledge!

"This Independents Week, I hereby pledge to buy locally, as often as possible, in support of the locally owned, independent businesses that add to the character of Utah, our economic well-being, and keep the American Dream alive."


To take this pledge, please click here


After you've taken the pledge, please consider becoming a Friend of Local First Utah. 


Thank you to these dedicated citizens for their committment to buy locally during Independents Week 2017!


Published in Local First Utah Blog
Thursday, 14 May 2015 00:00

Locals Tic-Tac-Toe

We all know the rules of tic-tac-toe, right? But this year, we're introducing as very special way to play. 

Here's how it works:

Step One:

Take the Pledge to buy locally during Independents Week, then download a game card.


Visit one of the dozens of businesses participating in Independents Week to pick up a game card. 

Step Two: 

Buy locally! Each card features items, services or experiences that can be bought locally. Take the card to participating Independents Week businesses, and have them sign off when you've purchased one of the listed items. Draw a line of three, and you win! Submit your card to Local First Utah, and you'll be entered to win a great prize. If you mark of all the boxes on your card, you'll win the grand prize of two tickets to our annual gala event, Celebrate the Bounty. 

If none of the Independents Week businesses are in your area use the card to shop with other locals (and, tell 'em to partner with Local First Utah!). To submit your card, you can take a photo and tag us on Instagram or Facebook, return it by mail, or even bring it by our office (865 South 200 West, SLC). Just make sure that when you submit your card, we have a way to get in touch with you if you win!  Also, in order for entries to be valid, all purchases must be made during Independents Week, July 1st -7th. 

Published in Local First Utah Blog

This year’s Independents Week has been a whirlwind for all of us. 35 mayors, four county commissions, one governor and nearly 100 local businesses later, we’re excited to kick back around the grill and watch some fireworks—but that’s for tomorrow! Today, we fight on.

The cherry on top of our Local First Utah Independents Week sundae was an event that occurred this morning at Advanced Windows in South Salt Lake. Advanced Windows is an independent business that exudes all things local—they just get it. The owner even had a Local First Utah patch embroidered onto his shirt. All in all, it was the perfect setting for our final event with Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and Murray City Mayor Ted Eyre.

Speaking to FOX 13 News, McAdams asserted that, “our local entrepreneurs are part of what we're celebrating with Independence Day.” Eyre added that, “we have a lot of respect for people who are willing to invest all of their time, talents and energy into their business, and we want to support them.” Although it was the mayors of Salt Lake County and Murray City who made these statements, every elected leader across Utah who signed a proclamation in their own communities echoed penned their names to this reverie.

If there’s one lesson to be learned from this year’s Independents Week campaign, it’s that our elected leaders are listening. They recognize the value of local independent businesses to their communities and state, and they’ve been public in their support. The onus is now on us, as Independents Week comes to a close, to build on this momentum and up our game in shopping locally and voting with our dollars!

Moving forward, we implore you to increase your support for the independent businesses in your community—Buy Local First… more!

Local First Utah sincerely wishes everyone a happy Fourth of July!


Published in Local First Utah Blog
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

The Life of a Dollar

Imagine you walk into your favorite locally owned business. Maybe it’s a coffee shop, or a bookstore, or a great restaurant or a boutique that offers items you just can’t find anywhere else. When you leave, with a new book/latte/blouse in hand, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve done something productive with your hard earned money. You bought locally, and that means your money stays in Utah, recirculating through other independent businesses.

We often talk about how local businesses keep more money in Utah--$55.40 vs. $13.60 for every $100 you spend! But the story goes deeper than that. Independent businesses often rely on other independents. Behind each of them is an extensive support network of other businesses, professionals and service providers. Consider your most beloved local business. Who files their taxes? Who manages their website? Who manages their marketing? Who maintains their electrical and plumbing needs? Who does their landscaping, design, legal work? The list goes on…

This support network is what we like to call “localnomics.” We all, at some level, need each other. Whenever you support a local business, you’re also supporting everyone in that business’s network. That dollar you spend travels throughout the entire network, multiplying its impact as it goes and building our community as a whole.

With each thoughtful buying decision you make, you’ll be able to see localnomics in action: Supporting local businesses and enriching your community. So as you celebrate Independents Week, remember that each of your decisions has a reverberating effect on the business ecosystem of your community.


Published in Local First Utah Blog

Independents Week 2014 is all about localnomics. We may have made up that term, but what is describes is a community-oriented economic system that is as old as civilization itself (melodrama intended).

We define localnomics as "an economic system by which locally owned independent businesses organize the production, purchase and sales of goods and services in a manner that encourages economic prosperity and builds community." But as with all definitions, this one is only as useful as its context. To understand the Science of Localnomics, you have to experience its relationship to place and community.

Yes, when we shop at locally owned independent businesses, that money is recirculated to other local businesses—it benefits the local business community as a whole. But other businesses aren't the only beneficiaries of your thoughtful purchasing decisions. The money you spend—and more importantly, your decision to spend it locally—is integral in cultivating a sense of place in your community.

By place, we mean somewhere that has special meaning for you personally. We've been lucky enough to work with communities all over the state: From the Central Ninth neighborhood of Salt Lake City; to Provo and Ogden; and rippling out to towns and cities like Kanab, Gunnison, Garden City, Delta and Torrey. The sense of place in each of these cities and towns is different for each person, but it's undeniably there.

In our endeavors, we've found that behind every locally owned independent business there are two constant forces at work: A person (or people) who believes deeply in what he/she is doing, and a place that holds special meaning for that person.

According to the Local First Utah Science of Localnomics, as this community grows with the addition of more independent businesses and more people who care about local, the value and vitality of the community increases exponentially. That value isn't limited to recirculated money alone—you can't measure warm fuzzies in dollar signs, right?

When communities grow stronger, the relationships people have to the places where they live and work grow stronger as well. That, friends, is localnomics!
As you celebrate Independence Day in your communities, doesn't it make 'localnomic' sense to celebrate our Independent businesses as well? So in that spirit of celebration, let's all band together this week and buy local!

Published in Local First Utah Blog

Utah is like nowhere else on Earth. Geologically speaking, that is.

The red rocks of Southern Utah are the result of great winds assailing the iron rich sandstone for dozens of centuries. The Colorado Plateau, shaped by a shifting, ancient sea offers some of the most majestic sights known to man. The Wasatch and Uinta ranges emerge seemingly from nowhere, the byproduct of cataclysmic clashes of rock plates in motion.

These geological wonders have shaped us, the people of Utah.

The Anasazi, some of Utah’s first residents, built their homes in cliffsides. American Indians inhabited areas considered inhospitable, creating homes from local resources. Hardscrabble pioneers settled the Salt Lake Valley transforming a desert into a thriving religious and economic epicenter of the Intermountain West.

This, without cliché, and without irony, is the place.

It is the place where our fierce independence matches our commitment to community. There is no finer example of the distillation of this committed independence than the spirit of Utah’s local, independent businesses.

In honor of this brave, entrepreneurial spirit, Governor Gary Herbert, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and more than 30 other mayors and county commissions in Utah declare June 30th – July 6th to be “Independents Week.” 

 A national celebration during the week of Independence Day, “Independents Week” is a time to honor the contributions of locally owned independent businesses to our economies and our communities.

Independents return more money to our local economy than national retailers—four times more to be specific. Spending $100 in a nationally owned retailer will return $13.60 to our local economy. Spending $100 in a locally owned business will return $55.30 to our Utah economy.*

Money spent here stays here. Why? The answer lies in “The Science of Localnomics,” Which, simply put, is the natural way that locally owned, independent businesses organize the production, purchase and sale of goods and services in a manner that encourages economic prosperity and builds community.

When your hard-earned money changes hands with a local business owner, it becomes their hard earned money. It doesn’t go to a distant bank account, or into their shareholders’ pockets. Rather, it changes hands again—paying a graphic designer, a plumber, or an accountant.

Most of these service providers are also local business owners. Thus, your money continues to circulate through our economy, generating tax revenue used to increase the quality of our roads, schools, and emergency services.

Independent businesses amplify the character of our community. You’ll never find a national retailer like “His & Hers,” a quilting and archery supply store in Gunnison, Utah. The success of that business is the result of the distinct culture of Gunnison and the passion and interests of its owner. In Salt Lake City, the Downtown Farmers Market is a microcosm of the “makers economy” developing in Utah, reflecting the industriousness and ingenuity of our culture.

When we choose to buy from local businesses, it’s the people behind those businesses that we are choosing. We are choosing other people who love this place—this. place.—in the same way we do.

That is why, as we celebrate our freedom as a nation, we celebrate our independent businesses in Utah. They are emblematic of all that is contained in the American Dream. Their contributions set Utah apart as a place like none other, and their legacy will make Utah a destination for those with the same love of community and independence for generations.

*Based on the Civic Economics Utah Study Series.


Published in Local First Utah Blog
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