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Local First Utah Blog
Monday, 30 November 2015 15:45

Shift Your Spending Week Media Coverage

It's been a doozey of a weekend, filled with press events, radio interviews and photo-ops, all in support of our Shift Your Spending Week Campaign. We're happy to report that our 2015 Shift Your Spending Week Campaign has received more media coverage than any of our previous campaigns. 

Educating the public through the media is one of our primary objectives, as it encourages people to recognize the difference they can make when they vote with their dollars. 


Here's a recap of this year's press coverage: 

Mural Encourages Shoppers to Support Local Utah Merchants - Salt Lake Tribune

A Push to Spend More Money at Local Stores This Holiday Season - Fox 13 News 

New Campaign Challenges Utahns to Shop Local - ABC 4

Utahns Urged to Shift Spending During Small Business Saturday - KSL 5

Zions Bank and Local First Utah: 10 Percent to Locals Means Billions to Economy - Fox 13 News

Local Retailers Encourage Utahns to Shift Spending - KUER 90.1

Zions Bank Speaking on Business with Chris Redgrave

KRCL's The ROI: Shift Your Spending

Published in Local First Utah Blog

One of the greatest appeals of buying online is that we can buy from the comfort of our own homes, with the click of a button. No lines, no cold wintery weather, and no crowds with which to contend. 

But, monolithic online retailers or big box online counterparts aren't the only places to shop on the World Wide Web. A number of locally owned independent busineses that have brick & mortar stores maintain web stores as well. Plus, one of the best way to support start up, home based businesses is by buying from them online. 

These Shift Your Spending Week participants all have online sales options, so make sure to shift 10% of your online shopping towards locals this holiday season as well. 

Aimee's Home Cookin'

All About Socks

Baby Bump Maternity

Beehive Cheese

Black Velevet Boutique


Condie's Candies

Especially For You Flowers

Endless Indulgence Retrowear

Forked Up Art


Green the World

Hip & Humble

Honey Bump Maternity

Mattress Warehouse

Needlepoint Joint

Performance Audio


The Stockist

Vive Juicery




Published in Local First Utah Blog



25th Street Boutique ABC Utah Law Ailulia  
Aimee's Home Cookin' All About Socks All Filters LLC  
 Alta View Tires Amboseli Foods Arrowsmith Gallery  
Artique Atlas Architects Atticus Coffee & Teahouse  



Baby Bump Maternity Basic Invite Beans & Brews  
Beehive Cheese Co Bella Muse Black Velvet Boutique  
Black's Sliders Food Truck Blooming Lotus Imports Blue Spring Broadband  



Chiemicakes Condie's Candies
Crossaction Computer Specialists



Daily Rise Coffee 



Elements of Home
Endless Indulgence
Especially For You Flowers



Forked Up Art Forseys Furniture Galleries



Gallery 25 Gear:30 Generatons Art & Home  
Got Beauty  GR Kitchen  Green the World  
Grounds for Coffee



Hip & Humble Honey Bump Maternity



Imagination Place



Jack N Jills Julia's Shoppe



LeCroissant Catering & Events Lee's Marketplace
Lee's Marketplace
Lee's Marketplace Liquid Canvas Lucky Slice Pizza



Making Scents Emporium
Manuel's El Burrito Restaurant & Cantina
Mattress Warehouse Utah



Needle Point Joint

Novak Advantage Real Estate


Olive & Dahlia

One World Gifts



Pandemonium Art Gallery

Past Life Collections

Performance Audio

Personalized Travel & Tours

Pioneer Book

Pixxie Stixxs



Q-Bic Marketing



Regional Supply

River Rock Roasting Company

RunGr8 Running Center



Salt Lake City Prenatal Massage

Salt Lake Gallery Stroll

Salt Lake Running Company

Sawaya Consulting

SC Accounting Tax Services LLC

St. George Day Spa

Streamline Pilates

Sugarhouse Coffee

Sugarhouse Furniture




The Bean WHole 

The Coffee Shop

The Garage

The Gift House

The Hive Winery & Brandy

The King's English Bookshop

The Old Flamingo

The Queen Bee Giftery

The Shop at The Station

The Sign Garage

The Stockist

Third Sun Productions

Timeless Attic Antiques

Tin Angel Cafe

Tracy Aviary Gift Shop

Traders Apparel




Unite Fitness Retreat

University Veterinary Hospital & Diagnostic Center

Urban Retreat Spa & Salon

Utah First Credit Union


Vida Tequila

Vintage Oak Furniture

VIP Roofing

Vive Juicery









Published in Local First Utah Blog
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 00:00

You Snooze, You Win on Black Friday

Every year, retailers and media pundits analyze Black Friday looking for indications of economic success. The day draws its name from the idea that it marks the time of year when retailers make it out of the red and into the black, financially speaking.

Only recently, in 2003 in fact, did Black Friday actually become the “biggest shopping day of the year. And only recently, in 2011 in fact, did big box stores begin opening their doors at midnight. For the last decade or so, Black Friday seems to have divided people into camps: those who view Black Friday as a sign of the end of civilization, and those who quite honestly, are just looking to make their hard-earned money stretch as far as they can.

This year, we “celebrate” Black Thanksgiving, and retail employees around the nation will be prohibited from celebrating the real Thanksgiving with their families.

However, something else is happening too. Dozens of national retailers are drawing the lines at their bottom line, and are not participating in Black Thursday. More so, hundreds of thousands of small, locally owned business across the country are participating in Small Business Saturday, or campaigns like Local First Utah’s Shift Your Spending Week.

Each of us has the opportunity to make choice about how we spend our hard earned money. We encourage citizens to consider their local options during this holiday season.

So, sleep in on Black Friday (but not late enough to miss our press event with Mayor Ben McAdams announcing the launch of Shift Your Spending Week). While you’re resting on Black Friday, gear up for Small Business Saturday, a shopping event that really will give you more bang for your buck.

You may not walk out of any locally owned, small businesses with a $200 plasma TV in hand, but you will have made a sizeable impact on the strength and resilience of your economy and community, because for every $100 spent in a locally owned business more than $55 stays in our local economy!

Shift Your Spending this holiday season and Shop Small! 

Published in Local First Utah Blog
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

#localgiftshift Instagram Photo Contest

In the next couple of weeks, our Local First Utah gift tags will be available in dozens of businesses throughout the state of Utah. 

Shift at least 10% of your holiday shopping towards locally owned retailers this holiday season, and let your loved ones know that you made the local gift shift with Local First Utah gift tags. 

And then, we invite you to put it on the Internet. Instagram to be precise. 

Snap a photo of your locally purchased gift, wrapped or unwrapped, featuring a Local First Utah gift tag or a Local First Utah gift wrap sticker, and use #localgiftshift to show off your treasures. 

Our #localgiftshift Instagram Photo Contest runs from November 24th - December 23rd, giving you plenty of time to shop, snap some great photos and enter to win! 

Each week, we'll choose a #localgiftshift winner, and each of those winner will be entered to win our Grand Prize! 

Weekly winners will receive a Local First Utah t-shirt. Our Grand Prize Winner will receive a bundle of goodies & gifts from the members of our Local First Leaders Circle. 


Published in Local First Utah Blog
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 00:00

Shift Your Spending on Small Business Saturday

In conjunction with Small Business Saturday, one facet of the the Shift Your Spending Campaign will be the Shop Small Passport sponsored by American Express.

Passports will be available at participating Shift Your Spending businesses starting on Monday, November 24th. Pick up a passport at your favorite locally owned business, and take it with you on Small Business Saturday, November 29th. 

Get your passport stamped at every participating business you visit on Small Business Saturday, then submit it to Local First Utah to win a prize! You can return your passport to our office, or post a photo on Facebook or Instagram! 

Passports stamped with four or more stamps will win a set of Local First Utah coasters. 

Passports filled with the complete set of eight stamps will win a set of coasters & a Local First Utah t-shirt. 

Small Business Saturday is a great way to combine the power of American Express and the power of every dollar spent in a locally owned retailer!

E-mail  with questions or ideas to amplify Small Business Saturday. 

Published in Local First Utah Blog
Friday, 13 December 2013 16:18

You Might Be a “Boutiquer” If ...

If going to a mall gives you an anxiety attack or causes you to break out in hives, you might just be a Boutiquer! A Boutiquer is someone who experiences nausea at the sight of a shopping mall full of big box stores. They enjoy shopping at quaint, eclectic, local boutiques where they know they can find unique and one of a kind items. If you think you might be a Boutiquer, then read on to discover many of the boutique stores that are a part of our Shift Your Spending Campaign.

Gifts of Jewelry, Home Goods & More ...

· 2nd and Main Street Market, located in Davis County, is full of creations from local artists, designers, Etsy sellers and entrepreneurs

· Epiphany Gallery and Gifts, located in Ogden,carries vintage antiques, jewelry, and creations from local artists.

· Green the World in Ogden carries everything eco-friendly, from clothes to kitchen goods, for that green friend on your list.

· Gypsy Moon Emporium, located in Salt Lake City, specializes in all things Celtic, plus books full of myths and fairy tales, along with enchanting jewelry, capes, and clothes.

· Hip & Humble, carries a wide variety of fun and hip home goods, gifts and furniture. Plus Hip & Humble has three locations, one in Salt Lake City, one in Sandy and one in Bountiful.

· Joy Craft & Design, located in Springdale, specializes in upcycled and handcrafted items as well as cut flowers jewelry, and vintage gifts.

· Maison Confiserie et Boutique, located in Salt Lake City, offers trés chic personal and home accessories as well as lovely sweets and treats.

· The Copper Paisley is an online store carrying personalized keepsakes, hand-forged, sterling silver and copper jewelry and so much more!

· The Old Flamingo in Millcreek offers a unique space where local artists can sell their goods, which range from new and redesigned home goods to gifts, jewelry and more!


· Q Clothing, located in Salt Lake City, carries a wide variety of progressive women's clothing and much of Q's items, including all of its jewelry, come from local, Utah artists.

· Chic Style with locations in Eden, South Ogden and Bountiful, carries fun and chic women's and junior's clothing at great prices.

· The Stockist by Fresh, located in Salt Lake, carries hip styles for men and women with, in a fun and funky atmosphere!

· Solissa's Boutique, located in the heart of Sugar House, carries a varied collection of women's clothing, footwear, jewelry, handbags, accessories and more.

· New West Country Store in Kamas Valley carries clothing and just about everything else you'll need for that cowboy or cowgirl on your list.

· Unhinged, with locations in Sugar House and Provo features modern and vintage clothing, accessories, and gifts for men and women.

Whether you stop by several of the boutiques on who are participating in Shift Your Spending, or you choose one in which to accomplish all of your holiday shopping, make sure to adorn your gifts with a Local First Utah gift tag or stickers!




Published in Local First Utah Blog
Thursday, 28 November 2013 11:44

Take Back Black Friday


The bad news; for the first time many national retailers have opened this year on a day that is traditionally reserved for spending time with loved ones and offering appreciation. While many of us are happily gathering around the table, Black Friday is also trying to consume Thanksgiving. Apparently, midnight on the Friday after Thanksgiving wasn’t early enough for some remote corporate decision makers, so Friday’s big-box madness will start early. Frankly, we’re livid about the lack of respect -- not only for a day traditionally reserved for gratitude, but also for low-wage workers across the country who are now forced to give up the holiday. It has never been more evident that remote commerce lacks human kindness and accountability. So what are we going to do about it?


The good news; we can take Black Friday back-- in our sleep! It’s that simple, let’s all push the snooze button and save our shopping for locally owned businesses. That’s it. We can vote with our dollars and demand the day back. Join us in the most peaceful protest ever. Let’s save our energy and our spending for independent businesses. Not only is it more fun to buy from local artists or explore a local business district, recent Utah studies show that buying locally keeps four times more money in our economy building our communities and our collective economic vitality. You can be a good citizen in your sleep.



Published in Local First Utah Blog
Friday, 01 February 2013 10:48

Reason #8: You Love Your Neighbors

The 2012 Salt Lake City Indie Impact Study demonstrates that locally owned businesses in Utah return, on average, 3% of their revenue to charity – a full percentage point more than other local businesses across the country. We at Local First Utah are particularly proud of that simple statistic, because we think it points to a larger facet of culture in Utah. Here, we love our neighbors.

Our local businesses not only give to charity at a higher rate than national chain stores, but they link us together in a web of economic and social relationships. The staff of Local First Utah has the frequent privilege of hearing wonderful stories about our local business community. We thought we’d pass on just a few of these stories that show just how much we love our neighbors.

If you’re ever looking for inspiration, have a conversation with Kathie Chadbourne, owner of the Avenues Bistro on Third. Her stories are abundant and remarkable, ranging from anonymous gift cards taped to the door while the restaurant was being remodeled, to an unexpectedly packed house on the night that she “tested” whether or not the open sign worked, to an army of support staff provided by other local restaurateurs on a day when her former chef staged a walk out, taking much of the kitchen staff with him. Having received so much love from her neighbors, Kathie balks at the idea that the Avenues Bistro belongs to her, commenting rather, “It belongs to us all. It’s our restaurant.”

For the last two summers, Maryann Alston and her husband have hosted farmers’ markets at Garner Village, South Towne Mall and Wheeler Farm, working to create a truly local, community marketplace in Salt Lake County. The Alstons also run the Wasatch Front Farmers’ Market Store, located at 5823 South State Street, keeping the outstanding products of Utah’s food artisans available year round. The day after Christmas, the Market Store was burglarized. The theft resulted in the loss of their laptop, which contained all their business records for 2012, a television, and more than $2,000 worth of damage to the store. Ordinarily, this kind of set back would be devastating for a small business. Maryann posted a simple Facebook status regarding the break in, and before she knew it, patrons, vendors and friends began a “Fix the Door Fund,” and donated a new television to the store. As Maryann said regarding her experience, “We may never get our stolen goods back, but we know that these thieves cannot steal the community we have been embraced by.”

When Mololo Gardens advertised the comically titled, but seriously intended “Stop-Dad-From-Giving-Us-The-Axe-Sale” on Facebook, it was somewhat of a gamble. The potential loss of the Mololo Gardens retail store, meant saving the Mololo Gardens farm. Literally. The family that runs Mololo Gardens are first and foremost farmers, but out of a love for all things local, they opened as retail store on 400 South featuring Utah-made products ranging from mouthwash to chocolate tortillas.  The store also offers gardening classes, hosts local artists and musicians, and regularly open their doors to homeless neighbors, feeding them made from scratch soup and chili. After a tough January, it seemed like the store would need to close its doors – until hundreds of people showed up for the one day sale to show their support, and spend a few dollars, in order to keep Mololo Gardens in business.

Tell us your tales! If you have an encouraging story of how local businesses have impacted your community, pass it on to .

Published in Local First Utah Blog

            If you carry any doubt in your mind about the diverse types of products made in Utah, a quick trip to Mololo Gardens should dispel all uncertainties about the ingenuity of local entrepreneurs. Just to the south of Pioneer Park on 400 South, Mololo Gardens carries is everything from locally made chocolate tortillas to hand-mixed, hand-bottled, and hand-labeled mouthwash. The collection of local goods for sale in their little shop is genuinely awe-inspiring. Walking through the aisles at Mololo Gardens is like walking through a menagerie of entrepreneurial passion. Each product is a picture of the innovation that is required of local business owner to produce a truly unique product.

            Often, the notion of innovation speaks to newness, to the idea of creating something that’s never before been created. We think of technology, and of the future. While this is certainly the case with many of our local entrepreneurs, some local business owners have found that looking to the past provides them with the best source for a new idea.

            Artisans like those who create Slide Ridge Honey and Oolite Cheese have found inspiration by looking to the past, by returning to timeworn practices that many large-scale food producers have propelled past in an attempt to produce the most rather than to produce the best.
            Slide Ridge Honey has returned to the age-old standard of using a “mother” to turn their honey mead into honey vinegar. A mother is a spongy, gelatinous, living thing that rests on the surface of the liquid that’s being turned into vinegar. Its job is to eat the alcohol in the wine, and in doing so, turns the wine into vinegar. This centuries old practice has been reinvigorated by Martin James to create Slide Ridge’s delectable Honey Wine Vinegar.

            Joel and Rachel Wilcox, creators of Oolite Cheese, began their cheese making endeavors because of a simple fondness for cheese. As the explored the world of cheese, determining their likes and dislikes, they discovered a common love cheese’s like Roquefort and other cheeses made predominately from sheep’s milk, aged in limestone caves using mold.  A certain degree of serendipity led them to Manti, Utah, a small town that rest on limestone bedrock and is home to several sheep farmers. With these two elements in place, the Wilcoxes asked themselves,  “What does the mold taste like in Sanpete County?”

The answer came in the form of two unique cheeses: “Boys Pants Rebellion” and “What’s Her Name.” (The stories behind these titles deserve of a blog in and of themselves.) These cheeses are a remarkable homage to ancient cheese making practices, and are quite groundbreaking. Scientists at Utah State University believe the Wilcoxes have happened upon as new strain of cheese-making mold, which is, apparently, quite a big deal.  

“Ten Reasons to Buy Locally” is a photo narrative in the Risk Takers & Place Makers show on display now through the end of the year at the Salt Lake City & County Building. Don’t miss it!

Published in Local First Utah Blog
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