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We foster the development of an economy, grounded in local ownership, which functions in harmony with our ecosystem, meets the basic needs of our people, encourages joyful community life, and builds wealth.


  • A community built around unique experiences that support a high quality life.
  • An economy that meets the needs of the people of our region and improves the environmental sustainability of our place.
  • A culture of collaboration that allows diverse parts of our community entrepreneurial success by capitalizing, supporting, and growing locally-owned businesses.
  • A future in which businesses, consumers, and employees recognize their interconnectedness and see themselves as investors in the quality of life for West Michigan residents.
  • Being an international leader in sustainable economic and community development


  • Local independent ownership
  • Human scale relationships
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Creativity
  • Social and monetary capital
  • Natural environment and resources
  • Joyful experiences

Therefore, we

  • Actively encouraging the creation of a sustainable local economy through community education, relationship building, and normalizing behaviors.
  • Building, developing, and sustaining an environment in which local businesses grow and thrive. 
  • Educating consumers and business owners about the benefits of spending their money at locally-owned businesses.
  • Educating local businesses about the ways in which positive employment practices, involvement in the community, and protecting the environment help them reach their goals and make them more effective community stewards.


SOURCE: Public Archives, Grand Rapids Public Library


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