Grand Rapids Mayor kicks off Local First campaign

Jan 24, 2017

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and the City of Grand Rapids joined Local First and the West Michigan B Corp community Tuesday afternoon to launch “Good for Grand Rapids,” a campaign that brings together a growing number of West Michigan companies as a force for good.

“Local first is an incredible organization in our community, and they are absolutely essential to supporting small locally own businesses,” Mayor Bliss told WGVU.

Mayor Bliss says The 'Good for Grand Rapids' campaign will help to engage companies interested in exploring or becoming certified as a Benefit Corporation better known as a B-Corp, which is best described as a for-profit company that meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. 

“The campaign is about broadening that base of businesses that are really thinking about how they can positively impact the community, and then working together to measure their impact, to learn and share best practices, and to continue to make this a great place to live,” said Local First President Elissa Hillary. 

Officials have said more than 200 West Michigan businesses have taken the "quick impact assessment" to determine how they can make a positive difference within their organization and across the region, something Mayor Bliss says is indicative of the character of Grand Rapids.

“The other thing that I love about this campaign, is that the fundamental belief about B-Corps is that you can use business as a force for good, and if you look at the history of our community, that is really what our community is based on, businesses that step up, and give back to the community, and are committed to making the community a better place,” Bliss said. 

In December, the WEGE foundation donated $200,000 to help the Good For Grand Rapids campaign create awareness.