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Think Local First

Each one of us has a duty to our community, to help create and sustain a vibrant place to live, work, and play. We can create thriving communities through even the smallest of everyday decisions — especially when it comes to the businesses we support. With a simple commitment to always think local first,  we can create a wide ripple of impact.


Think Local First makes it easy to find what you need locally, celebrate where you live, and put what matters most first. Keep your dollars where your heart lives, support an economy of friends and neighbors, and build a community that thrives by thinking local first!

Find Local Businesses

Why Buy Local?

“Local, independently owned businesses are creating quality jobs and stronger communities everywhere, at a faster clip than large corporations. Beyond that, each dollar that is spent with a local business has a multiplier effect as it recirculates within your community — creating more quality jobs and greater stability as more of your family, friends and neighbors benefit.

We’ve all seen it happen. Big box retail stores come into smaller markets, mom and pop businesses close down, vibrant and unique retail stores give away to sprawl and sameness.

Once economic action turns local, trends begin to reverse. Sustainable quality jobs begin to return to communities. Communities once again become hubs for commerce and innovation.” – Balle

Local Gift Guide

Whatcom Think Local First Gift Card

Local Food

Member Directory

Search for the perfect gift from locally owned businesses with our gift guide!

Gift a Whatcom Think Local First Gift Card, redeemable at tons of local businesses!

Find local food with the WA Food & Farm Finder

Find business members with our online directory!

Why Local Matters

Small-scale, locally owned businesses create communities that are more prosperous, entrepreneurial, connected, and generally better-off, across a wide-range of metrics. Don’t just take our word for it, though. Read the research and see for yourself why local matters.


Net New Jobs

Up to 90% of net new jobs in the U.S. are created by locally owned businesses.


Remains Here

For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $58 remains in the economy.


Fewer automobile miles

Residents of neighborhoods with the most local businesses log 26% less automobile miles.

Join Our Hundreds of Local Members!

We understand that local businesses are the heart and soul of our community. Businesses like yours are the landmarks that create a sense of culture, and provide unique experiences that make locals proud to call the Pacific Northwest home. From our resources for small business owners, to our broad network of like-minded entrepreneurs, you’ll find the support you need at Sustainable Connections.

Many don’t realize that “small” business is actually really big — and getting bigger.

Local isn’t just a place on a map. It’s people: your neighbors and their families, their businesses, farms, nonprofits, events, and recreational venues.

By sourcing more products and services locally, we are voting with our dollars every day to live in a state that values self-reliant local communities that offer opportunity and prosperity for all.

Annual Promotions

Are you a local business owner who would like to get involved? Check out our two largest annual promotions and learn how to get involved today!

Independents Month

Celebrate local businesses in July! When we support local businesses we support local jobs, and we support what keeps our community ours. By keeping more of our money right here in our community, we reduce harmful environmental impacts, and celebrate businesses that give back.

Local Gift Guide

Give the gift of local — find the perfect gift and strengthen our community all at the same time! Feel good about getting one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list while supporting your community. This beats the long lines and busy crowds hands-down!

Many Thanks To Our Think Local First Sponsors: