About Us

Since our formation in 2006, Think Local First DC has been dedicated to supporting local independent businesses in our nation’s capital. Our mission is to transform Washington, D.C.’s economy by developing and implementing solutions that strengthen the local independent business community and improve its ability to make D.C. a more equitable, inclusive, and vibrant place to live.

We focus our efforts on the following:

  • Educate: We educate residents, businesses and policymakers about the benefits of supporting D.C.’s local independent businesses.
  • Advocate: We advocate for economic strategies that support the growth of local independent businesses in Washington, D.C. and lead to a more local, fair and sustainable economy.
  • Connect: We connect our membership to resources, training, and opportunity.

Our History

2006

2006

Think Local First DC was formed by the non-profit Latino Economic Development Corporation.

2007

2007

Appeared on the Kojo Nnamdi Show to discuss competition local businesses face against national chains.

2007

2007

Kim Weeks, of Boundless Yoga, and Andy Shallal, of Busboys and Poets, named Co-Chairs.

2008

2008

Joined the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), a nationwide network of 20,000 entrepreneurs dedicated to building strong local economies.

2009

2009

“Think Local, Drink Local” mixers brought the community together.

2010

2010

More than 150 businesses in D.C. proudly displayed the Think Local First sticker in their storefront.

2011

2011

Gina Schaeffer of Logan’s Hardware, a retail co-op, named Board Chairman.

2012

2012

Encouraged D.C. residents to sign the “Shop Outside The Big Box Pledge.”

2012

2012

Hosted a series of events for aspiring entrepreneurs.

2013

2013

Co-Sponsored DC Brau’s 1st Annual Holiday Marketplace.

2013

2013

Launched Locals Unplugged, a monthly two-hour business breakfast that educated and connected entrepreneurs.

2014

2014

Kicked-off Do Good Week, a celebration of smart growth and social enterprise in D.C.

2014

2014

Connected business owners, community builders, and D.C. decision makers during Developer Dinner series.

2015

2015

Worked with City Council to pass Made In DC legislation and secured funding to support the creative economy.

2015

2015

Partnered with the Green Impact Campaign to save local businesses more than $100k through free energy assessments.

2016

2016

Launched the Made In DC program with DSLBD, enrolling and supporting more than 170 businesses that produce locally-made products.

2017

2017

Informed the creation of the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy Plan.

2017

2017

Surpassed 8,500 followers on Twitter and 4,000 followers on Facebook.