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Thursday, October 17, 2019
7:00pm – 10:00pm at Audi Field
Hosted by Lesli Foster, WUSA9 Anchor

The Local First Awards

The Local First Awards is a celebration of local independent businesses, entrepreneurs, and artists who give back to the community and create a positive impact! The Local First Awards is an initiative of Think Local First DC, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting local independent businesses and promoting their positive impact on our communities to the public.

Think Local First

Think Local First supports locally-owned businesses as they create more prosperous, connected and entrepreneurial communities. It matters where people choose to spend their money. Opting to support locally owned, independent businesses creates a positive effect, often referred to as a ‘multiplier effect,’ which is credited with enhancing social and civic well-being, is linked to higher wages, and reduces inequality while strengthening the middle class.

A Local​ Independent​ Business​ Means:

  • Private, worker, community or cooperative ownership
  • Decision-making authority is vested in the local owners and not subject to conditions dictated remotely (not a publicly traded company)
  • At least 50% locally-owned

Local First Award Judges

An independent judging panel composed of local business and community leaders, activists, journalists and citizens select nominees for seven award categories. Those nominees are then vetted and finalists are publicized. The lucky winners are announced at the official Local First Awards ceremony.

2018 Award Winners


Industrial Bank

Community Champion

Glen's Market

DC Maker

Hunny Bunny Boutique

Green Thumb

Calabash Tea and Tonic

Green Thumb

Up Top Acres

High Road

Clean Decisions


Dreaming Out Loud

Ripple Effect

Cureate Connect


Stacey Price - the force behind Shop Made in DC

2017 Award Winners

DC Maker

Bailiwick is an apparel brand that artfully merges the worlds of design, culture and purpose. We make clothing that we love, share our stories with the world, and give back to the great cities we inhabit.

Ripple Effect

Washington D.C. is in Paul Ruppert's blood. His family has run a real estate business in D.C. since 1889. Over the past 25 years, Paul W. Ruppert has been involved with a number of successful ventures in the arts and hospitality industries including Room 11, Petworth Citizen, Upshur Street Books and Slim's Diner.

High Road

The Potter’s House is a nonprofit café, bookstore, and event space in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. Since opening our doors in 1960 we have been a key place for deeper conversation, creative expression, and community transformation.

Green Thumb

Misfit offers a new way of thinking about, and fighting, food waste—because we want food to have flavor, personality, and purpose. We're on our way to becoming Misfit Foods, a brand where inefficiencies in the food system ('cause let's face it, there are a lot) become delightful products.


City First is a different kind of bank. We see the possibilities in places that others do not. Our loans have revitalized communities by providing capital for business growth and development in low and moderate-income areas.


Tightshift Laboring Cooperative is a worker-owned laboring business in DC. We promote worker freedom and provide services with integrity and love for the people, community, and environment. Tightshift is DC’s first worker-owned cooperative business founded by returning citizens.

Community Champion

Lee's Flower and Card Shop, a family owned full-service flower shop, has been a staple of historic U Street since 1945.


DC Maker

A manufacturing businesses or individual that designs or produces a product in the District that has an impact.

Ripple Effect

A business that supports the local economy that buys supplies or services from other D.C. businesses.

High Road

An employer that provides quality jobs in D.C.

Green Thumb

A business or individual that reduces waste consumption, creates green products or provides environmentally friendly services.


A local community developer, investor or lender investing in the community.


A business, entrepreneur or artist with a creative idea, product or solution.

Community Champion

A local business owner making a noticeable impact in the community.


Media Partner


Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development



Friends of Think Local First


Showroom, Washington DC

The Showroom is Washington DC’s newest, most exclusive event venue. The open, modernized, industrial space will serve as a blank canvas for each client to create stunning, unique events for anything from high-profile corporate gatherings to social events. With a combined twenty plus years of experience in DC’s thriving event industry, The Showroom team will celebrate the rich history of the city in one of the most desirable and sought after locations.

The Showroom
1099 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Get Involved!

There are many ways to participate in the Local First Awards!

  • Volunteer

    Our volunteers make the whole thing run and you can't beat the perks.

  • Sponsor

    The Local First Awards is possible because of your generosity.

  • #Hashtag

    Use #LocalFirstAwards and add to the conversation online or be a media partner and amplify the impact.

  • Attend

    Buy tickets and bring your friends, family, and co-workers to the best party of the year. (ticket site to be added soon)

  • Build Momentum

    Strengthen our local economy by aligning your purchasing power with your values!

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