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Tuesday, November 16 at 7pm
Live Broadcast from The Hamilton
Hosted by Allison Seymour, Get Up DC, WUSA9
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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

Judges composed of local business and community leaders, activists, journalists and citizens selected 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.

2021 Finalists


A local community developer, investor, or lender with deep roots in the community and known for positive investments in DC’s people, culture, and future.

Community Champion

A local business owner who makes a significant and noticeable impact in the community.

DC Maker

A local business, entrepreneur or artist who designs, makes, produces, and/or assembles a product in the District of Columbia that makes an impact.

Green Thumb

An environmental champion who works to improve the local community through sustainable practices, products or services.

High Road

A model employer who puts their people first by providing quality jobs, fostering a positive work environment, and championing beneficial business practices.


A local business, entrepreneur, or artist who inspires with a creative new idea, product, perspective, model and/or solution.

Ripple Effect

A business that supports the local economy by purchasing supplies and services from other local businesses, creating a “ripple effect” as money circulates within the local community.


A person who's the first in his/her field in the District and leads the way for others to follow chosen by Think Local First DC’s Board of Directors.

Christopher Bradshaw
Christopher Bradshaw Founder and Executive Director of Dreaming Out Loud, Inc.


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


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.

  • View

    Watch the livestream of the event on on Nov 16th at 7 PM

  • Build

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

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