Celebrating business as a force for good


Every year, we celebrate businesses that are doing great things for our local communities and economy through our LocalMotion Awards. This year, we are excited to share some changes to the LocalMotion Awards that will allow us to recognize the growing number of companies and entrepreneurs across West Michigan that are using their businesses as a force for good.

Since launching the LocalMotion Awards in 2011, dozens of businesses have been honored for doing outstanding work in addressing the changing needs in social, environmental and economic sustainability. As our community grows, in response so must the LocalMotion Awards.

In 2018, we will relocate our LocalMotion Awards to Holland to honor lakeshore businesses and host an inaugural Lakeshore Annual Meeting; launch the Good for Grand Rapids Awards; and bestow a Guy Bazzani Local Legacy Award during each annual meeting.

Local First 8th Annual Meeting, Jan. 25

The 8th Annual Meeting will continue to provide a space to connect over a shared vision to create a stronger, more sustainable West Michigan. I will share updates on the past, present and future of Local First and announce our 2018 Measure What Matters program series. We are looking forward to honoring an individual or organization with the Guy Bazzani Local Legacy Award and will anticipate the Good for Grand Rapids Awards in March.

Lakeshore Annual Meeting, Feb. 8

With so many incredible businesses across the lakeshore that make a positive impact in their communities every day, we decided to host the LocalMotion Awards at the inaugural Lakeshore Annual Meeting in February. We will recognize another Local Legacy Award recipient as well as lakeshore business owners who are using their business as a force for good in three categories: environment, community and employees.

Good for Grand Rapids Awards, March 8

Since launching Good for Grand Rapids last January, nearly 100 Grand Rapids-area businesses have taken the Quick Impact Assessment to measure their positive impact on their employees, community and the environment. The next phase in this campaign is to recognize those who have gone above and beyond to make a positive impact, which will take form at the Good for Grand Rapids Awards in March. These businesses are leaders in positive change and will be honored in the Good for the Environment, Good for the Community, Good for Governance and Good for Employees categories.

We are so proud of the growing number of companies and entrepreneurs that are committed to positive environmental and social change throughout West Michigan. On behalf of Local First and Good for Grand Rapids, I am looking forward to celebrating these businesses and continuing to engage more businesses that are using their business as a force for good. I also invite you to head over to our website for more details about our upcoming celebrations.

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Elissa Sangalli is committed to working at the leading edge of values-based capitalism — building sustainable local economies that put people first. As the president of Grand Rapids-based Local First since 2007, Sangalli has brought together nearly a thousand businesses in West Michigan to collaborate in building a vibrant community that encourages sustainable business development. She has been named an Exemplary Executive by the Grand Rapids Young Non-Profit Professionals, a B Corp Measure What Matters Champion and one of the Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty leaders three times. She is also a Business Alliance for Local Living Economies fellow and a B Corp ambassador.