Here in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts we are blessed with great natural beauty and a vibrant local living economy made up of independent businesses, wonderful family farms, educational institutions and active community organizations. It's a rich and diverse culture and one that Pioneer Valley Local First is dedicated to protecting and strengthening.
We're a founding network of Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), the organization that is leading the living economy movement with 65 Networks throughout North America. Since 2001 our mission has been to educate and encourage Pioneer Valley citizens, community organizations, businesses and town governments to Think Local First. We are committed to finding ways to meet our community's energy, food, housing, transportation, and other needs in ways that are both environmentally and locally intelligent.
Pioneer Valley Local First, formerly known as Pioneer Valley Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (PV BALLE), is one of 65 BALLE Networks through out North America. We are a volunteer run organization, working since 2001 to encourage people in Western Massachusetts to Think local First.
We work closely with local, independent businesses to help them do more local purchasing, non-profits in the area like Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, the Center for Ecological Technology, and Coop Power to encourage people and businesses in the Pioneer Valley to support local farmers and begin using green energy sources. We have also worked with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, local Mayors offices, and various Chambers of Commerce to influence their members about the need to promote the local economy. One of the biggest projects we have initiated over the past few years is the Think Local First Contest. This contest has done much to encourage people to shop locally during Christmas and the Holidays.
Three of the projects we are currently working on include securing Sponsorships for our website at a $1,000/year, publishing a Pioneer Valley Guide To Local Businesses in the summer of 2009, and working with businesses who want to develop Action Plans to make positive changes that benefit our local economy, community, and/or environment. We would greatly like to thank Big Y World Class Market for their Major Sponsorship of our up-coming Pioneer Valley Local Business Guide. We feel our Buy Local Guide will be an important tool to help people think and shop local first!!
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