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Local First Arizona

501(c)6 & 501(c)3


Local First Arizona builds equitable systems for Arizona’s local businesses and communities that create a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable Arizona economy by strengthening, supporting, and celebrating entrepreneurship, rural and urban community development, racial equity, environmental action, and food access.

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Programs & Services

Founded in 2003, Local First Arizona is a nonprofit organization committed to community and economic development throughout Arizona. Its work connects people, locally-owned businesses, and communities for meaningful actions that build a diverse, inclusive and prosperous Arizona economy, including:

  • Educating consumers about the interconnectedness of the economy -- how and where they spend matters.

  • Training small businesses to be more resilient, while helping larger partners tell their story as champions of Arizona.

  • Creating programs and events that make it fun and easy to discover local businesses and buy local.

  • Targeting systems of inequity and building prosperity for all Arizonans by proactively identifying comprehensive solutions and taking action.

Check out Local First’s 20 Year Priorities Report and see the impact the organization has made in Arizona.

Programs For Entrepreneurs Include:

Business Coalition  
Supporting thousands of members across the state, Local First Arizona’s Business Coalition elevates the voices of independent, locally-owned businesses while providing exclusive access to one-of-a-kind resources and solutions, expert-led education, and signature events.

Local First Arizona offers free business assistance and training to small and micro businesses covering essential needs that help businesses operate.

Business Coalition Members can access pro bono consulting in:

  • Marketing

  • Branding & Social Media Business Plan Development

  • Operation and Inventory Management

  • Grant and Financial Assistance

  • Photo and Video Production 

  • Google Profile and SEO

  • Event Management

  • Hiring and Retaining Employees

  • Accounting and Finances

Our business assistance is framed to help your business create a competitive edge, receive training and coaching, and assist in growing the community.

Fuerza Local Business Accelerator

A six-month program designed to educate and assist underserved, Spanish-preferred micro-entrepreneurs in developing and expanding their capabilities.

Fuerza Local Nivel Ejecutivo

An intensive, cohort-based program offering executive education, management know-how, and business support system to grow established small businesses. No previous degrees required!

Green Business Certification Program

A consulting and certification program that provides guidance and recognition for businesses operating in an environmentally friendly manner.

Good Food Finder

Get listed on Arizona’s online directory of local farmers, ranchers, producers, markets, and food service providers or explore the educational hub of resources to expand and support your local food business.

Restaurant Startup Boot Camp

A 6-week course designed to help scale a business from idea to marketplace. Through discussions with industry experts and government officials participants gain the tools necessary to be successful with their startup food business.


Emphasizing energy, water, waste, and transportation conservation by training businesses to apply concepts and best practices of benchmarking, evaluation, and implementation of sustainability upgrades for their facilities and sites coupled with financial incentives.

We Rise Business Accelerator

A new, no-fee program offering comprehensive six-month cohorts for and by Arizona’s Black entrepreneurs, including classroom instruction and mentorship from Black entrepreneurs with firsthand experience and expertise in business acumen, finances, and local economic empowerment in order to grow their businesses.

Prerequisites or Exclusions

Services and membership are intended for locally owned small businesses and startups. Some programming and services are open to the general public.

Getting Connected

Visit their website to read more about complete program offerings, upcoming events, and about how to become a member. Or follow them on social media @LocalFirstAZ.

Primary Contact

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Jessica Barfield, DIRECTOR OF TUCSON BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT; 602-956-0909 ext. 44

Additional Information

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