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Local First Arizona 

Local First Arizona has an exciting new outlet to engage the public and connect community members to local businesses and nonprofits. The Local First Arizona Roadshow is a monthly placemaking event that raises public awareness of the economic and cultural benefits provided by strong local economies. 

These monthly member gatherings bring Local First members and the community together in fun, interactive settings that take place in a new space each month all around Tucson and the surrounding Southern Arizona region. The Local First Roadshow turns the standard industry mixer on its head by traveling throughout the region, showcasing neighborhoods that demonstrate a commitment to placemaking while promoting hubs of unique local businesses and nonprofits in a variety of sectors.

From highlighting local attractions, makers and artists, increasing environmental education and awareness, and showing how to bank locally, the Local First Roadshow also showcases our educational, environmental and entrepreneurial programming in Southern Arizona, including:

• SCALE UP (Sustainable Communities Accessing Lending and Expertise Upon Performance): Recognized with the 2019 Tucson Electric Power’s Go Green Business Development Partner Award, this new program focuses on making it easier for local businesses to save energy and money by implementing sustainable practices.

• Fuerza Local: Supported by Vib’n, this program is designed to teach underserved micro-entrepreneurs important basics for financial literacy and business development.

• Historic Fourth Avenue Coalition: Formed to preserve the unique identity of Historic Fourth Avenue (Local First Arizona’s Southern Arizona headquarters) and the surrounding areas while promoting smart, sustainable growth that will benefit these districts and Tucson as a whole.

With previous roadshows at a bakery and comedy club, music venue, and restaurant, Local First Arizona will be showcasing the automobile industry next month by hosting their upcoming roadshow on Wednesday, Sept. 4, at Chapman Honda, 4426 E. 22nd St., from 4 to 7 p.m.

Admission is always free, and events are family-friendly and open to the public. There will be interactive activity areas, local food, raffles, a variety of entertainment by local talent and more, all while promoting the intersection of local businesses and nonprofits. There will also be announcements about Local First Arizona’s exciting fall plans. 

During the event, Local First Arizona is also honoring our commitment to sustainability by partnering with RISE Equipment Recycling Center, who will be collecting donated e-waste (electronic items and appliances).

In addition, Local First Arizona is excited to be teaming up with TENWEST Impact Festival and Tucson Meet Yourself to bring the ultimate Roadshow to this iconic festival beloved for its wide diversity in culture, food, traditional arts for 45 years. At this Roadshow, from Oct. 11 to 13, there will be family-friendly micro-workshops, activities and demos. Our activated block party-style space will be a fun and interactive one-stop shop for Tucson highlights and experiences. We invite participants to have a seat in our lounge, take it easy, and learn something new about Local First Arizona, TENWEST, the Historic Fourth Avenue Coalition, and more Local First members and partners. Make something to take home with you in our “Make Local” area and learn about the great local art happening right here in our city. Step inside the Local Business Hub to experience local banking, local health, sustainability, and more. Join us for a Tucson Trivia Gameshow and a chance to win local prizes!

The umbrella theme is Tucson Placemaking and tying in Tucson's history and culture to each of the interactive activities. The purpose of the interactive component is to draw in the consumers and make our business hub lively and engaging to our audience.

Our main goal with the Roadshows is to highlight the local businesses and the many different communities that Southern Arizona has to offer. Join our group of locally owned and diverse businesses and nonprofits of all industries that share one thing in common: the desire to create a prosperous and thriving local economy.

 If you are you a LFA business member who is interested in participating in upcoming Roadshows, please fill out our survey at localfirstaz.com/tucson and tell us how you want to activate space with us in Tucson. Contact: Michael Peel, Southern Arizona Director, mike@localfirstaz.com or at (520) 975-0145.  

This is a regular series of columns from Local First Arizona on local sustainable economy issues. Get involved as a member or volunteer of LFA by signing up at www.localfirstaz.com