Guest Editorial: Putting Local Businesses First  

By Scottsdale Pinetop

Local businesses create the unique fabric of our communities. They are owned by local entrepreneurs, employ their neighbors, develop relationships with regulars and find ways to give back. But the effects of the coronavirus and statewide shutdowns have caused many of our favorite businesses to close permanently or adapt to new ways of serving the community, leaving their futures in a constant state of unrest.

That’s why this year, Local First Arizona is asking consumers to double down on Arizona small businesses struggling to survive during this difficult time.

Returning a little later than usual, Local First Arizona’s annual statewide campaign called Independents Week or “Indie Week XXL” launched its new month-long event starting September 1st to discover and support Arizona’s small, independent businesses.

Indie Week XXL features a digital 5×5 “Consumer Action Card” (bingo style) for total of 25-themed opportunities to support locally-owned businesses and an opportunity to win prizes throughout the month. Categories include shopping from a black-owned business, ordering carryout from a local restaurant, enjoy coffee from a woman-owned business and shopping at a farmers market.

To download your own bingo card, visit

Click here to find local businesses near you.

The time to act is now. Cities across the state need to take definitive and effective actions to help small businesses, shops, restaurants and other independent companies that continue to be negatively impacted. While some small businesses have received loans and grants through the federal stimulus program, many will still need help beyond that. And that is where local governments will need to step-up the most. But for now, the responsibility is being left to the consumers to help these businesses stay alive.

These small businesses are the heart and foundation of our communities. When we allow these business to struggle or ultimately close, we lose a part of what makes our cities great places to work, eat, play, visit and live.

Let’s not lose that identity forever.