About Us

Local First Ithaca brings people, businesses, and organizations together to create a successful local economy that uses resources, experience, and inclusiveness to create a thriving and livable community.

Who we are?
We are an inclusive network of independent, locally owned businesses & services, farmers, non-profits and community members.

We are a network of BALLE, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.

What we do

  • Create awareness by educating members of the community, through media and seasonal Buy Local campaigns, about the importance of voting with your dollars to build a thriving local living economy
  • Educate our community  about the economic, social and environmental benefits of supporting local and independently owned businesses
  • Collaborate/Partner with existing local organizations/groups that are working towards similar goals to multiply the impact of our mutual missions.
  • Support local businesses through group promotion, market development and encouraging sustainable practices.
  • Provide a voice for small businesses to influence the governmental issues that affect them directly by advocating for policies at the local, state, and national level.
  • Work to keep more dollars in our community through events and other programs that build our local economic capacity.


The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies(BALLE) is North America’s fastest growing network of socially responsible businesses, comprised of over 80 community networks representing 22,000 independent business members across 30 U.S. States and Canadian provinces.  BALLE networks create local living economies through the building blocks of independent retail, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, green building, local zero-waste manufacturing, community capital, independent media, and local arts and culture.

We envision a sustainable global economy as a network of Local Living Economies, building long-term economic empowerment and prosperity in communities through local business ownership, economic justice, cultural diversity and a healthy natural environment. Independent businesses create wealth by engaging local people in the production, marketing, and consumption of goods, they pay taxes, and reinvest in our communities.