Local Economy Communities

Our Local Economy Communities program highlights the role of equitable public policy in building local, living economies.

A Local Economy Community is one that prefers sustainable public policies, promotes local purchasing, and makes efforts to move the funds of the city to local banks, to increase local procurement, and to work with the school department to increase the percentage of local food in the schools. These are a few concrete steps that we feel will shift our communities in a stronger economic direction.

Would you like to be notified of upcoming events and opportunities? Do you have ideas to share? Would you like your town to become a Local Economy Community? Contact us for more information.

Somersworth: The region’s first Local Economy Community

Somersworth is the region’s first community to make a pledge to take such steps. In the fall of 2010, the Somersworth City Council unanimously passed a resolution making the City of Somersworth a Local Economy Community. This resolution was presented to the City Council by Mayor Lincoln Soldati, who made promoting local businesses and building a sustainable, strong local economy a major priority for his work in Somersworth. “The great advantage to communities that place an emphasis on supporting locally owned independent businesses is the ability to improve your local economy without raising taxes," says Soldati. The resolution followed a meeting with Seacoast Local and the New England Local Business Forum and a presentation to the City Council. Somersworth is only the second community in the nation to do make this commitment. The first is Cambridge, Mass. By taking a public stand, Somersworth has become a leader in the local economy movement.

This trailblazing resolution sets the following objectives:

  1. Increase opportunities for municipal procurement from locally owned independent businesses
  2. Ensure locally owned independent banks are encouraged to bid for municipal banking services and given whatever preference is lawfully allowed
  3. Support the efforts of the schools to increase the percentage of locally grown and produced food served to our children
  4. Market the importance of buying from local independents and participate in Seacoast Local awareness campaigns
  5. Continue to develop policies that directly support the growth of locally owned and independent businesses in Somersworth.

When City Hall adopts this pledge, it becomes a community commitment, percolating through city departments and committees to build a strong local economy.

“I am so proud of our community in Somersworth. This resolution represents a recognition of the importance of developing a sense of community, a sense that we all need to support one another and that it is the community working together, not government which will help us solve our problems and improve our local economy," Soldati says.