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The Business of BALLE

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The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is proving that a coordinated group of locally owned companies can stand up to some of the harmful effects of globalization and foster the health and vitality of a region.

How do we do it? BALLE chapters bring together more than 12,000 entrepreneurs and business owners across the U.S. and Canada, who organize to build healthy, diversified economies in their own communities and across North America.

BALLE networks:

  • Support growth of the business building blocks of a sustainable local economy, especially in the areas of food, clothing, shelter, energy, retail, capital, independent media, integrated waste management, and manufacturing.
  • Encourage local purchasing by consumers and businesses.
  • Create opportunities for business leaders to network and share best practices.
  • Advocate public policies that strengthen independent local businesses and farms, promote economic equity, and protect the environment.

BALLE has doubled in size over the past 12 months. The number of BALLE business networks now stands at 35, representing major cities like Toronto and Philadelphia; small towns like Willits, California; neighborhoods, including various parts of Chicago; and entire states, including Vermont, Maine, Utah, and Iowa.

The newest BALLE network is the DC Alliance of Local Businesses, a project of the Latino Economic Development Corporation, which will be launching a Think Local First campaign with independent retailers this holiday season.

Ann Bartz is a program manager at the BALLE international office in San Francisco. For information on BALLE, go to

Don Shaffer of BALLE

See Peak Moment's
interview with Don Shaffer,
Executive Director of BALLE.


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