Phoenix businesses showcased at Local First Arizona’s fall festival

Kimber Lanning, founder and director of Local First Arizona, encourages Arizona residents to shop local in order to strengthen the economy. Local First Arizona will be hosting its eighth annual Certified Local Fall Festival on Nov. 10 at Roosevelt Street and Central Avenue, which will feature more than 75 local businesses. (Photo by Tyler Griffin)

Local First Arizona, a nonprofit organization that supports local businesses, will host its eighth annual Certified Local Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The festival, at Roosevelt Street and Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix, will feature booths from more than 75 Phoenix-area businesses, live music, a raffle, a silent auction and a beer and wine garden.

Local First Arizona Director Kimber Lanning said the event has been a big success in the past.

“We encourage the participating businesses to come up with fun, interactive ideas at their booths,” Lanning said.

She founded Local First Arizona in 2003 to strengthen Arizona’s economy by promoting and supporting local businesses.

“When you buy local, three times more of what you spend stays in the local economy and circulates,” Lanning said. “By making a conscious effort to spend at independent businesses, it helps create more jobs in our community.”

Lanning said a national chain may have thousands of locations in Arizona, but only employs one graphic designer or accountant, often in the corporation’s home state.

“A local coffee shop will have a graphic designer or accountant from Arizona, which creates more job opportunities for ASU graduates,” she said.

ASU alumnus Mike Driscoll, who works at the Tempe restaurant and brewpub Mad Hatter, said he appreciates the job opportunities that smaller businesses offer.

“I would rather work at a mom-and-pop place than a corporation,” Driscoll said. “I think there is better customer service at small businesses.”

Terry Bortin, owner of America’s Taco Shop, will participate in Local First Arizona’s Fall Festival for the third time.

Bortin and his wife, America, started the restaurant in 2008.

The Bortins chose to partner with a local family business, Three Amigos, to offer tequila in the taco shop.

“We try to keep as much local as we are able to,” Borden said. “We are really big on relationships.

America’s Taco Shop will offer carne asada tacos and mini burritos at their festival booth.

Beer and wine garden tickets for the festival are $10 each and food samples are $1 each.


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