By Charlsie Dewey
Grand Rapids Business Journal
549 Ottawa Ave NW Ste 201
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-1444
A nonprofit focused on supporting local businesses has received a record number of nominees for its annual awards event, thanks to a change in its application process.
Grand Rapids-based Local First said yesterday more than 50 organizations have been nominated for eight 2017 LocalMotion Awards.
Community members and businesses were invited to nominate their favorite local organizations, and an award committee made up of business owners and community stakeholders selected the nominees.
The record-breaking number of nominees is a result of Local First doing away with its award categories and changing its application process to make it “more inclusive.”
This year, Local First said it will award eight organizations for their “positive social, environmental and economic effects” in West Michigan.
To measure their impacts, these organizations were asked to complete the Quick Impact Assessment, which “quantifies their positive impact through business practices such as philanthropic efforts, employee satisfaction and responsible waste management.”
The assessment, created by Local First and B Lab, was re-formatted this year to be easier to complete and has resulted in record number of candidates.
Elissa Hillary, president of Local First, said the goal of the change was to let “businesses share their innovative practices with us, rather than prescribing specific award categories.”
“Since the launch of the awards six years ago, some of the most pressing issues in our community have changed,” Hillary said. “We want to recognize businesses who are addressing these needs.”
The LocalMotion Awards began in 2010 as a way to recognize local businesses and individuals for their achievements in making the community “more vibrant and resilient.”
Since then, hundreds of organizations and individuals have been nominated and dozens have been honored.
All awards will be given during the Local First Annual Meeting from 5-9 p.m. on Jan. 25 at the Goei Center in Grand Rapids, at 818 Butterworth St. SW.
Admission includes a strolling dinner and live entertainment. A cash bar and non-alcoholic beverages will be available.
Tickets are $40 pre-sale and $50 at the door.
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