IWS Friends: January 2011

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, or BALLE, was founded in 2001 in Bellingham, Washington. It’s now North America’s fastest growing network of socially responsible businesses, comprising over 80 community networks in 30 U.S. states and Canadian provinces. All told, BALLE’s membership includes over 22,000 independent businesses across the U.S. and Canada.

The ideas and goals that drive BALLE are similar to those of Independent We Stand. As described on their website, they believe that “local, independent businesses are … uniquely prepared to take on the challenges of the 21st century with an agility, sense of place, and relationship-based approach others lack.”

BALLE attempts to gain leverage for independent businesses “through the power of bottom-up, networked change.” Their network is dedicated to “living economy” principles, promoting sustainable businesses and sustainable communities on a level that’s both local and global — a concept that some have dubbed “glocalism.”

In addition to independent business leaders, BALLE brings together economic development professionals, government officials, social innovators, and community leaders to build local living economies. The organization provides local, state, national and international resources to advance this new model of economic development.

“We’re helping businesses flourish in their local economies. And we’re leveraging the power of local networks to build a web of economies that are community-based, green and fair — local living economies.”

You can learn more about BALLE by visiting their website at www.livingeconomies.org.

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