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Study Finds Independent Businesses Produce Bigger Economic Benefit . Click for findings from the study of the Andersonville Development Corporation, Chicago.





If we are to enjoy a vibrant local economy, restore creeks, rivers, the bay and the human joy in the earth, that support family and work, we need to join businesses, citizens, government, and non-profit organizations in a unified effort toward creative changes that underlie a local living economy.

The Alliance for Sustainable Communities is starting a BALLE in Annapolis/Anne Arundel County joining with 20 organizations in major cities throughout the US, including: Chicago, Portland. Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Western MA, Ann Arbor MI who are engaged in creating locally rooted, human scale, stakeholder-owned, and life-serving local economies. BALLE awards were given this year to Fastener Industries for employee ownership/good benefits; to New Belgium Brewing Co., which recycles wastes, reduces energy, and CO2 emissions; to White Dog Café, which serves only organic and humanely-raised local foods, uses 100% wind-powered electricity, and gives 20% of profits to charity.

The goals of BALLE are to:

  • Join local government, local farms, local businesses, arts/music/culture, tourism, waste-recycling, clean energy/building, education, media, banking, health care, business advisory networks, et al in a mutually enriching information exchange aimed toward enhancing the local living economy.
  • Promote land use planning that is ecologically, economically and socially rewarding.




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