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Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo

Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo exists to build awareness of the benefits of supporting local independent businesses. We believe in our local economy and the hard-working entrepreneurs that invest here. We exist to support our members and carry the message of local first to our community. We plan monthly events to support, encourage, teach and connect our members.

Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo grew out of an interest on the part of local business owners and consumers to distinguish businesses that support the local economy. Since 2008, our unique community of local & independent businesses and nonprofits enhance the character and integrity of the greater Kalamazoo area.

Guiding Principles

  • The health of a community relies on the health of the local economy.
  • Independent business is the foundation for a successful, thriving local economy.
  • Alliances among independent businesses yield new opportunities and are at the root of economic growth and development.

Strategic Objectives

  • To increase the purchase of locally produced products, supplies and services by businesses and local residents.
  • To educate local residents on the benefits of purchasing local products and services.
  • To direct capital toward local financial institutions and businesses that are committed to building a more inclusive and healthy economy.
  • To create educational materials, forums and other means to increase, promote and improve local independent businesses.

Contact Information

  • Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo
    PO Box 892
    Portage, MI 49081
  • Mark Liddle
  • Executive Director
  • (269) 348-7004

Sponsored by the City of South Haven, South Haven Chamber of Commerce, and Lake Michigan College.

Congratulations to Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry for receiving his first loan through Northern Initiatives. With help from his SCORE mentor, Cheri Bales, Gregory did a fantastic job on developing his business plan and showing real entrepreneurial spirit. We wish you much success, and look forward to your upward movement. You are a wonderful role model.

—Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry

I appreciate your ears for listening, your eyes that see my vision and your heart that makes you who you are.  I thank you for your time. You are making a difference.

—Shawntel Lindsey, Director, The Artbor Community Connections Center

The WMed Innovation Center is a perfect environment for innovation to grow and become a successful commercial enterprise.


WMU Business Connection logo

Whether you are seeking a research partner or want to enlist the help of student groups in developing business plans, or just looking for ways to engage with WMU, the Business Connection office can find the resource to help move your business forward.


A loan (from Local Initiatives Support Corporation) helped expand our cafe to triple our seating, add a kids space, increase much needed staff work areas, and make other improvements to the space.


MEL logo

The Michigan eLibrary (MeL) is the State of Michigan’s digital library. It has excellent resources available to Michigan residents at no cost.


Western Michigan University’s Starting Gate helped me take an idea and transform it into a much more attainable reality. Whether providing talks with investors and business owners or accountability, the ultimate goal is helping your business succeed.

—Peter Shutt

Kalamazoo County Land Bank logo

The Kalamazoo Land Bank did robust community engagement around the vision and gave us something to work with that was solidly desired by people in the neighborhood. Having a vision meant we had to protect it. That’s something I thank the Land Bank for. It was difficult. It didn’t make anything faster or easier, but we got a better project in the end as a result of it.

—Matt Hollander

Buy Local logo

Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo is a hard working grassroots group focused on the greater Kalamazoo community and its small businesses. Their events and networking opportunities are the best!

—Cheri Bales

SBDC logo

Michigan SBDC is a great company providing top notch service to local businesses all over Michigan. The consultants are professional and the student workers contribute with excellent work!

—Martin Herman Sorensen