JP Local First is a member-run non-profit. Many businesses become JPLF members as part of their marketing strategy; others become members as a vehicle for supporting local economy advocacy and because they believe it is important to inform consumers and spread the good word!
Becoming a member puts your business / non-profit on the map, with an automatic listing in our Online Local Business Directory, our printed Directory, our social media boosts, our New Mover Kit, our networking opportunities, and general public visibility from our consumer education efforts.
Membership also gives you access to a powerful network of like-minded local business owners that are working to build community resilience, promote each others' businesses, and support sustainable environmental policies—all of whi6h grow the local economy.
Membership Levels / Types:
- Business Membership: $132/year ($11/mo if you use Paypal)
- Non-Profit Membership: $60/year ($5/mo if you use Paypal)
- Sponsor Membership: $600/year (opportunity to more significantly support JP Local First)
- Individual or Family Membership: $60/year
- Online Directory
All members are given an individual featured profile in the Online Directory at www.jplocalfirst.org/business-directory/. You are given a personal login that enables you to update and edit your listing any time you want. JPLF is also working to advance its website to make it:
○ more welcoming and navigable for members to use, including from mobile devices
○ more welcoming and navigable for shoppers and members of the community
○ drive more traffic to members' websites and social media
○ educate shoppers and help the learn how to shop locally
How to access/edit your online directory listing
Each year, JPLF produces an updated Directory of member businesses. We print 7,500 copies and distribute them member businesses, libraries, B&Bs, farmers markets etc where shoppers can pick them up and use them to shop JP local independent businesses. As a member, you'll automatically have your business name and information in the directory. Members can also purchase a full-, half- or quarter-page advertisement in the printed directory.
To receive additional copies of the directory, contact Adam Gibbons, director of membership.
- Social Media Boost
Daily retweeting of your business's Tweets and reposting of your Facebook Posts to JP Local First's Twitter Feed (1,400 followers) and JP Local First's Facebook page (525 followers). Events, promotions, and highlights posted by your business are frequently retweeted and posted. Members frequently express their appreciation for how consistent JPLF is in retweeting their business's tweets and Facebook posts on a daily basis and how helpful that is to their business.
- Networking Opportunities and Peer Support
Attend a Quarterly Networking Meet-Up: Convened in partnership with Locally Owned JP (a peer business networking initiative), these gatherings help business owners share ideas, resources, and referrals, and usually take place on a weeknight evening. Member businesses take turns hosting them. More than half of each meeting is allotted for informal unstructured networking with a chunk at the end allotted for discussing a key question related to current needs or concerns in the business community.
Stay connected on our ListServ on BigTent: Members can subscribe to this exclusive/private email network within JPLF that enables members to discuss issues and resources, ask and answer questions relevant to a large group of businesses, and share news about opportunities or events (including events related to their local business).
Steering Committee Meetings: All members are invited to the monthly Steering Committee meetings (meets on the second Thursday morning of each month, at 8:30am at Eastern Bank, 687 Centre Street) to bring new ideas to JPLF, raise concerns, and contribute insights on JPLF initiatives.
Free Mentoring: JPLF will help facilitate local business advising: pairing a business owner with another who has had a similar prior experience or concern (whether it be related to marketing, purchasing, landlord or other question) to help better navigate the terrain as a local and independently owned business in our neighborhood.
Quarterly Brown Bag Seminars: Members are invited to bring their lunch and attend any portion of these roughly 1-hour workshops, each focused on a different topic that our membership has expressed interest in. Come for 5 minutes, or stay for the whole hour. Experts from various fields present information and engage members in Q&A. Members have asked for seminars on business formation, marketing, branding, financial planning, accounting, capital, and more. Members with particular expertise and experts from within and outside the community are encouraged to contact us with a proposal for a seminar.
Display a JP Local First sticker on the front door or window of your business - or attach the large magnet to your vehicle - to let customers know that you are a locally owned independent business and to raise their confidence in shopping at your business. Customers walking by will recognize a local and independently owned business by the sticker or magnet and will be encouraged to shop there. The stickers and magnets support JP Local First's effort to raise public awareness about the benefits of shopping locally.
- Consumer Education / Outreach
JPLF members are invited to participate in our next Local First Fair on Thursday, June 21, 2018, on the lawns of Loring-Greenough House from 3:30-8:00pm. The first Local First Fair was held in September of 2017: over 50 members set up tables (courtesy of JPLF) and over 2,500 shoppers / community members attended, visited tables, and learned about JP Local First members and the Shop Local movement. This event was preceded by a 3-month consumer outreach initiative in the shape of a social media contest, with the winner receiving $1,000 in cash to spend at any 5 (or more) JPLF member businesses/non-profits that day. Only JPLF members are eligible to participate, and the event takes place during the regular Thursdays On The Lawn events at Loring-Greenough.
JP Local First distributes consumer education materials, such as our “Why Shop Local” flyer (in English and Spanish) and has a presence at relevant local events such as farmers markets, parades, and festivals.
Via new Business Spotlights, JPLF is partnering with local newspapers and online media to highlight stories and accomplishments of individual businesses, updates on the local economy, and articles on the many benefits of shopping locally. These Business Spotlights are linked to JPLF’s own website.
New Mover Kit
Every month, JP Local First sends out a packet to 100 new residents of Jamaica Plain, filled with coupons from 15 member businesses along with a Welcome to Jamaica Plain letter. These packets (sent via US Mail in an envelope to the new resident) offer a great way for members to directly engage customers. Each 6 months, we will rotate in a new set of 15 members who wish to have a coupon from their business included in the welcome packet.
Commercial Space Initiative
JP Local First is now introducing locally owned independent businesses (that are seeking to lease or purchase a commercial space) with property owners seeking new commercial tenants. Our attention is especially focused on the 21 (and more to come) new real estate development projects being planned and built along Washington Street. Developers have told us that they want to lease to locally owned independent businesses, but that finding candidates is challenging and time consuming since there is no one source they can go to (whereas with national chains, they can quickly connect with the full-time head of franchise development). We will not manage any relationships - we will simply introduce businesses to developers to each other and let them take it from there. (This initiative was begun in August 2016 thanks to a grant from the Boston Impact Initiative).
- Consumer Shopping Incentives
JPLF Passport: This year, JPLF will host and facilitate opportunities for consumers to shop widely throughout our community. A tear-out JPLF Passport in the 2017 Directory (as well as an online download) invites consumers to shop in all areas of our neighborhood—Egleston Square, Forest Hills, Centre/South and Hyde/Jackson—and a lottery drawing are held several times in the year for JPLF gift certificates. JPLF aims to encourage consumers to explore and support businesses throughout all regions of Jamaica Plain and adjoining neighborhoods.
- Notices about concurrent events held by our regional partner organizations including the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts