A Message from BALLE – Champions of Localism.

“We never know how our small activities will affect others
through the invisible fabric of our connectedness.”

Grace Lee Boggs

Localism. It’s at the heart of what we do – and a concept that is constantly evolving due to the emergent nature of our work. Talking about Localism today includes talking about immigration – about why welcoming those who are not “local” into our communities is in fact vital to create thriving local economies.

You probably agree that small businesses are a powerful lever for creating healthy, equitable local economies: they create more jobs overall than corporations, contribute more to the economy by cycling dollars locally, and more to their communities through higher rates of charitable donations.

Did you know, too, that immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business than their native-born counterparts? That while immigrants made up 13.2% of the U.S. population in 2014, they accounted for 20.6% of all entrepreneurs? In fact, contrary to the travel ban cycling through the courts and the border wall that’s been ordered, research suggests that welcoming even more people to our country and economy by creating a visa for entrepreneurial immigrants could boost U.S. economic growth and create American jobs.

Ultimately, Localism is about building communities that are healthy, equitable, and regenerative – backed by local economies that are stronger and more resilient. It does not exclude. It does not value one community or country or demographic over another. Localism recognizes that we’re all in this together – and that we are all better off when we’re all better off.

BALLE stands firmly for #NoBanNoWall. Strong local economies depend on the presence and well-being of immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs.

If you’re looking to include immigrants in your local economy efforts, several tools and resources on this topic from our partners are now available in the Tool Library on our site.

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