Duluth Loves Local is a community of local-loving Duluthians who support the hard-working, independent small businesses that make Duluth such a great place to work, visit and raise a family. Duluth Loves Local is a leader in the grassroots movement of thinking local first, supporting local whenever possible, and working together to positively impact the place that we call home.
Years ago we saw small businesses struggle to reach the younger audience and tourists in a way that was time and cost effective. We loved exploring new places and supporting our favorite spots but were worried that if the businesses didn’t get the local support they wouldn’t succeed. Since we were already shopping, eating, drinking and visiting local establishments it was a logic step to post our experiences on social media with the hashtag #duluthloveslocal. We started small and with no money but just a hope that it would catch on and people would join in with our explorations. And they did!
We love the shift we’ve seen in entrepreneurs staying here to create their awesome businesses or moving here on dream to make things work! These people are putting everything on the line to bring us their passions and make our life better with good beer, food, education, art, wellness, services and more. The least we can do it support them!
WHO GETS FEATURED?/
Where we visit and who we feature has always been very organic! Going against every marketing book’s advice, we do not have a social media calendar nor an editorial calendar. We don’t plan our images or schedule our posts. We do not get paid to visit, and we always pay our own tabs.
We literally just live our lives, and take photos along the way. So, if we bar hop one weekend we may have 10 Instagram stories, or if we take off to the cabin randomly you may not hear from us for a couple days. That’s the beauty of Duluth Loves Local – it’s truly to show you the best of Duluth (and our surrounding neighbors) with no hidden agenda.
SHOP LOCAL WITH THE PORTSIDE PASS/
Through the growth of Duluth Loves Local, we’ve had requests to do more advertising partnerships with local businesses, which we’ve basically avoided since the very beginning. To make those partnerships within our community, we launched the Portside Pass. In 2018 we created two pass books with the help of Press Du Nord and Stewart Taylor. The books were BOGO Deals to 20 spots in town. They were popular, they sold out, they were so fun!
For 2019 we decided to shift from books to hand-crafted leather keychains, created by Hemlocks Leatherworks. These keychains unlock deals for the entire year at local businesses.
"WE" IS WHO WE ARE./
Most importantly, we are a community-based organization. We truly believe that any one who shops local, shares their experience, recommends a local business, is part of our group.