Repeal of Parking Meter Extension Legislation
In August 2007, Local First Wheaton organized a petition that helped repeal Montgomery County legislation that would have extended the functioning hours of the parking meters in the Wheaton Urban District. See History.
Restaurants Save Money by Selling Discarded Cooking Grease
Certain choices not only improve the economic bottom line of a business, but they also help reduce the negative impact that the traditional consumption of resources can have on the environment. For example, in August 2008, several restaurants saved up to $500 a year, the price for the removal of used cooking grease, by switching to a service that purchases their used oil to be processed as biofuel. Not only have these restaurants converted a former expense into income, they are also contributing to the availability of an alternative source of energy.
Clean Energy Buying Group to Save Money and Go Green
In late 2008, Local First Wheaton joined with our sister organization Local First DC to form a collective purchasing group to buy clean energy with the help of Rockville-based clean energy broker Clean Currents. Three Wheaton businesses (Speedy Signs, James Mensah Insurance, and Color Carpetworks Floor & Tile) signed a three-year contract to obtain a fixed energy generation/transmission rate per kilowatt hour (kWh). The new rate was lower than their prior "brown energy" rate and will allow them to save on their electricity bills while converting to at least 50% wind power. These businesses will save several thousands of dollars on energy costs and help preserve the environment.
Group Ads and Public Outreach to Get Consumers to "Think Local First"
In 2007 and 2008, Local First Wheaton arranged a group advertising package with Brookside Gardens to promote local businesses in the program for their Garden of Lights event, which draws more than 40,000 visitors to Wheaton each holiday season.
Local First Wheaton has an ongoing campaign to educate people about the benefits of making more purchases at locally-owned, independent businesses. Local First Wheaton does outreach to the public at events in Wheaton, such as at the TGIF Summer Concert Series and the recent World of Montgomery Festival in 2008.
At the 14th annual Taste of Wheaton event in May 2009, Local First Wheaton unveiled the first edition of its Shop Local Guide. The Guide is available throughout downtown Wheaton at member businesses and information centers such as the Mid-County Regional Center, the Charles W. Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity, and the Wheaton Library.