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WatertownFirst shifts community culture in the greater Watertown area to support the core of independent businesses by encouraging people to buy local and live local.


WatertownFirst will stimulate all segments of the community, including business, education and public service, to buy local. It will initiate change, promoting awareness about economic prosperity and social equity.


Collaboration: Build on existing resources and strengthen ties between business owners and the community. Education: Teach community members the social and economic benefits of a “buy local” movement through workshops, open forums and networking opportunities. Sustainability: Foster the highest standards of integrity by promoting ideals of a sustainable economy.

Building Our Community


Your local independent businesses—whether a community institution that has been around forever, or a brand new small business looking to fill a unique niche missing from the neighborhood—are what give our town its character. Watertown lives and breathes through the local hot spots, where you’ll always find a friendly face, or run into an old friend.

Of course, building a strong community is more than just making connections and discovering Watertown’s hidden treasures, it’s also about making real economic sense.


Every dollar spent at a local independent business recycles as much as three times more money back into our local economy, instead of shipping it to a corporate headquarters somewhere else.

And a variety of smaller specialty stores gives the customer more choice and ensures that there is a place to get exactly what they need and what they want, without having to compromise for the closest available option.

Investing in Watertown


Having dedicated, walkable local business districts, such as the square and downtown, reduces wear and tear on our roadways, sewers, and safety systems. Combining this with the fact that local small businesses generate more tax revenue for Watertown per sales dollar compares to the big chain stores, many of which operate outside city limits, means that shopping local keeps taxes lower.

Local, independent businesses in Watertown employ more people directly per dollar of revenue, creating jobs and opportunities that directly impact the local economy. Indirectly, they also are customers of local printers, accountants, wholesalers, farms, attorneys, and more local business services; expanding opportunities for local entrepreneurs to fulfill needs within the community.

The multiplier effect created by spending in Watertown generates lasting impact on the prosperity of local organizations and residents. Small businesses sering other small businesses, creating networks for local shopping and eating, it all combines to create local wealth by keeping money spent in our local economy.

Our Healthy Home


Local, independent businesses typically have a much smaller environmental footprint. They require less driving to get to, carry more locally-produced products, and emit less air pollution and traffic. Buying green means shopping locally!

It’s not just the environment that can breathe a little easier with local businesses. Local businesses tend to donate more than twice as much per sales dollar to nonprofits, events, and sports teams than big businesses will. They are also more likely to be active in the local government, increasing engagement in democracy.

All of this adds up to a healthier community. And healthier communities correlate with personal health of residents! Shopping locally at Watertown’s small businesses gives back and improves everyone’s lives and pocketbooks!

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