Goosefoot Grant Boosts Local Economy
Thanks to a $7,500 grant to Whidbey Island Grown (WIG) from the Goosefoot Community Fund, visitors and residents will have opportunities in 2019 to learn how to collaborate and grow the island economy through the sales of local products. WIG is an organization committed to bringing growers, producers, restaurants, venues and service providers together under one brand umbrella. It is one of 16 organizations selected by Goosefoot to share in $99,400 of grant funding, to be distributed next year through its annual Community Grant Program.
Whidbey Island Grown History
The WIG brand was created in 2009 by a group of local farmers and residents under the leadership of the Northwest Agriculture Business Center. Over the years it has evolved and was recently revamped and expanded its scope to include artisans, lodgings, venues, restaurants, markets and more.
“We believe local businesses want to support their neighbors who grow and produce Whidbey Island products,” said John Burks, owner of Kettle’s Edge Farm and chair of the WIG Steering Committee. “Whidbey Island Grown is one collaborative voice that can bring producers and buyers together.”
Other sources of funding are raised through sponsorships and membership dues. WIG has over 100 members, as well as a wide variety of partners from throughout the community. Any business that produces products or uses products made on Whidbey are invited to join in a member category. And members of the public who want to support locally made products are welcome to become Supporters at WhidbeyIslandGrown.com.
How The Money Will be Used
Two member networking events are planned and the third annual Whidbey Island Grown (WIG) Week is also set for September 27-October 6, 2019. WIG Week is a series of special events enticing local residents to learn more about what products the island offers. It also encourages island visitors to sample local products and experiences during the shoulder season.
“We are building a brand that reflects high quality, stewardship and sustainability standards of its members,” continued Burks. “Exposure to people both on and off the island, with an interest in supporting local farms and businesses generates new customers, stimulates the economy and is good for everyone.”