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Arizona's economy has the potential to flourish if consumers decide to spend more of their money on locally owned businesses, according to Erica Pederson, communications coordinator for Local First Arizona.

While speaking with KTAR 92.3 FM's Mac and Gaydos on Friday, Pederson said more local businesses are beginning to sprout up as the state recovers from the recent recession.

"Businesses are finding that financing has become a lot easier to get a hold of," she said. "There are still challenges but we are seeing that things are improving."

Pederson said financing options aren't the only factor helping local companies. She said that as Arizona moves forward, local businesses will thrive as people in the state become more selective of where they buy products.

"People are becoming more conscious about how they're spending their money, which is great," she siad. "All we ask is that you shift 10 percent of what you spend into local businesses, and that can create thousands of dollars in economic revenue for our communities and also create thousands of jobs."

As for attracting out-of-state companies into the greater Phoenix market, Pederson cites a low chance of natural disasters and a continually growing population as attractive reasons for them to move or expand their businesses to the region.

Pederson said her company's website, LocalFirstAZ.com, has a directory of more than 2,300 businesses that are certified as locally owned, and that consumers can start there when looking to support hometown companies.

Mac & Gaydos,

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