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  • November 28, 2023 8:24 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    In New Hampshire, we pride ourselves on our independent thinking, ingenuity, and self-reliance — qualities reflected in our entrepreneurial spirit. According to the Small Business Administration’s 2023 Small Business Profile, our state is home to 136,506 small businesses, comprising 98.9 percent of all New Hampshire businesses.

    Our small businesses also provide the bulk of jobs across the state, employing 49.2 percent of all New Hampshire private-sector workers. Thank you for all you do, small business owners!

    You play an essential role in supporting entrepreneurial success, whether you’re a small business owner, staff member, investor, or shopper.  As many of us look to share gifts and meals with friends, family, and coworkers, we can also give a gift to our small business community.  When making holiday purchases, Shop Indie Local and spend more of your budget at locally owned and independent businesses.

    Purchasing gifts, meal ingredients, and gift-making supplies from locally owned and independent businesses impacts a community’s job growth, charitable giving, and land use patterns.

    “Say you spend money at a local shoe store,” explains local economist and author Michael Shuman.  “Its employees then go to the supermarket, which might buy from a local farmer. The more times and the faster a dollar passes between hands without leakage, the more income, wealth, and jobs in a community.”

    Monadnock Region independent retailers sure do pass those dollars!  They recirculate, on average, $62 of every $100 spent at their businesses back into our local economy.  National chain stores return $14 of every $100 spent, while Amazon returns nearly zero.

    Give a Gift of Job Growth

    Local, independent retail businesses help employ many more people than those on the sales floor. They’re more likely to bank with local banks and buy from other local businesses than chain stores. They’re also more likely to hire local service providers like accountants, graphic designers, and various skilled positions — jobs for aspiring entrepreneurs.

    Give a Gift to the Nonprofit Community

    Local nonprofit organizations depend on contributions from local businesses. This support extends to civic institutions like schools, churches, and fraternal leagues that aid economic prosperity, community cohesion, and trust.

    Give a Gift of Vibrant Main Streets

    The rise of online shopping, undercutting Main Street retailers, also changes land use patterns.  Amazon doesn’t place its warehouses downtown but in remote industrial parks.  As demand for Main Street storefronts declines, so will local governments’ tax revenue base.

    You don’t have to swear off shopping with online giants or chain stores altogether.  However, we encourage you to look for ways to shift even one or two purchases to independent, community-based businesses this season.

    Need some inspiration? Check out our online marketplace called The Local Crowd Mercantile at  Discover gift ideas from 200 Monadnock Region businesses.  Thanks to Monadnock Food Co-op and Saving Bank of Walpole for allowing us to offer our online marketplace at no cost to participating businesses this year.

    Shop Indie Local Online

    Also, consider the many makers, artists, and manufacturers who produce their products in New Hampshire.  The Monadnock Region includes many small businesses represented in the Monadnock Arts Alive’s Creative Community database

    Also, don’t miss events like the Holiday Fair at Granite Mill in Harrisville on December 2 & 3, Holiday Shopping Night at the American House Keene Senior Living Community on December 4, Artisan Market at 17 ROX in Keene on December 9, and Last Minute Larry Holiday Arts Market on December 10 at Brewbakers Café.  Discover more events at

    So, give yourself — and your community — a gift this year by shifting more of your spending to our local merchants, service providers, artisans, and other locally owned and independent businesses. Happy Holidays!

  • October 26, 2023 8:25 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Ask a Local: A New Way to Support the Shop Indie Local Movement

    The Local Crowd Monadnock Member Marketplace connects locally owned businesses with other locally owned businesses -- and businesses with community members like you. Marketplace members can showcase their best products and services to reach more local customers like you!

    Learn More

    Post a Request

    Stay Tuned for More Answers

  • October 24, 2023 8:06 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    From our Thanksgiving meal to our New Year's Eve celebration, we’re purchasing more of our holiday gifts and celebration needs from our friends and neighbors -- locally owned business owners.  Learn more and Shop Indie Local!

    Ask a Local: A New Way to Support the Shop Indie Local Movement

    Exciting news! Member Marketplace, Inc. selected our region to help test out their new Member Connection Marketplace for free. The Local Crowd Monadnock Member Marketplace connects locally owned businesses with other locally owned businesses -- and businesses with community members like you. Marketplace members can showcase their best products and services to reach more local customers.

    What I love most about this software is that it lets you ask a local. Share whatever you’re looking for and then locally owned member businesses can respond directly to your request.  I posted a request for unique gift ideas and four locals immediately responded to me with fantastic ideas (see their suggestions below).

    “The new platform emphasizes building connections between users through social options that include likes, shares, and direct messaging on posted services, products, promotions, specials, and events offered by member businesses,” said Cherie Edilson CEO of Member Marketplace.“Chambers of commerce and other member-based organizations constantly seek innovative ways to enhance the membership experience, and in today’s dynamic landscape our marketplace is not just relevant; it’s essential as these organizations look to thrive in the digital age.”

    Give our new Member Marketplace a try and let us know what you think. The more we use it, the better it becomes.

    Post a Request

    “Much like the old yellow pages, most directories you see online today simply list businesses by category, offering minimal assistance in helping customers address their specific needs,” commented Cherie. “In sharp contrast, our connection marketplace empowers users with more useful information to discover, connect, and engage with local businesses at a whole new level to solve their needs.” 

    Shop Indie Online

    Also, check out our TLC Monadnock Mercantile, a regional online marketplace featuring diverse products and services from locally owned businesses. Our virtual store compiles gift ideas, gift cards, and restaurant take-out options -- all in one place. Best of all, it is free for locally owned businesses to participate.  

    The site includes 200 businesses offering fabulous gift ideas for your loved ones.  Many thanks to Savings Bank of Walpole and Monadnock Food Co-op for sponsoring TLC Monadnock Mercantile.  

    Shop Indie Local Online

    Get Ready for Shop Indie Local Week

    The week after Thanksgiving is a super busy one for the Shop Indie Local movement as we celebrate Plaid Friday, Small Business Saturday, Artists Sunday, Cider Monday, and Giving Tuesday.  Learn more!

    Plaid Friday

    For the fourteenth year, independent businesses and community members in the Monadnock Region will celebrate Plaid Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. This year's event falls on Friday, November 24, 2023. Wear plaid on Friday to show your support for our local economy and commitment to buying local this holiday season.

    Learn More: Plaid Friday

    A number of locally owned businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs this year.  Hubs pledge to photograph you decked out in plaid and answer questions about Plaid Friday.  TLC Monadnock will post all Plaid Friday photos throughout the day on our Facebook page.

    Find a Hub Near You

    Small Business Saturday

    While Plaid Friday overshadows Small Business Saturday in our region, we encourage everyone to celebrate this event, too.  One way to participate is to play Shop Small Bingo.  Download your bingo card at No matter how you get involved, every little bit makes a big difference.

    Artists Sunday

    November 26 is Artists Sunday, an art shopping movement of over 4,500 artists and organizations coming together to encourage consumers to shop with their favorite local artists and makers during the holiday season. Think of it as Plaid Friday but for the arts. Learn more!

    Cider Monday

    Instead of Cyber Monday, a day when online merchants offer special deals, we invite you to Cider Monday.  On November 27, stop in for free cider from participating Cider Monday businesses.  Also, if you choose to shop online, choose local too!  Learn more!

    Giving Tuesday

    A global generosity movement, Giving Tuesday on November 28 encourages you to give any way you can.  Organizers share, “Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.” Learn more!

    Why Shop Indie Local?

    Where you spend your hard-earned dollars matters. Your choices create a ripple effect that starts with you and extends out to our entire region and local economy. Shop Indie Local (shop at independent and locally owned businesses) and the positive ripple effects grow. 

    When you spend your dollars at locally owned retail businesses in the Monadnock Region, four times more money returns to our local economy than if you spend that same dollar at a chain store.  Spend a dollar at an independent business and 62 cents return to our local economy. (Spend it at a chain store and only 13 cents return; spend it at an online giant and only a couple pennies return.)

    Those 62 cents recirculate through our economy, generating ripple effects that increase job growth, charitable contributions, and community prosperity.  If everyone shifted just 10% of their purchases from national chains to locally owned retailers, we would return $27 million to our regional economy annually.

    We Asked a Local

    What did locally owned businesses share when we asked for unique gift ideas? The Hannah Grimes Marketplace shared their Holiday Season Gift Baskets, “Unique local baskets make your business gift giving easy for you and memorable for your gift receivers. These five baskets are our most popular, but we’re happy to create custom-designed baskets for your individual needs.” 

    Mash Note Beer offers fun ideas for beer lovers, like their upcycled beer can ornaments while Keene International Market has Scandinavian and European goods and gift baskets.

    LuvINK&Paper sells crafting kits to inspire more creativity this holiday season.  Visit our website for links to these gift ideas and more:

    Together, we're generating ripple effects that create new jobs, charitable contributions, and community prosperity -- what a gift!  Thank you for supporting the Shop Indie Local movement.

  • October 20, 2023 11:20 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    We invite businesses and organizations to participate in the Monadnock Region's Plaid Friday event on Friday, November 24.  Celebrate in creative ways that work best for you, your staff, and neighborhood.

    Here's one great way to participate: Become a Plaid Friday Hub

    As a Plaid Friday Hub, your business commits to:

    • Printing out and posting our Plaid Friday Poster before the event
    • Having you and your staff wear plaid on November 24
    • Photographing customers who visit your business wearing plaid (browse past year's photos for inspiration)
    • Sharing information about Plaid Friday with all your staff, clients, and customers

    Other Ways to Participate in Plaid Friday

    Here are some other ideas -- but get creative, too!

    • Encourage your staff (and your partner’s staff) to wear plaid (Not open on Plaid Friday? Check out what Badger Balm does the day before Thanksgiving)
    • If you offer any holiday specials/sales/event, please share them with us and we'll post them on our Plaid Friday Members Specials Page
    • Create a display featuring locally made items
    • Use plaid ribbon, tissue paper or buy local bags
    • Add #shopindielocal and #plaidfriday to your social media posts

    If you'd like to serve as a Plaid Friday hub this year, please contact us today.

    I want to be a Plaid Friday Hub

  • September 25, 2023 8:56 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    This October, celebrate the arts during Choose Indie Art Month hosted by the American Independent Business Alliance. We’ll recognize all types of artists -- crafters, painters, musicians, actors, writers, and others -- and boast about the positive impacts artists have on our community and local economy.  Celebrate with us!

    "The Monadnock region has a thriving arts scene," shared Jessica Gelter, Arts Alive Executive Director. "There are over 2,500 people employed at arts organizations and as gig workers. The best way to support the arts is to buy local!"

    Four Reasons to Celebrate

    The arts mean business: In 2021, the art sector made up 4.3 percent of the US economy -- greater than construction, transportation, or agriculture industries -- and included 4.9 million workers.  The arts also mean revenue for other local businesses, as each arts event attendee spends an additional $31.47 at neighboring stores, restaurants, and hotels.

    Art boosts our well-being: A national opinion poll from the Americans for the Arts found that 69 percent of us believe the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences,” and 81 percent shared that the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”  Recognizing the healing power of art, about half of US hospitals offer arts programming.

    Art brings us together: 72 percent of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity,” and 73 percent agree that the arts “helps me understand other cultures better.”

    Art inspires creativity:  A Journal of Business Research study found that displaying art in the workplace boosted employees’ creative thinking.

    “The arts are the lifeblood of our communities, raising morale, creating community cohesion, and providing comfort during dark times while also delivering a huge economic footprint,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “And it is more important than ever that everyone take part to recognize the creative and cultural value of the arts and humanities in our communities.”

    Learn more

    Fours Ways to Celebrate

    Shop Indie Art: Look for opportunities to purchase art and creative works from Monadnock Region artists.  Here’s one option coming up soon: The 50th Annual Cheshire Craftsmen Fair on October 7 and October 8 from 9 am – 3 pm at the Keene Recreation Center.  Shop early for unique holiday gifts, including home decor, quilted items, jewelry, soaps, woven items, quilted crafts, pottery, fleece and felted crafts, framed photos, wooden toys, wooden crafts, candles, and more.

    Attend an art event or take a tour:  Here are two fantastic chances to meet local artists and see where they work.  The Monadnock Art Tour and Fall Foliage Art Studio Tour both happen the weekend of October 7 – 9.  Other event ideas: Enjoy an event featuring live music like the Mole Hill Revival at Mole Hill Theatre in Alstead on October 7.  Take a walk around downtown Keene’s public art murals painted in 2019 by The Walldogs, a group of over 200 sign and mural artists from around the world. If you prefer a guided tour, register with the Historical Society of Cheshire County (tickets are $10 per person). Whether film, theatre, music, or visual arts events, discover them all!

    Discover more events

    Take a class: Get your creative juices flowing by signing up for a class or two.  The Harris Center will offer a Nature Photography 101 on October 7.  Check out all the creative offerings happening at MAXT Makerspace in October at  From dance classes to theatre coaching, find more educational opportunities.

    Browse many more classes

    Show your art: Join #ShowYourArt, an Instagram challenge hosted by Americans for the Arts.  They want to “inspire your creative spirit and showcase the culture that makes our communities unique and vibrant. And whether you post once or all month long, you’ll be part of the movement showing the power and purpose of the arts and humanities across all parts of life.”  Learn more.

    Stay tuned for more Choose Indie Arts news, events, and inspiration 

    Choose Indie Art is part of a larger Choose Indie Local year-round movement.  Together, we inspire our communities to take positive action and boost the ripple effects our neighborhoods, towns, and cities receive when we spend and invest more of our dollars at locally owned, independent businesses.

    Thank you to our local Choose Indie Art partners: Arts Alive, Alicia Drakiotes Studio, Monadnock Food Co-op, Shaker Style Handcrafted Furniture, The Local Crowd Monadnock, and The Monadnocker.

  • July 23, 2023 6:30 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    For the eleventh year, let’s shine a light on local food, farms, and our Monadnock Region food system during New Hampshire Eats Local Month, a month-long celebration of our state’s harvest in August. 

    Discover More

    What do we mean by a food system? Our food system includes all the pieces needed to bring local food from the farm to our plates: the soil, farm workers, transportation networks, markets, and more -- everything needed to grow, harvest, and distribute these goods to us.  These pieces come together to form our local food system.

    Please dig in and enjoy part one of this year’s bounty of updates!

    Banking on Local Food

    Walden Mutual Bank, based in Concord, is a new online bank rooted in the regional food system.  Individuals and businesses can open an account and the bank lends this money to local food and farm businesses throughout New England.  Locally, Walden Mutual helped Oliver Levick purchase Monadnock Berries in Troy from his parents.

    “The mutual part of our name means we are cooperative, which means we are owned by our community of account holders and allows us to build a bank for the next 100 years,” said Chloe Wingerter, Walden Mutual Business Development Officer. “We offer customizable loans across the entire value chain, which includes everything from production farms, distributors, processors, co-packers, and consumer trade brands, to even ag-adjacent businesses such as solar energy.”

    Round It Up for Food Connects

    This August, Round It Up (round up your purchases to donate your change) at Monadnock Food Co-op’s registers to benefit Food Connects, a food hub based in Brattleboro, VT.  New this year: The Co-op will pilot an additional way to Round It Up in August, virtually through The Local Crowd Monadnock.

    Round It Up

    Funds raised will support the Food Connects Farm to School initiative in the Monadnock Region. Their program offers professional development and local food purchasing support to school professionals, grant support for schools, and printed materials, including Harvest of the Month calendars, posters, cookbooks, and other signage to bolster and promote Farm to School initiatives. In partnership with The Monadnock Regional School District and the Cornucopia Project, Food Connects will help the Monadnock Farm to School network thrive and create a new generation of mindful eaters.

    “The Co-op’s Round It Up program has proven to be a powerful tool in rallying community support and making a tangible difference in the lives of children in our region,” said Richard Berkfield, Executive Director and Founder of Food Connects. “The support from the Monadnock Food Coop not only helps us foster a healthier and more sustainable food system but also enables us to educate and inspire the next generation about the importance of local agriculture and healthy eating.”

    Visit a Monadnock Farm

    Attend the fifth annual Monadnock Farm Tour and After Party on Saturday, August 19, from 12 – 8 pm. Participating Monadnock farms will open their barns, pastures, hoop houses, flower gardens, and production facilities. The event highlights how farms contribute to our local economy, their role in preserving open space, and how they contribute to our quality of life. The tour runs from 12 – 5 pm and costs $10 per car.  The After Party happens at Outlaw Brewing in Winchester from 5 – 8 pm.  This free, kid-friendly event offers delicious food from the Outlaw Food Truck, outstanding brews, and live music. A 50/50 raffle will take place to benefit Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition (MFCC) to keep our local food system robust.

    Discover More

    “After a wonderful afternoon of shopping at local farms, visiting the animals, walking the vegetable or flower fields, or learning a bit more about a bee farm, we’re very excited to offer folks a nice, family-friendly evening where you can sit back and eat great food, listen to great music, and imbibe delicious, on-tap brews at Outlaw Brewing,” shared Roe-Ann Tasoulas, MFCC Executive Director.  “We are so lucky to be surrounded by such a wide variety of farm experiences, products, and farmers. We hope everyone can get out for a memorable afternoon and evening!"

    Farm Camp for Teachers

    Join the Monadnock Farm to School Network for a Farm to School Day Camp for Teachers at the Cornucopia Project Educational Farm in Peterborough on Monday, August 21, from 10 am – 3 pm. This free camp will provide teachers classroom-ready curriculum through demonstrations, a farm tour, group activities, and games -- just like a real camp. The event includes a delicious lunch and a chance to win a raised garden bed or compost bin. Professional development credits are available. The Monadnock Farm To School Network members include Cornucopia Project, Stonewall Farm, and Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition. 

    Register Today

    Stay tuned for part two of this article in August, including local food and farm updates from Acworth Village Store, Cheshire County Conservation District, Cornucopia Project, and more!

    Thank you to all the individuals, programs, policies, and initiatives that continue to build a more robust local and regional food system in our corner of the state and throughout New England.  Together, we’re cultivating healthier citizens, communities, and economies.

  • July 21, 2023 8:16 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    It's time to start planning for this year's Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, and Shop Indie Local efforts!

    We're kicking off our Shop Indie Local planning efforts with a crowdfunding campaignThe more funds we raise, the more we'll amplify our message.

    Together, we will:

    • Leverage the importance of supporting locally owned businesses -- LIKE YOURS!
    • Inspire more of us to shift our holiday spending to independent businesses.
    • Affirm our dedication to the local economy movement.

    Business Owners: Make the Pledge to Become a Shop Indie Local Sponsor

    Show off your dedication to the local economy movement and support our Shop Indie Local efforts today!

    Shop Indie Local includes supporting Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, Small Business Saturday, and other promotions happening November 1 - December 31, 2023.

    With your support, we will continue to build traction -- inspiring more and more AND MORE community participation and media attention.

    Please consider supporting this year’s Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, and Shop Indie Local campaign at one (or more!) of the levels below.

    TLC Monadnock Mercantile Rock Star: $25

    Your logo or product will appear prominently on our TLC Monadnock Mercantile for one week (you choose the week - first come, first served).

    Cider Monday Rock Star: $50

    Your logo will appear in our Cider Monday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers).

    Plaid Friday Rock Star:  $75

    Your logo will appear in our Plaid Friday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers).

    Plaid Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cider Monday Rock Star: $150

    Your logo will appear in our Plaid Friday AND Cider Monday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers) AND the Keene Sentinel (delivered to ~10,000 households).

    Plaid Friday Launch Sponsor: $1,000

    Sponsor a Plaid Friday launch in your town or at your business. Your name and logo will appear on our Launch Event marketing materials and press release. We'll plan this launch together.

    All sponsorship pledges are due by October 31, 2023.  Send us an email to pledge your sponsorship or click on the button below to purchase your sponsorship through our crowdfunding campaign.

    Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for all you do to support our local economy each and every day.

  • June 28, 2023 6:41 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Twenty years ago, locally owned businesses in Tampa, Florida, came together to celebrate the very first Independents Week. Soon after, American Independent Business Alliance helped bring Independents Week to independent business alliances throughout the United States.  Now, twenty years later, American Independent Business Alliance invites communities to come together to celebrate Independents Month!


    Independents Month

    Independents Month is a time to recognize our locally owned and independent businesses and the community values they embody:

    • Their spirit of entrepreneurship, individuality, uniqueness, and character.
    • How they give back to our community with their time, talents, goods, and services.
    • How they fulfill community needs that make us healthier and wealthier.


    Multiplier Effect

    Independents Month, part of AMIBA’s Shop Indie Local Initiative, is the perfect time to shine a light on the Local Multiplier Effect and the Monadnock Indie Impact Study. Together, we’ll inspire our communities to take positive action and boost the positive ripple effects our neighborhoods, towns, and cities receive when we spend more of our dollars at locally owned, independent businesses.


    It Starts With You

    Independents Month is a time to reflect on your ability to think and act independently and embrace your part in shaping the future of your community. Choose Indie Local and boost the multiplier effect in your region.  Also, take time to acknowledge the independent business owners you know.


    Take the Indie Challenge

    Another way to celebrate Independents Month is to take the Indie Challenge. Pledge to make all of your purchases at locally owned businesses for one day, one week, or the entire month. Sign on to the Indie Challenge today!

    Traveling during Independents Month? Enjoy what locally owned, and independent businesses have to offer wherever you’re visiting. Ask locals where their favorites are and look for independent business alliances in the areas you’re visiting.


    The History of Independents Week

    Carla Jimenez, co-owner of Inkwood Books and co-founder of the Tampa Independent Business Alliance, created the first Independents Week in 2001. In 2005, AMIBA began promoting the campaign nationally, providing tools to help communities organize their own Independents Week celebrations.

    This July, let’s celebrate our independence and our independents together. 

  • June 26, 2023 6:56 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    As a parent, I want my children to inherit a vibrant community with real opportunities for work and play,” said Rachel P. from Nelson.  “The only real way to do that is to invest in local businesses and people now so that the Monadnock Region is thriving when they are ready to work and live here on their own!”

    This July, celebrate Independents Month with The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock -- a time to elevate the importance of independent and locally owned businesses (including all the owners and staff).  One perfect way to celebrate is to take our Indie Challenge.  Pledge to make all your purchases at locally owned businesses -- for one day, one week, or the entire month of July.  You choose! 

    Sign on to the Indie Challenge today! 

    “As a Monadnock Region resident, I want to do my part to keep the area thriving,” said Indie Challenge-taker Lora T. from Peterborough.

    In addition to the Indie Challenge, take a Staycation.  Instead of traveling far from home to get away, vacation here and experience all the Monadnock Region has to offer.  You’ll save money at the gas pumps and make new connections to nurture throughout the year.  Keep reading for July Staycation ideas.  

    Let’s Make Ripples

    Where you spend your dollars matters -- your choices create a ripple effect that starts with you and extends out to our entire community and local economy.  Choose an Indie Local (independent and locally owned business) and the positive ripple effects magnify.

    When you spend your dollars at a locally owned and independent business, instead of a chain store or online giant, your dollars recirculate through our local economy 2-4 times more.  As your dollars recirculate through our community, the money generates more local wealth. 

    Learn More

    Independents Month Staycation Giveaway

    One lucky Indie Challenge-taker will win our Independents Month Staycation Giveaway.  Our Staycation Giveaway includes a two-night stay for two at the Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy (includes six delicious home-cooked meals, activities, and use of their facilities); one $250 gift card from the Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene; two classes at Aloha Keene, a community center for healthy living in Keene with a regular schedule of yoga and more; one $50 gift card from The Toadstool Bookshops in Keene and Peterborough; one $20 gift certificate from Catbird Flower Farm in Keene (good for their roadside flower stand from May - September); and one $125 gift certificate from Healthy Home Habitats in Keene for a one-hour landscape & garden design consultation.  

    “A challenge like this makes me think more clearly about supporting local businesses,” said Indie Challenge-taker Sue L. from Keene.  “Usually, I don't consider who I'm buying from, and a challenge like this makes me think twice about where I buy what I need.”

    We’ll announce the winner in early August. 

    See All the Details!

    Independents Month reminds us to recognize our locally owned and independent businesses for the community values they embody and their spirit of entrepreneurship.  Also, we acknowledge all the ways they give back to our community with their time, talents, goods, and services, making us healthier and wealthier.  Thank an independent business owner and their staff today!

    “I have seen the value and care that locally owned businesses bring to their communities,” shared Nathan B. from Harrisville.  “Our local businesses support important work that needs doing and help to provide valuable services and opportunities for our young people!”

    July Staycation Ideas

    Looking for some Staycation ideas?  Here are a few events in July to add to your Staycation plans.

    “Since 2012, I have been honored to be your ambassador for Find Waldo Local initiatives in over 520 cities across the US,” shared Waldo, the star of the Where’s Waldo book series. “More than 575 indie bookstores have participated, and more than 14,500 local merchants have been involved.”

    Get ready! Waldo begins hiding in Downtown Keene from July 1 to July 31. Pick up a passport at Toadstool Bookshop in Keene and start your search at twenty-five participating stores.  Find Waldo (a six-inch version of him, that is!) at ten stores and get a coupon and a sticker.  Find him at twenty stores and get entered into a raffle for Waldo books and other goodies supplied by participating stores.  Save the date for a party at Toadstool Bookshop in Keene on Sunday, August 6 at 2 pm. 

    Learn More!

    Wizarding Week returns July 26 – 30.  What's Wizarding Week?  Locally owned businesses in Downtown Keene host the fourth annual Wizarding Week -- bigger and better than ever!  So much fun for all ages.  “Where magic classes are real, menus are elaborate, and fun is never in short supply.” 

    Stay Tuned!

    Paddle or meander with the Harris Center.  Check out their events list and sign up for one (or more!) excursions this month:

    Stroll around downtown Keene’s public art murals painted in 2019 by The Walldogs -- a group of over 200 sign and mural artists from around the world.  If you prefer a guided tour, register for the July 1 event at 10 am with the Historical Society of Cheshire County (tickets are $10 per person):

    Support Local Wherever You Are

    Traveling during Independents Month?  Enjoy what locally owned businesses have to offer wherever you are.  Ask locals where their favorite independents are and look for local economy networks at

    Think independently and act locally this Independents Month and beyond.  Together, we’ll boost the positive ripple effects our community receives when we spend more of our dollars at locally owned, independent businesses.

  • May 30, 2023 4:59 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Last year, The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock launched our first-ever Staycation Challenge.  It went so well that we’re bringing the challenge back for another year!

    What’s a Staycation?

    Summer means vacation for many of us.  However, taking a vacation doesn’t have to include traveling far from home to get away.  Take a Staycation and experience all the Monadnock Region has to offer.

     You’ll save money at the gas pumps and make new connections to nurture throughout the year.  The money you spend recirculates in our local economy, building more community health and wealth.

    What's the Staycation Challenge?

    Enter TLC Monadnock’s Staycation Challenge by pledging to spend your dollars only at locally owned businesses for one day, one week, or the entire month of July.

    Learn More

    Take our pre-survey now and then a post-survey coming in late July.  Complete both surveys for your chance to win our Staycation package.  

    What’s this year’s Staycation Package?

    This year’s winner of our Staycation Package will receive a two-night stay for two at the Inn at East Hill Farm, a farm stay in Troy (includes six delicious home-cooked meals, activities, and use of their facilities); two classes at Aloha Keene, a community center for healthy living in Keene with a regular schedule of yoga and more; one $50 gift card from The Toadstool Bookshops in Keene and Peterborough; One $20 gift certificate from Catbird Flower Farm in Keene (good for their roadside flower stand from May - September); and one $125 gift certificate from Healthy Home Habitats in Keene for a one-hour landscape & garden design consultation.

    We’ll announce our winner in mid-August.

    Start Your Staycation in June

    Why not start Staycationing now?  Here are a few events in June to add to your Staycation plans.

    Downtown storefronts will transform into art galleries during Keene ArtWalk on June 2 – 11.  Stroll up and down Main Street to view the works of local artists.  The Art is Everywhere event will happen on Saturday, June 3 from 11 am – 4 pm, as the ArtWalk expands to Railroad Square with performances and interactive art activities. Also, watch artists paint at different downtown locations from 10 am – 1 pm.  Check out all the details here.

    On June 3, downtown Keene also comes alive with food! The Keene Young Professional Network will host the third annual Taste of Keene Food Festival at the top of Main Street from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm.  Enjoy music at Central Square (from pop covers to classic rock) and street performers hosted by The Colonial Theatre.

    Purchase small bites and mocktails from twenty-three local restaurants and food producers.   New vendors include Prime Roast Coffee, Jenna’s Market, and Muse Tapas Bar & Lounge. Get your food tokens today and save:  

    Don’t forget to visit the Taste of Keene’s local craft biergarten to sip on a selection of our region's best brews and spirits (21 and over).  Please bring your ID.  Purchase beverage tickets at the event.  Stay tuned for the Taste of Keene’s full schedule.

    On June 22, from 1 – 3 pm, enjoy Pollinator Palooza -- an afternoon of learning and celebration of pollinators at Ashuelot River Park in Keene.  This event coincides with National Pollinator Week.  Activities include a pollinator scavenger hunt, creating your own bee box, painting your own pot for a native plant, and more.

    Local plant and compost vendors will sell a variety of products, with 20% of sales supporting Cheshire County Conservation District’s programs. Vendors include Fassett Farm Nursery, Thistle Dew Farm, Julie's Garden, Phylicia Roberts, Cook Hill Farm, and Echo Farm Puddings.  Learn more.

    Gilsum will ROCK the weekend of June 24 – 25 during the Gilsum Rock Swap & Mineral Show at the Gilsum Elementary School and Community Center.  Browse tables, tables, and tables of gems, jewelry, and minerals for sale or swap.  Grab a meal and pan for minerals.  At 1 pm on Saturday, New Hampshire mineral expert Tom Mortimer will present. View the full schedule.

    Celebrate Pride Month This June

    TLC Monadnock will join with the American Independent Business Alliance and partners throughout North America to celebrate LGBTQ+ owned businesses, diversity, and equity. Our regional partners include Keene Family YMCA, Keene Pride, Monadnock Food Co-op, and Prime Roast Coffee Co.  Learn more.

    Monadnock Food Co-op will launch weekly Round It Up Donation Drives for four organizations focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts this June. The Co-op's Round It Up donation program empowers us to positively impact our community by rounding up our change at the register to support local nonprofits.

    June 3 – 9: American Independent Business Alliance
    AMIBA provides DEI resources and training for campaigns run locally by The Local Crowd Monadnock. Campaigns include Choose Black-Owned Month, Pride Month, and seven other campaigns.

    June 10 -16: The Daily Good
    The Daily Good supports food security and diversity through food pantries on local college campuses and other centers.

    June 17 – 23: Keene Pride
    Keene Pride supports a coalition of services, organizations, and businesses that embrace and serve the LGBTQ+ population.

    June 24 – 30: Monadnock Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Coalition
    The MDEIB Coalition advocates for and develop DEI initiatives in the region.

    We each play a critical role in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive region.  Our Co-op is proud to support these four organizations and the work they do collectively to make our community more welcoming.

    Stay tuned for Staycation updates.  Happy local adventures!

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