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  • December 28, 2020 5:37 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    As 2020 draws to a close, The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock invites you to Pay-It-Forward.  Help us recruit and support more crowdfunding campaign teams working to grow affordable housing, farms & local food, and living wage jobs & equity in our region. Contribute $25 or more to our crowdfunding campaign online today!

    Our Pay-It-Forward program empowers us to provide extra resources to campaigns aligned with our 2021 community priorities selected by our community.  These priorities represent critical building blocks for our Local Living Economy, an economy that works for all of us.  A Local Living Economy improves our quality of life, meets everyone’s basic needs and cultivates engaged citizens.


    While TLC Monadnock crowdfunding campaign teams may be rich in social capital, they may need access to additional resources such as business consultants, videographers and marketing tools to ensure their success. We identify each campaign team’s specific needs through a pre-assessment – and, with your support, we will provide extra resources to fill in each team’s most critical gaps. We will also use our Pay-It-Forward funds to match donations for crowdfunding campaigns aligned with our 2021 community priorities.

    Since launching TLC Monadnock in 2017, we’ve raised over $230,000 from 2,000 supporters for twenty-six crowdfunding campaigns. Thank you, Monadnock Region!  Next year’s goal is to raise at least $100,000 from 1,000 supporters for ten campaigns.  You can help lay the groundwork for this future success by supporting our Pay-It-Forward program today.

    What types of crowdfunding teams do we hope to recruit and support in 2021?  Teams from this year provide inspiring examples for projects we hope to attract next year.

    More Local Food

    Food Connects raised $10,850 through their TLC Monadnock crowdfunding campaign, Growing Local Food Markets in the Monadnock Region.  They partner with local farmers and food producers throughout our region, like Frisky Cow Gelato, Echo Farm Puddings, and Picadilly Farm, and bring their products to schools, grocery stores, hospitals, restaurants and other businesses.  The funds raised enabled Food Connects to become an approved vendor allowing them to bring more local food to larger wholesale markets.

    “This is the start of something huge for our region,” said Laura Carbonneau, Food Connects Marketing Manager. “When we sell to wholesale customers in our community, more people have access to local food. Our work creates a vibrant food economy with a vision to make local food accessible to all community members.”

    More Affordable Housing

    Sharing Housing gathered $10,203 through their TLC Monadnock crowdfunding campaign, Teaching Successful Home Sharing.  These funds will help Sharing Housing develop an on-demand online course on how to create healthy, happy shared homes.

    “Even before the pandemic, many people struggled with housing costs and social isolation,” said Annamarie Pluhar, Shared Housing Founder.  “Shared housing is a viable solution many of us overlook when considering where and how to live, despite multiple advantages – social, emotional, and financial.”

    More Equity

    Keene Housing Kids Collaborative (KSKC) raised $2,230 during their TLC Monadnock crowdfunding campaign, Helping Kids Access Success. KHKC helps give kids living in Keene Housing households the chance to participate in activities in our community that will help them succeed.  They work to ensure that these children, the next generation of workers, parents and community leaders, have a better start in life despite their families’ financial struggles.

    “We believe kids, wherever they live, should be part of the community, not apart from the community,” said Liz Chipman, KHKC Executive Director. “That’s why we don’t have centralized programming onsite at Keene Housing properties. Instead, we partner with community organizations that are already providing excellent programming for kids.”

    Join our community of Pay-It-Forward supporters.  Empower us to grow more affordable housing, farms & local food, and living wage jobs & equity in our region.  Thank you so much for your continued support and Happy New Year!

    Please support our crowdfunding campaign today!

  • December 23, 2020 5:53 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    The City of Keene wants to hear from you! They are putting together a Community Power program, which will provide Keene with more local control of our electricity supply and more electricity choices. They’ve put together a survey which should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

    Please go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/CommunityPower to complete the survey. 

    Feel free to also share this link through social media so that your neighbors in Keene can also add their voice.

    City staff will share the results along with a draft Community Power plan at two (identical) sessions on Tuesday, January 26 at 12 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.  Visit www.keeneenergyplan.com/communitypower for links and to learn more.

  • December 10, 2020 5:26 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)



    We invite you to support our TLC Monadnock Pay-It-Forward Program by contributing $25 or more to our crowdfunding campaign.

    Please give today!

    Since launching our community-based crowdfunding program in 2017, we’ve raised over $230,000 from 2,000 supporters for twenty-six campaigns. We’re excited to leverage TLC Monadnock to grow more and stronger triple bottom line businesses.

    The Pay-It-Forward program will allow us to provide extra support and resources to campaigns aligned with our 2021 community priorities. These priorities include recruiting campaigns connected to the top 3 results of our Local Living Economy Building Blocks poll:

    While campaign teams may be rich in social capital, they may need access to additional resources such as business consultants, videographers and marketing tools to ensure their crowdfunding campaign's success.

    TLC Monadnock identifies each campaign team’s specific needs through a pre-assessment survey and, with your support, we will provide extra resources to fill in the team’s most critical gaps. We will also use our Pay-It-Forward funds to match donations for crowdfunding campaigns aligned with our 2021 community priorities.

    In 2021, our goal is to raise at least $100,000 from 1,000 supporters for ten campaigns. You can help make this happen by supporting our Pay-It-Forward program today.

    Pay-It-Forward Today!

  • December 05, 2020 9:49 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    Sponsored by the Keene Downtown Group

    Shop in downtown Keene and enter to win some fantastic prizes.  From now through December 24th, pick up a Keene Holiday Shopping card at the Monadnock Food Co-op (or any other participating businesses) and have it stamped when you make a purchase of $10 or more at any of the Keene businesses listed on the back of the card.  When you have three stamps from three different businesses, leave the card at any participating businesses to enter the drawing (but be sure to complete the contact information box first).

    All entries will be collected by 5 pm on December 24th and combined for a random drawing on December 26th. Winners will be notified by phone.  Enter as many times as you wish!

    GRAND PRIZE: $500

    First Prize: $300
    3 Second Prizes: $200 each
    4 Third Prizes: $100 each
    4 Fourth Prizes: $50 each

    Prizes will be awarded in the form of gift cards to any of the 49 participating businesses.

  • November 29, 2020 7:20 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    From The Toadstool Bookshops

    For several years we have celebrated Cider Monday as the alternative to the much hyped Cyber Monday -- that day when so many have historically gone online to fill the coffers of the huge online behemoths.

    Our tradition has been to offer a free cup of cider to those who stopped in to share and express support for shopping in their local "bricks and mortar" stores. We truly believe stores such as ours bring far more vitality to our communities than do huge distant warehouses.

    This year, however, due to COVID-19 we can not offer the cider and we realize that many people may prefer to avoid the crowds found in stores and are turning to the web to order gifts. Our hope is that those doing so this year will find the websites of local stores many of whom, like us, have active sites where you can place your orders online.

    So if it is to be a Cyber Monday hoist a glass of cider before you sit down and be reminded to keep it local.

    Thank you!

    And here's a link to TLC Monadnock Mercantile where you can find the products and websites of other local shops: https://shop.tlcmonadnock.com/products/


  • November 22, 2020 6:41 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    From your Thanksgiving meal to your New Year's Eve celebration, Shop Indie Local by purchasing more of your holiday gifts and celebration needs from your friends and neighbors -- locally owned business owners.  

    This week 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.  Due to COVID-19, our celebrations may be smaller in scale (or move online), but the spirit of Shop Indie Local remains strong -- thanks to all of you!

    Shop Indie Local Online

    We recently launched TLC Monadnock Mercantile, a regional online marketplace featuring a diversity of 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.  Fifty-four businesses have added products and services to our mercantile, representing some fabulous gift ideas for your loved ones.  Many thanks to Monadnock Food Co-op and Savings Bank of Walpole for sponsoring TLC Monadnock Mercantile. 

    Shop Safe, Shop Online and Shop Indie Local

    Plaid Friday

    Wear plaid on Friday, November 27, to show your support for our local economy and commitment to buying local this holiday season. Plaid Friday celebrates the diversity and creativity of local and independent businesses. It’s a fun and enjoyable alternative to the big box store “Black Friday” consumer frenzy.  So, plan to wear PLAID all day on November 27.

    Twenty locally owned businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs this year.  They pledge to photograph you decked out in plaid and answer questions about Plaid Friday.  

    Find a Hub Near You!

    Plaid Santa

    Deep Roots Massage in Keene will host a video call with Santa Claus, live from his workshop!  From 12 p.m.  – 3 p.m. in Gallery Alley next to the Colonial Theatre on Main Street, kids of all ages can visit with the big man himself on the big screen.

    If you can’t make it to a hub, be sure to take a selfie of yourself decked in plaid and share it with us on our Facebook Page and tag it with #plaidfriday.  We will add photos from you and our hubs to our annual collage, celebrating all who wore plaid and showed their support for locally owned businesses and our local economy.

    Some businesses will offer specials on Plaid Friday.  Aloha Keene will offer 20% off gift certificates, General Store at Doodle Eats in Jaffrey will give you a free Doodle Pie with each order over $25, buy a Deep Roots Massage gift certificate for massage online and get 10% off, plus Deep Roots will donate 10% of all holiday sales to the Monadnock United Way  and make a purchase at the Monadnock Food Co-op dressed in plaid and get a free $5 co-op gift card (one per customer; while supplies last). 

    View MORE Plaid Friday Specials

    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. No matter how you get involved, every little bit makes a big difference.

    Download Your Bingo Card

    Artists Sunday

    New this year! November 29 is Artists Sunday, an art shopping movement of more than 2,500 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!

    Find Local Artists

    Cider Monday

    Instead of Cyber Monday, a day when online merchants offer special deals, we invite you to Cider Monday.  On November 30, stop in for free cider from participating Cider Monday businesses, including Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene.  The co-op will offer free pints of Champlain Orchard Cider, one per person and while supplies last.  Also, if you choose to shop online, choose local too! 

    Learn More About Cider Monday

    Giving Tuesday

    A global generosity movement, Giving Tuesday 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 About Giving Tuesday


    Locally, Eyeworks in Keene will launch its 12 Days of Giving promotion on Giving Tuesday.  From November 30 – December 15, 2020, EyeWorks will donate $25 to the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund with every pair of glasses sold.

    “I can’t imagine more heroic work than raising good food for a community. It’s hard, and it’s uncertain, and all too often, it’s taken for granted. That’s why this year we’re so pleased to support the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund,” said Dr. Barton Higley of Eyeworks. “We know high-quality, nutrient-rich foods are key to good health — something that’s important to all of us. We’re honored to take part in cultivating a healthy local farming economy.”

    The Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund, created in partnership with the Cheshire Country Conservation District, supports local farmers by increasing sustainable food production and wholesale sales to contribute to a thriving local farm economy.

    Learn More About EyeWorks 12 Days of Giving

    Shop Indie Local Sponsors

    A big THANK YOU to this year's Plaid Friday, Cider Monday and Shop Indie Local sponsors: Aloha Keene, Cheshire Horse, Deep Roots Massage, Food Connects, MoCo Arts, Mon Amie Fine Jewelry, Monadnock Balloon Store, Monadnock Food Co-op, One Stop Country Pet Supply, Owl & Pen, Phoenix Farm, Steele’s Stationers, Ted's Shoe & Sport, Toadstool Bookshops in Keene and Peterborough, and The Works Café.

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

  • November 14, 2020 10:28 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    From Orchard Hill Breadworks

    Many of you contributed to last year’s community funded stone mill project here at the bakery, and it has been our pleasure to work with the Mill Hollow heritage association to put together a presentation about the bakery, the mill and our role in the wider community. Please join us on December 1st at 8 to see this presentation for yourself and participate in the live Q & A!

    Wishing you all a good day.

    Noah


    Breaking Bread: Orchard Hill Breadworks Stone Mill

    Tuesday, December 1, 2020
    8:00 - 9:00 p.m. EDT
    (via Zoom)

    A Sense of Place continues to explore the stories, history, and qualities that make Chase's Mill and Mill Hollow unique. Join us for a filmed tour of Alstead's Orchard Hill Breadworks and interview with its founder, Noah Elbers. It will be followed by a live Q & A.

    Noah’s presentation will feature the bakery’s new stone mill and highlight the growing nationwide movement of artisan bakers who’ve chosen to work directly with the farmers who grow their grain.

    The event is free and is open to all, but you need to register to receive the link to the webinar.

    Register here!

    Noah Elbers believes that good food and happy, healthy communities go hand in hand. Bread was first baked for sale at Orchard Hill in 1997, but the story of this place begins in 1972. Noah’s grandparents purchased the land and buildings that are now Orchard Hill Farm and Breadworks. In the early years, it was merely a late 1700s farm house and a dusty barn which sat at the center of thirty some acres of fields and forest. Since that time, three generations have planted orchards, tended gardens, built homes, launched a school and community center, and helped a bakery grow and flourish.

  • November 14, 2020 7:55 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Artist Sunday is November 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock will join with the Artists Sunday alliance to promote local artisans and craftspeople on Artists Sunday, a new celebration on November 29, 2020, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

    Shop Art at TLC Monadnock Mercantile

    Shop Arts at Small Works Big Impact Show

    Discover Artists & Creative Businesses at Monadnock Arts Alive


    Artist Sunday, falling between Plaid Friday, Small Business Saturday® and Cider Monday, is a day dedicated to encouraging individuals to shop with artists and give something special, unique, and hand-crafted this holiday season. TLC Monadnock appreciates the culture artists create and the impact they have on their local community and economy.

    "Spending your dollars with artists, makers, and other creatives supports our local economy," shared Jen Risley, TLC Monadnock Program Manager. "Give more this holiday season by making sure your purchases support artists and other locally owned business owners."

    Artists and creative economy organizations from across the country are participating in Artists Sunday, representing a full range of art, hand-crafted items, and performances. The diversity of artisans allows consumers to ‘shop art’ this Artists Sunday and give something personal and meaningful this holiday season.

    TLC Monadnock will celebrate Artists Sunday as part of the Shop Indie Local movement growing throughout North America. From November 1 to December 31, Shop Indie Local encourages residents to choose local and independent businesses for more of their holiday purchases.

    Are you an artist interested in participating? Contact us today!

    About Artists Sunday

    Artists Sunday is the nationwide movement dedicated to supporting artists and recognizing the impact they have in enriching our lives, communities and the economy. The powerful new effort is designed to make the Sunday after Thanksgiving the most profitable day of the year for artists. Supporters include individual artists, economic development agencies and non-profit organizations across the country. To learn more about Artists Sunday artists, partners, sponsors or involvement in promoting commerce with artists, please visit artistssunday.com.

  • November 07, 2020 5:29 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    New Hampshire Businesses, Farmers, Entrepreneurs, Nonprofits, Community Initiatives:

    • Do you have an incredible project just waiting to happen?
    • Want to grow your organization, our community, and the local economy, but don’t have access to capital?

    The Local Crowd is a rewards-based crowdfunding program that helps communities invest in local businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and initiatives that are mission-driven social enterprises.

    If your organization contributes to the community and could use a lift, apply to be part of a Route 11 Corridor cohort of campaigns.

    Vital Communities is partnering with The Local Crowd Monadnock to bring local investment and capital access to the Route 11 Corridor of New Hampshire thanks to funding from USDA Rural Development.

    Submit a proposal for 2021 crowdfunding campaigns if your business/organization:

    • Is based in Claremont, Newport or the Kearsarge Region
    • Has a project with a budget under $10,000
    • Has a simple, achievable project that will generate excitement in your community (Your proposal can be part of a bigger project, but it should have stand-alone value)
    • Has a project that will create an economic and/or social benefit to your business and the community
    • Is able to invest time to build a successful fundraising campaign

    Sample project ideas: Farm infrastructure, renewable energy installation, community garden or art project, vehicle to expand nonprofit service, capital to launch a new rural enterprise, food business equipment

    Submit your project proposal by December 1, 2020

    The Local Crowd Upper Valley will select up to eight projects to participate in this crowdfunding cohort, based on the potential of each project to positively impact their local economy and community. Selected proposals will launch their campaigns in 2021, with support and guidance from The Local Crowd Advisors.

    View Campaign Guidelines

    Submit Your Proposal
     

    The Local Crowd Details:
    You (project/campaign creator) will need to:

    • Form a Campaign Team to actively promote your fundraising project
    • Work closely with the The Local Crowd team to leverage training, marketing, and community outreach tools
    • Adhere to the keys of success promoted by The Local Crowd platform:  YOU share with your personal network. YOU make it happen.

    You will receive:

    • Support from the The Local Crowd team to run a successful funding campaign
    • Access to business development support from project partners including NH SBDC and SBA
    • Marketing and outreach support to spread the word about your project
    • Free Crowdfunding Readiness Assessment ($85 value)
    • Funds raised via the crowdfunding campaign for the designated project (less platform and credit card fees)
    • Opportunity to reduce platform fees if you meet campaign milestones


    Learn more at vitalcommunities.org/tlc or contact nancy@vitalcommunities.org.

  • November 05, 2020 7:36 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock is partnering with Vital Communities’ Local First initiative on Route 11 Corridor Businesses project.  We're looking for proposals from experienced digital marketing firms/professionals.  Please view the full RFP here.

    Proposals are due by 5:00 pm on Monday, November 16, 2020.

    REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

    Vital Communities’ Local First initiative is seeking proposals from experienced digital marketing firms/professionals to assist Local First members in the Route 11 corridor of New Hampshire. Small businesses suffering from the impacts of the pandemic require assistance with website, digital marketing, e-commerce, and/or social media services which will be accomplished through this program with one-on-one consulting and a virtual workshop.

    GOAL OF PROGRAM

    Many small businesses have had to shift business practices, sales channels, customer base, and marketing efforts in response to COVID-19. Our goal is to support small businesses with assistance to create, improve, or enhance their digital presence and build marketing skills so they can adapt to the changing economic landscape and increase business stability. This program is funded by a USDA Rural Development Rural Business Development Grant.

    SCOPE OF WORK

    Each small business is unique and requires marketing technical assistance that meets them where they are and provides help with their specific needs and challenges. The following represents the types of assistance businesses may require through this technical assistance program:

    • Marketing plan development
    • Website platforms, SEO, content strategy, etc.
    • E-commerce platform creation, integration, best practices
    • Social media training: best practices, content strategy, and digital marketing/advertising
    • E-Communications

    This program will increase the digital marketing skills and capacity of six businesses through targeted technical assistance. Business owners and/or staff will gain marketing skills and capacity and report increased engagement and/or sales within three months according to their self-determined goals leading to business stability (jobs saved) or growth (jobs created).

    This program will launch with a digital marketing workshop featuring the chosen firm/marketing specialist, open to any Route 11 corridor businesses. Workshop attendees can apply for 10 hours of cost-share one-on-one consulting time with the chosen marketing firm. Business will pay for 2 hours and Vital Communities will pay for 8 hours). Businesses may choose to procure additional services directly from the firm at its sole cost and discretion. Firms that respond to this RFP should demonstrate their ability to offer the marketing services listed above and their experience working with a variety of businesses and marketing competency levels.

    Technical assistance must be completed by May 1, 2021.

    PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS

    Proposals must include the following items by the proposal due date. Please keep proposals as short as possible to allow for a quick evaluation process.

    • One page cover letter stating the proposer’s understanding of the work to be performed and why they believe they are well suited
    • Qualifications and related experience of staff assigned to project
    • Demonstrated experience and expertise in SEO, website platforms, developing marketing plans, working one-on-one with a variety of small businesses, understanding of available e-commerce platforms and e-commerce website integration, digital marketing and social media, including Instagram, Facebook, and Google Ads
    • A representative listing of current clients that we may use as references


    PROGRAM BUDGET

    The available funds for this contract is $4200. The scope of work that these funds cover: a single virtual digital marketing workshop open to an unlimited number of participants, 8 hours of one-on-one digital marketing technical assistance for 6 businesses.

    EVALUATION

    When evaluating the proposals, we will use the following factors (in no particular order):

    • Qualifications and experience of proposer working with small businesses
    • Demonstrated current capability and capacity to perform this assistance
    • References for the individuals who will be assigned to this project
    • Locally owned New Hampshire business

    During the short evaluation process, Vital Communities may request additional information or clarifications from proposers. The most qualified proposer(s) may be interviewed by video conference. There is no expressed or implied obligation for Vital Communities to reimburse responding firms and individuals for any expenses incurred in preparing proposals in response to this request. Vital Communities, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to select one, several, or none, of the firms that respond to this RFP.

    SUBMISSION

    Proposals are due by 5:00 pm on Monday, November 16, 2020. Proposals should be submitted via email to nancy@vitalcommunities.org with the subject line “Local First RFP.”

    Questions about this RFP should be directed to Nancy LaRowe, Local First/Food & Farm Coordinator, nancy@vitalcommunities.org.

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