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  • 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.

  • October 31, 2020 6:37 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    November 1-21

    Supporting local, supports you! 

    Local businesses were hurt by the COVID-19 shutdown. Food Connects is working to strengthen our local economy and bolster economic and community resiliency. Shop locally this November!

    Make a $10 purchase at any participating business and receive a sticker. Limit one sticker per business per passport. Once you have three (3) stickers, submit your card for a chance to win. Multiple passport entries are welcome!

    Prizes

    • Grand Prize (1): $1,000 Cash

    • 1st Place (1): $250 Cash

    • 2nd Place (3): $100 Cash

    • 3rd Place (4): Local Gift cards


  • October 28, 2020 5:40 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Online Marketplace for Locally Owned Businesses

    On November 1, TLC Monadnock Mercantile will launch -- a regional online marketplace featuring products and services from locally owned businesses. Our virtual store will compile gift ideas, gift cards and restaurant take-out options. It is free for locally owned businesses to participate! Please review our details for participating here.

    Why now?

    According to a survey run by Google this July, close to 75% of U.S. shoppers said they plan to shop and browse for gift ideas online this holiday season -- more than they did in previous years. Many also plan to shop more at locally owned businesses (66%), but finding those businesses online may prove difficult. An online marketplace that brings together multiple locally owned businesses in one place will meet shoppers' desires to shop safe, shop online and shop local.

    Check out TLC Monadnock Mercantile!

    Ready to Get Started?

    TLC Monadnock Mercantile is made possible by Savings Bank of Walpole and Monadnock Food Co-op.

  • October 25, 2020 5:18 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Even with a smaller budget, you can give more this holiday season. How? By joining the Shop Indie Local movement!  We’re purchasing more of our holiday gifts and celebration needs from our friends and neighbors -- locally owned business owners.  Please join us!

    Why Shop Indie Local?

    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 strengthen jobs, 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. 

    Shop Indie Local and Give More (Fill in the Blank)

    Think about the people you love. Instead of stuff, what do you truly want to give them?  Perhaps it’s more hope, inspiration or connection.  Now, consider each person, place and thing that plays a part in growing, making and getting that gift to your loved one.  When you Shop Indie Local, you give more to everyone.

    For example, I want to give more hope to a dear friend.  I find a one-of-a-kind handmade lamp, one that I know will make my friend’s day a bit brighter.  The artist who made the lamp, closed out from their regular holiday events, feels a bit more hope that they’ll make it through 2020 and my friend feels more hope every time she clicks the lamp’s switch on.  What do you want to give more of this year? For ideas, please check out our new online marketplace, called TLC Monadnock Mercantile, officially launching on November 1.

    Give More Support: Monadnock United Way

    The Local Crowd Monadnock and Monadnock United Way are teaming up to strengthen our community.  Support Monadnock United Way’s Better Together: Building Equitable Communities in the Monadnock Region crowdfunding campaign on TLC Monadnock through November 13.

    Give today!

    Monadnock United Way and its partner agencies fight for children, education, and financial stability throughout our region.  With your support, we will lift up our region and make it vibrant in the face of hardship.

    Plaid Friday

    Wear plaid on Plaid Friday to show your support for our local economy and commitment to buying local this holiday season.  The day to wear plaid this year is Friday, November 27.

    Some independent businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs.  Hubs photograph customers decked out in plaid and answer questions about Plaid Friday and Monadnock Buy Local.  In addition to hubs, some members will offer special events to thank you for stopping in.  Stay tuned for more specials.

    We will add all the photos taken to our annual collage, celebrating everyone who wore plaid to honor the day.  Check out our gallery of over 400 pictures from past Plaid Fridays.

    Meet Chuck the Chinook

    Here’s a gift that we received shortly after last year’s Plaid Friday.  Chuck the Chinook and his owner, Dan Brown, volunteered to inspire more participation in this year’s Plaid Friday event.

    Chuck’s interest in Plaid Friday peaked after seeing last year’s poster highlighting another Keene-based dog named Chloe, owned by Cheryl Belair from The Insurance Source. Chloe was stoically sitting outside of Prime Roast Coffee Roasters on Main Street, sporting a plaid coat complete with plaid ear coverings. Chuck was smitten.

    So, he and Dan dreamed up an annual pet photo contest, a fun way to educate people about Plaid Friday. We made Chuck the inaugural winner to get things started. “He now thinks of himself as an Economic Stimulus Chuck,” joked Dan. “As a sort of an Ambassa-dog, Chuck hopes everyone will join the Monadnock Plaid Friday gala, with the tag line: Wearing plaid gets a discount, ties optional.” Stay tuned for more Plaid Friday pet photo contest details!

    Chinooks, the official state dog of New Hampshire, were bred as sled dogs in Tamworth, NH, by Arthur Treadwell Walden in 1917. Walden was an arctic explorer and sled dog driver. As an official state dog, Chuck takes none of our New Hampshire businesses for granite.  As big Buy Local fans, Chuck and Dan love Plaid Friday.

    Why did Dan pick the name Chuck? “So, a person can enjoy chucking the chin of Chuck the Chinook,” answered Dan. “Chuck’s official AKC name is Forever Greene Moses Fisk. He was born to a mom from Vermont and a dad from here in Cheshire County.”

    Plaid Friday Sponsors

    A big THANK YOU to this year's Plaid Friday sponsors: Aloha Keene, Cheshire Horse, Deep Roots Massage, Food Connects, Monadnock Balloon Store, Monadnock Food Co-op, Ted's Shoe & Sport, The Toadstool Bookshops and The Works Café. Own an independent business?  It’s not too late to jump in and participate.  Contact us today at jen@thelocalcrowd.com.  Also, please stay tuned for updates in our next Shopper News article.


  • October 17, 2020 8:38 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    Shop Indie Local Kick-Off Event on November 27

    For the eleventh 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 27, 2020.

    Learn More: Plaid Friday 2020

    Individuals will wear plaid on Plaid Friday to show support for the local economy and their commitment to spending more of their dollars at locally owned businesses this holiday season. Last year, nearly 500 community members pledged to participate in Plaid Friday.

    "After a decade of urging people to get out on Plaid Friday and visit their favorite locally owned businesses, we need to proactively plan for whatever COVID-19 throws at our community next month," said Jen Risley, TLC Monadnock Program Manager. "We're planning for all our usual activities -- while adding new virtual ways to participate. (Stay tuned for details!) We want to keep our movement strong and our community safe."

    About Plaid Friday

    Plaid Friday celebrates the diversity and creativity of local and independent businesses. It's a fun and festive alternative to the "Black Friday" consumer frenzy perpetuated by big box stores. This event originated in Oakland, CA to bring back the times when shopping for friends and family was a pleasurable and leisurely activity.

    Many locally owned businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs, photographing customers decked out in plaid and answering questions about this event.

    View Plaid Friday Hubs

    Some participating businesses will offer specials to honor the day and thank community members for their support. Specials will be posted at tlcmonadnock.com/specials.

    About Shop Indie Local

    Plaid Friday is 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.


  • October 13, 2020 5:10 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Join the fun and support our local restaurants by playing Peterborough Restaurant BINGO!  Starting this weekend (10/9), pick up your BINGO cards at participating restaurants and play to win some cool Peterborough swag. Every $10 purchase per visit earns a stamp on your card. Every completed card wins a prize and is entered for larger prizes. 

    Participating restaurants: Aesop's Tables & Events, Beepa and Lulu's Restaurant, Thai Cafe, De Olla Burritos, Harlow's Pub, Kogetsu at boiler house, Nature's Green Grocer, Nonie's Restaurant & Bakery, Pancho's Pizza, Post and Beam Brewing and Waterhouse Restaurant. Dine-in, take-out, gift cards and merchandise all qualify. Restaurant BINGO runs through the end of the year.

    For more, email community@peterboroughnh.gov.

  • October 12, 2020 5:54 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Originally published in Four Legs & A Tail

    This article highlights a different kind of four-legged friend, a wonderful one-year-old Chinook dog from Keene, NH named Chuck. Chuck and his owner, Dan Brown, volunteered to promote this year’s Plaid Friday event in the Monadnock Region and throughout the state. Photo to right: Chuck shown in comic relief wearing an Official State Tartan of NH (a.k.a. Plaid) tie. Please keep reading to learn more about Chuck and Plaid Friday.

    Chinooks, the official state dog of New Hampshire, were bred as sled dogs in Tamworth, NH, by Arthur Treadwell Walden in 1917. Walden was an arctic explorer and sled dog driver. “Chinooks are smart, gentle, strong, and love New England winters,” Dan shared. To learn more about Chinooks, see the Winter 2018 Four Legs and a Tail issue.

    “He and I routinely take a walk through the downtown and on most Saturdays through the Farmers’ Market.” Dan continued. “Chuck can also be found on the rail trail, at the Surry Dam, Stonewall Farm and sometimes chasing trout in the Ashuelot River. His favorite things are meeting people, educating them about his officialdom, and belly rubs. His least favorite thing, like most dogs, is being told to ‘leave it.’”

    Chuck takes none of our New Hampshire businesses for granite. His LupinePet Eco collar and leash, made from recycled plastic bottles in Conway, NH, is the color granite, of course. As big buy local fans, Chuck and Dan love Plaid Friday.

    Plaid Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, 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. Also, it’s a way to show your support for our local economy. Please plan to wear PLAID all day on November 27.

    Last year, Chuck’s interest in Plaid Friday sparked after seeing a poster highlighting another Keene-based dog named Chloe. She was sitting outside of Prime Roast Coffee Roasters on Main Street, sporting a plaid coat complete with plaid ear coverings. Chuck was smitten.

    So, he and Dan dreamed up an annual pet photo contest, a fun way to educate people about Plaid Friday. We made Chuck the inaugural winner to get things started. “He now thinks of himself as an Economic Stimulus Chuck,” joked Dan. “As a sort of an Ambassa-dog, Chuck hopes everyone will join the Monadnock Plaid Friday gala, with the tag line: Wearing plaid gets a discount, ties optional.” Stay tuned for more Plaid Friday details!

    Why did Dan pick the name, Chuck? “So, a person can enjoy Chucking the chin of Chuck the Chinook,” answered Dan. “Chuck’s official AKC name is Forever Greene Moses Fisk. He was born to a mom from Vermont and a dad from here in Cheshire County. Chuck is a nephew by kennel to Charger the Chinook, a Vietnam veteran.”

    Following in his Uncle’s paw prints, Chuck befriended members of the 238th Medevac Helicopter Co, NHANG. “He wants to give further howldies to Operational Support Airlift Detachment 18, The National Guard members helping with the COVID crisis, and all New Hampshire Servicemen and women away from home,” said Dan. “He thanks you for your dedication and awaits your safe return.”

    We look forward to seeing you and your pets in plaid on Plaid Friday! Know of a working dog, cat, or another animal I should highlight in a future article? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at marketing@monadnockfood.coop.

  • October 10, 2020 7:03 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Please Mark Your Calendar!

    The Local Crowd Monadnock and Monadnock United Way are teaming up to strengthen our community

    Join us for the Better Together: Building Equitable Communities in the Monadnock Region campaign from October 19 through November 13. All gifts given on TLC’s crowdfunding platform during this time will benefit Monadnock United Way’s (MUW) Better Together Annual Campaign.

    The Better Together Campaign goal is $1,277,000 and it is crucial that we hit this target to help our neighbors in need. Too many people in our region are silently suffering. We may not see or experience the extent of their pain and stress. But it exists.

    Consider this. Prior to COVID-19:

    • We had the third highest rate of child abuse and neglect in the state
    • Our children scored lower than the rest of the state in English and math
    • One quarter of our residents were low-income. In the rest of NH the rate is 1 in 5

    These statistics are likely to get worse in the months to come.

    Monadnock United Way and our partner agencies fight for children, education, and financial stability in every community throughout our region.  With your support, we will eliminate fear and uncertainty. We will lift up our region. We will make it vibrant in the face of hardship.

    For more information, please visit MUW.org.



  • September 29, 2020 5:37 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    “The food sovereignty movement has so many powerful stories that needed to be told from the community perspective,” said Michael E. Roberts, First Nations Development Institute President and CEO. “Hearing stories about Native people from Native people, along with experts in this type of storytelling, brings a tribal producer’s vision and First Nation’s work to the forefront.”

    To mark Indigenous People’s Day on October 12 -- and hear Native stories from Native people -- we invite you to a free virtual screening of the film GATHER on October 6 at 6:30 p.m.  GATHER features the work of Native communities building sustainable foodways to improve health and food security.

    Register today!

    The film highlights Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation in Arizona, establishing an indigenous café and recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation in South Dakota, conducting nutritional studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, environmental activists from the Yurok Nation in Northern California, working to save the Klamath River.

    After the film, we will host a live discussion with Sanjay Rawal, Award-Winning Filmmaker and Director of Gather, and A-dae Romero-Briones, First Nations Development Institute Director of Programs – Native Agriculture and Food Systems. We thank our partners, Monadnock Food Co-op, Monadnock International Film Festival and Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition for co-hosting this event. This event is free, but registration is required. We hope you’ll join us!


    More About Indigenous People’s Day

    Indigenous Peoples' Day falls on the second Monday of October, offering an alternative to Columbus Day.  This holiday honors and celebrates Native American people -- their history, culture and present-day experiences.  While not an official holiday in New Hampshire, the City of Keene passed a resolution earlier this year to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day -- joining with three other New Hampshire towns: Dover, Durham and Hopkinton.

    “This is an important transition we’re making -- a transition from being a European-centric community to a people-centric community for all people who have lived here and live here now,” said Keene Mayor Kendall Lane at last year’s Indigenous Peoples' Day event at Keene State College.

    “Indigenous people were in the Americas by 1492, we were the first astronomers, geographers, physicists, doctors, botanists, on and on. We were the first on this land. Let’s acknowledge it and let’s teach it,” said Donna Moody, Franklin Pierce University Adjunct Professor and Tribal Elder in the Abenaki Nation. “We’re rooted here, our story is here, our language is here, our ancestors are buried here. Let’s acknowledge it and let’s teach it. Let’s address the underlying issues of bias and oppression.”

    She continued, “When these issues are being addressed and progress made, then we really have begun to address the issues of the genocide of the land, the disappearance of language, the disappearance and erasure of our histories.”

    New Resource: Indigenous New Hampshire Harvest Calendar

    This year, New Hampshire Farm to School and the Indigenous NH Collaborative Collective introduced the Indigenous New Hampshire Harvest Calendar curriculum highlighting local, indigenous crops, recipes and activities. The curriculum is divided into four seasons and follows the Abenaki method of measuring time, the 13 Moon Calendar.  Please check out this resource and don’t forget to get your free ticket to the film GATHER to learn more about indigenous foodways beyond New England.


    Other TLC Monadnock News

    Whether you're looking for a little plaid flair or aiming to don plaid from head-to-toe to celebrate this year's Plaid Friday, we want to help. Stay tuned for our Virtual Plaid Friday Pop-Up Shop in October.


    Also in October, we’ll host an online introductory webinar with Michael Shuman called "Rebooting Your Community After COVID - How to Invest Locally Using Self-Directed IRAs and Solo 401ks" on October 15, 2020, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. This event is free, but registration is required.

    If there’s enough interest generated at our introductory workshop, we’ll work with Michael to offer a full workshop on this topic in our region (hopefully live!).  The workshop would cover the twelve types of local investment opportunities available in almost everyone’s backyard (some that are likely to beat the returns from Wall Street).  It would also highlight what next steps we can take to shift millions of dollars of capital into local businesses struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.  

    We hope to see you virtually at our October offerings!


  • September 06, 2020 10:07 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    A Community Response to COVID-19 Business Recovery

    Our first TLC 4WARD crowdfunding campaign raised $14,028 for six locally owned businesses in the Monadnock Region, NH.

    "This campaign empowered 253 individuals to support six local businesses that they don't want to live without," said Jen Risley, TLC Monadnock Program Manager. "Our goal was to leverage our technology to help locally owned businesses weather the COVID-19 crisis, meet shifts in community needs and rapidly seize emerging opportunities."

    TLC 4WARD, designed to help rural communities recover more quickly from the COVID-19 crisis, enables residents to contribute to local businesses and organizations through online transactions.

    Participating businesses included:

    Archway Farm in Keene, NH added more offerings to their self-serve farm store in response to COVID-19, which required more storage space. Through TLC 4WARD, the farm raised the funds needed to upgrade their electric service to support this new storage equipment.

    "A big thank you to everyone who has donated," shared Mark Florenz, owner of Archway Farm.


    CC&D's Kitchen Market in Keene, NH met their campaign goal in less than 24 hours. They will purchase essential safety equipment and supplies for the catering arm of their business.

    "There is great kindness in this world and AWESOMENESS in our community," said Denise Meadow, co-owner of CC&D's Kitchen Market. "We thank this amazing community for supporting our local small business, for sharing photos, stories and experiences, for referring us to your friends and families, for donating meals so we can together thank our essential workers and for buying meals for strangers, friends, volunteers and superheroes."

    Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene, NH invested in a refrigerated trailer to expand its Curbside Pick-Up program, launched in response to COVID-19.

    "We are extremely grateful for our community's support of our Curbside Pick-Up infrastructure," said Michael Faber, Monadnock Food Co-op General Manager. "Our expanded refrigerated storage space will help us serve more customers, helping us better serve our community in the months and years ahead."


    Orchard Hill Breadworks in Alstead, NH will use funds to support small dairy farms and artisan cheesemakers hit hard by the pandemic. They will feature local dairy products on their pizzas, sold each Tuesday to raise funds for local non-profit organizations.

    "A huge thank you to everyone who supported us in this campaign," said Cara Campbell of Orchard Hill Breadworks. "We are so grateful to be able to support small, local producers in this time of so much uncertainty."

    Prime Roast Coffee Roasters in Keene, NH raised 170% of their goal to purchase a second battery to power their electric bicycle used in their new “BySpoke - Beans by Bike” program, a doorstep delivery service. They will donate access funds to Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation to support future bicycle programming.

    "We want to share our community bounty so all funds over our goal will go to the Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MAST)," said Judy Rogers, owner of Prime Roast Coffee Roasters. "Support will help promote their next Bike to Work Week and Bicycle Month in 2021."

    Village Roots Permaculture Farm in Alstead, NH will purchase and install a walk-in cooler with a cool bot unit boosting their ability to provide fresh, healthy and safe food to their community.

    "Like many local farmers, COVID-19 boosted sales at our farm," said Marty Castriotta, owner of Village Roots Permaculture Farm. "This surge focused our efforts on upgrading our food handling and processing capacity. Thanks to everyone who chipped in, we reached our goal in four days!"

    Visit this TLC 4WARD campaign

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