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  • April 27, 2022 6:31 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    What better way to kick off this year’s Bike Month than by participating in the second annual National Ride a Bike Day on Sunday, May 1. It’s THE day to celebrate the joys of bicycling!  Wondering how to celebrate?  Go for a ride.  

    “We firmly believe that life is better for everyone when more people ride bikes,” shared the League of American Bicyclists. “On National Ride A Bike Day, let’s all ride bikes together, wherever we are and at our own pace, to take part in a collective action and kick start making life better for everyone.”

    Why bike?  Bicycling offers a fun and healthy way to get around.  Studies show cycling elevates mood, memory, and metabolism. Cycling also reduces our carbon emissions and overall environmental impacts. All great reasons to get rolling!

    “When all of us who ride bikes ride together on National Ride A Bike Day,” continued the League of American Bicyclists.  “We can show our neighbors and our leaders why making it easier, safer, and more accessible to ride a bike is so important to so many people.”

    Please join us on Sunday, May 1, for National Ride A Bike Day and then keep celebrating Bike Month all month long.

    More Ways to Celebrate Bike Month

    Following Bike Day, schools across the country will celebrate Bike & Roll to School Day on May 4.  Over 800 schools will participate to call attention to making routes to schools safer and kids more active. 

    Learn more about Bike & Roll to School Day

    The Kiwanis Kool Wheels Event will happen on May 7, from 10 am to 12 pm, at the Keene Recreation Center.  Kool Wheels is a free family event where kids ages 4-12 may select a new bicycle helmet and learn about bike safety.  Kids can bring their bicycles to the event for a tune-up.

    Learn more

    Put these dates on your calendar: Bike to Work Week is May 16-22, with Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 20.

    Discover more about Bike Month

    Track all your bicycling miles on Love to Ride's website.  Once you're registered, you can also sign up for their National Bike Challenge.  Create your own goals, connect with other bicyclists, and perhaps even win a prize. 

    Register today 

    What’s New Locally in Bicycling?

    Keene’s Transportation Heritage Trail project will connect the rail trail from Eastern Avenue to the Swanzey town line.  While we can’t enjoy this project until 2027, we can help fundraise for the trail by participating in Pathways for Keene’s 4 on the 4th Road Race.

    Learn more

    This summer, the City of Keene begins work on the Ammi Brown Trail and sections of the rail trail between the intersection of Hurricane and Aldrich roads to Summit Ridge Drive.  Once completed by July 31, we’ll have a new bicycle and pedestrian loop that runs along West Street, Park Avenue, Summit Road, and Summit Ridge Drive, linking to the Cheshire Rail Trail.

    Another important development in bicycling this year, UNH Cooperative Extension recently wrapped up a report called “Strengthening Connections: Downtowns & Trails,” highlighting how we can better connect Keene’s rail trails to downtown businesses.  Assessors walked the trails and interviewed trail users to discover ways people do (and could) connect with our downtown assets.

    “For a small city, Keene seems to offer a wide variety of businesses with numerous restaurants and a variety of retail as well as office space,” cited the report.  “Assessors, by and large, found the business amenities available in Keene to be great assets. From a variety of restaurants, sporting opportunities, to general shopping, there were a number of places a trail user and any visitor or resident for that matter, might frequent.”

    The report recommends adding more wayfinding signs to direct people towards these attractions.

    “One main feature that will help with this connection is the inclusion of information about businesses and services on signage about trails,” stated the report. “Simple statements such as ‘downtown businesses are x miles from this point and include food, retail, and services.’ There is a great display in Railroad Square that could be further enhanced with information about general downtown amenities.”

    The report also calls for amplifying the amazing community art near the trails, plus adding more art along the trails.

    “Community art can be a powerful value-add to a user’s or resident’s overall experience in a community. Keene is fortunate to have a strong commitment to community art,” shared the report.  “The Walldog Murals are the most vivid display of this effort and are visible from the trails. In addition to this clear asset, assessors noted a potential opportunity to enhance the community art space behind the Monadnock Food Co-op and right on the Cheshire rail trail. Others also noted that there were places along the trails that could be enhanced by the addition of some community art-such as sculptures.”

    Read the full report

    Happy bicycling!

  • April 17, 2022 11:05 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    by Ethan DeWitt,

    New Hampshire Bulletin

    The New Hampshire Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee approved a $100 million, federally funded housing investment plan Friday, a critical step for a proposal touted by Gov. Chris Sununu as a means to increase rental capacity and workforce housing.

    Voting 8-2, the committee signed off on a program to devote $60 million to matching grants for housing developments in the state and $40 million to grants to incentivize towns to speed up permitting processes and overhaul zoning laws. The initiative still requires approval from the state’s Executive Council, which meets April 20.

    The new program would allow developers or housing organizations to apply for up to $3 million in matched funding for projects, provided those projects would be used for rental housing and include at least five units.

    If the program is approved next week, the application period will begin in June, said Department of Business and Economic Affairs Commissioner Taylor Caswell, whose department designed the program and would be tasked with distributing the money. Developers will have until June 2023 to apply.

    Meanwhile, towns will be eligible for $10,000 per unit of new housing they approve within six months, and will have access to funding to help demolish dilapidated properties or to hire consultants to help overhaul their zoning ordinances.

    Addressing the committee Friday, Caswell said he expected many of the early grants to go toward developments driven by housing nonprofits.

    “I’m anticipating that the first several rounds of this program would be held exclusively for our nonprofit developers who are developing exclusively those types of affordable units,” he said. “And for smaller developments.”

    But some Democrats have continued to express concern that the initiative does not include income requirements, and urged Caswell to prioritize affordable housing projects when approving applications.

    During Friday’s Fiscal Committee meeting, Sen. Cindy Rosenwald, a Nashua Democrat, asked Caswell why the department had opted to categorize the funds as “revenue replacement,” a designation that exempts the state from certain income limits. Approving the funds under the standard process would have required that the state target them to families making 300 percent of the federal poverty level or below.

    “There’s no requirement for affordability standards,” Rosenwald said. “So I’m wondering why we chose not to build affordable housing with these public funds?”

    Caswell said the state had used the revenue replacement approach in order to maximize flexibility for the projects and avoid limitations. But he said he expected many of the housing developments that apply for the funding to already have income targets because they are receiving external grants that require that.

    Still, he said, the department anticipated a mix.

    “They will be projects that have a zoning requirement that might be forced by locality, like an inclusionary zoning requirement,” he said. “They might be projects that have mixed income within them, so there’s a component that has an affordability piece to it, but then there’s a market rate component to that. And they might be in a rural town where you have an old Victorian house that somebody’s converting into five, six, seven units.”

    Caswell said the department would publish lists of which projects get approved and how much each receives. And he said guidance for how developments could apply would be published ahead of June.

    Rep. Susan Almy, a Lebanon Democrat, noted issues Lebanon has had with building affordable housing; housing developments that have been approved recently have tended to benefit residents making above the median income, she said, and not those who need it most. Still, Almy said she would support the funding due to the extreme need in the Upper Valley.

    Senate President Chuck Morse, a Salem Republican and a candidate for U.S. Senate, said he supported the intention to make the program as flexible as possible.

    First announced during Sununu’s State of the State address in February, the $100 million plan has received varying reactions from advocacy groups. ABLE NH, a disability rights group, has opposed the structure of the program, contending that it should be targeted to low-income residents and include guarantees for independent living projects, noting that people with disabilities have been burdened by the pandemic.

    But one leading affordable housing organization, Housing Action New Hampshire, is supportive of the move.

    “There are certainly a lot of projects from the nonprofit developer community that are focused on delivering affordable units to New Hampshire’s workforce, that are in the pipeline and honestly have competed for very limited resources,” said Elissa Margolin, the organization’s director. “And so now we have an opportunity to move a lot of those ahead and then partner with municipalities at the same time.”

    The next step, Margolin continued, is to organize applications so that the affordable housing projects are given priority.

    New Hampshire Bulletin is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. New Hampshire Bulletin maintains editorial independence.

    Contact Editor Dana Wormald for questions: Follow New Hampshire Bulletin on Facebook and Twitter.

  • February 26, 2022 5:31 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    St. Patrick's DayThis St. Patrick's Day, keep the green in your community and choose local first.

    If you plan to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at home this year, order take-out at an independent restaurant or purchase meals ingredients at locally owned market. This year, despite the pandemic, Americans plan to spend $5.87 billion to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Let's shift some of that spending to locally owned businesses!

    Locally owned businesses help us keep the green in our communities. They strengthen our local economy, culture, and well-being. Independent businesses re-circulate more money in our community than chain stores. Moreover, studies show that small businesses create most new jobs.

    Want to do more? Move Your Money

  • February 26, 2022 5:03 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    We’re very excited to share that Monadnock Food Co-op selected Shop Indie Local as a Round It Up Donation Drive partner for March.  Starting March 1, donate your change to us at the Monadnock Food Co-op to help expand Shop Indie Local into a year-round movement in the Monadnock Region.

    Shop Indie Local celebrates locally owned businesses and works to increase spending at and investment in these businesses through events like Plaid Friday and Cider Monday. Supporting independent businesses is the key to building stronger local, equitable, and inclusive economies.

    "The Monadnock Region continues to serve as a model for how communities can implement a strong Shop Indie Local holiday campaign," said Michael Faber, Monadnock Food Co-op General Manager. "We're excited to see this movement expand to include campaigns to boost local investing and eating more locally grown and raised foods."

  • February 25, 2022 10:21 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Register for NH Gives Today!

    Any 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization headquartered in or providing services in NH can sign up to participate in the 24-hour giving day that has raised more than $8 million dollars for more than 900 nonprofits since 2016. Is your favorite nonprofit participating?
    NH Gives, an initiative of the NH Center for Nonprofits, is the Granite State's largest day-of-giving - bringing together hundreds of nonprofits and tens of thousands of donors to raise as much money and awareness as possible for the causes they care about. Make sure your favorite charitable nonprofit knows about NH Gives.  Registration is now open.
    Find out more or register today and be a part of NH Gives 2022 at or visit to learn more about it.

  • February 13, 2022 7:32 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Thanks to all of your support, The Local Crowd Monadnock met our crowdfunding goal of raising at least $100K for local businesses and initiatives in 2021.

    Here's a summary of our major accomplishments for last year:

    • Launched the Monadnock Restaurant Project, a homegrown stimulus effort that raised close to $30K to purchase gift cards from locally owned restaurants.  We strategically dispersed these gift cards to community members through partnering businesses.  Then, we asked participants to spend these cards quickly and above what the card is worth, providing an immediate shot in the arm to Keene’s local economy.
    • Grew our online marketplace for our region’s locally owned businesses, called TLC Monadnock Mercantile, compiling local products, gift cards, and takeout menus from 203 businesses all in one site.  
    • Collectively raised over $103K from 745 supporters for 8 crowdfunding campaigns in 2021.  See all our campaigns here!
    • Served as program manager for Shop Indie Local, a program of the American Independent Business Alliance, that boosted the success of Plaid Friday and Cider Monday in our region and throughout the nation.

    TLC Monadnock can't do this work without your support, so again THANK YOU!  We can't wait to see what we accomplish together in 2022.

    Download Our Report

  • January 02, 2022 8:56 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) partnered with The Local Crowd Monadnock to launch a crowdfunding campaign. This campaign will raise funds to grow AMIBA’s Shop Indie Local program, a year-round movement to grow more local, equitable, and inclusive economies.

    “For the past decade, our Shop Indie Local partners have pulled together to support locally owned businesses during the holiday season,” said Jen Risley, AMIBA’s Shop Indie Local Coordinator. “Now, we invite you to fuel our year-round movement!”

    Our crowdfunding campaign will offer a limited number of rewards to individuals who give at certain financial levels. For example, for $25, a campaign supporter can opt to receive a signed copy of local economist Michael Shuman‘s latest book, Put Your Money Where Your Life Is.

    Offline donations are also accepted. Checks should be made out to AMIBA with “Shop Indie Local” in the memo and mailed to AMIBA, PO Box 6601, Cincinnati, OH, 45206-9998.

    Support Our Campaign Today!

  • December 27, 2021 12:09 PM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    19th Annual Keene Ice and Snow Festival

    Saturday, February 5, 10am - 4pm

    In Downtown Keene, NH

    Come to Downtown Keene for a day of free winter fun for everyone!

    Ice Carvers, Snow Sculptures, Children's Train Ride, Snow Slide, Circus Arts, Campfire Smores, Sugar on Snow, Sidewalk Sales, Find the Yetis Scavenger Hunt & Free Signature Hot Chocolate Stations, Face Painting & More. 

    Stay Updated

  • December 27, 2021 5:26 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    A big thank you to everyone who gave a gift to our community -- by shopping at locally owned businesses this holiday season.  Now, here’s your chance to stand up for our independent businesses this New Year.

    Congress is debating six historic anti-monopoly bills aimed primarily at Big Tech corporations. These bills can help level the playing field for small businesses and curb some of the negative impacts these corporations have on our local economy.  Keep reading to learn more and then contact your representatives today.

    Online sales affect jobs, taxes, and land-use patterns in local communities.  In terms of jobs, one study found that independent retailers employ 57 people for every $10 million in sales, while Amazon employs only 14 people per $10 million in revenue.  In 2018, Amazon sales in New Hampshire resulted in a net loss of 4,287 retail jobs.

    The latter statistic came from a study by Civic Economics called Prime Numbers: Amazon and American Communities.  The study found that Amazon’s sales in 2018 resulted in the loss of over $5.5 billion in tax revenues, 900,000 retail jobs, and 540 million square feet of commercial space nationally.  In New Hampshire, the study calculated that Amazon’s sales displaced 296 retail storefronts in our state. 

    Read More

    Another way Amazon impacts small businesses is through third-party sales. Here’s an excerpt from a new report called Amazon’s Toll Road by Stacy Mitchell from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance:

    One of the most striking measures of Amazon’s monopoly power is the extraordinary amount of money that it’s able to extract from the independent businesses that rely on its site to reach customers. In this report, we find that, over the last two years, Amazon’s revenue from the fees it levies on third-party sellers has more than doubled. In 2019, Amazon pocketed $60 billion in seller fees. This year, its take will soar to $121 billion, our analysis finds.

    Amazon’s dominance of online retail means that small businesses have little choice but to rely on its site to reach consumers. This report finds that Amazon is exploiting its gatekeeper power to pocket a growing cut of the revenue earned by these independent sellers. It’s doing this by imposing ever-larger fees on them. These exorbitant fees make it nearly impossible for sellers to sustain a viable business online. Most fail.

    Operating an unregulated, monopoly tollbooth that sits between businesses and consumers is wildly lucrative. Amazon’s revenue from the tolls it imposes on sellers has soared, growing much faster than every other major revenue stream, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), its vast cloud division. These fees generate huge profits for Amazon, a fact that the tech giant conceals in its financial reports.

    Amazon’s ability to extract such steep tolls from businesses selling online is a striking illustration of its monopoly power. These fees also play a crucial role in how Amazon maintains that power. As this report details, Amazon depends on profits from seller fees to fund massive losses in other areas of its operations — losses that serve to entrench and expand its dominance.

    Policymakers must act to end Amazon’s exploitation and create an open, dynamic, and competitive online market.  Read the full report and please stand up for small businesses today!

  • October 27, 2021 6:14 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    With an aging population, smaller family size, and stagnant wages, we need to pursue creative solutions to overcome our region's housing shortage. An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) -- a home built on the lot of an existing home -- offers one underutilized solution where a homeowner becomes a home creator.

    Learn more about ADUs at a free, virtual discussion called "ADUs: How Homeowners Can Become Home Creators" on Wednesday, November 3, 5:30 - 7 p.m. 

    Register today!

    Panelists will share the positive impacts of ADUs, what's preventing us from building more ADUs, and how we can overcome these barriers. We'll hear from   Christopher Lee from Backyard ADUs, RJ Adler from Wheel Pad, Tyler Maas from Vermont State Housing Authority, and Barbara Conrey from Sustainable Montpelier Coalition.

    James Vayo of Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission will moderate the discussion.  Event partners include Southwest Region Planning Commission, Vital Communities, and The Local Crowd Monadnock.

    Other TLC Monadnock News: Shop Early, Shop Local

    Why Shop Indie Local early this holiday season? Supply and staffing shortages mean locally owned businesses face even more challenges this year. Let's ensure that independent businesses have strong end-of-the-year sales by supporting them now: Pre-order gifts and supplies today, buy a gift card, support our crowdfunding campaign, and share on social media how much you love locally owned businesses (tag your post with #shopindielocal).

    Save the Date: Plaid Friday is November 26

    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 26!

    Some independent businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs.  Hubs will 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!

    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 500 pictures from past Plaid Fridays.

    RSVP: Plaid Friday

    Also, don't forget that our Shop Indie Local crowdfunding campaign ends October 31. We're at 75% of our goal -- so close!  With your support now, we will inspire more and more AND MORE community participation in Plaid Friday this year.  Together, we will leverage the importance of supporting locally owned businesses, encourage more of us to shift our holiday spending to independent businesses, and affirm your dedication to the local economy movement.

    Contribute to our success and support us today! 

    Scroll down our page and claim a reward from Cheshire Garden, Life Is Sweet, or Monadnock Food Co-op (while supplies last).  If you prefer to send a check, please make one out to Monadnock Food Co-op with Shop Indie Local in the memo.  Please mail it to Monadnock Food Co-op, c/o Jen Risley, 34 Cypress Street, Keene, NH, 03431. Thank you!

    Don't Forget: TLC Monadnock Proposals Due October 31

     Do you have an incredible project just waiting to happen -- one that would strengthen your business, our community, and the local economy -- if only you had the funds to make it happen?  Will your project support community goals while keeping to a budget of $15,000 or less?
    If you said yes to these questions, please consider applying to launch a crowdfunding campaign with The Local Crowd.

    TLC Monadnock will select up to six teams to participate in its next crowdfunding cohort, based on each project's potential to positively impact their local economy and community. Accepted proposals will launch their campaigns in winter or early spring 2022.

    Additionally, TLC Monadnock will award one proposal a free video produced by 710 Main Films to support their crowdfunding campaign. Studies show that crowdfunding campaigns with videos raise four times more funds than campaigns without videos.

    While we welcome all for-profits, nonprofits, and community initiatives to apply, we'll give preference to projects that address affordable housing, local food and farms, and equity.   

    All proposals are due before 5:00 p.m. on October 31, 2021.

    View all the details.

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The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431

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