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  • 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 25, 2022 4:39 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Show Your Local Love This Valentine’s Day

    This Valentine’s Day, show your “local love” -- love for your sweetie and your whole community -- by purchasing gifts (or gift-making supplies) and meals (or ingredients) at locally owned businesses.   Last year, despite the pandemic, Americans spent $21.8 billion on Valentine’s DayImagine if we shifted some of that spending to locally owned businesses!

    Locally owned businesses offer us much to love.  They strengthen our local economy, culture, and wellbeing. Independent businesses re-circulate four times more money in our community than chain stores.  Moreover, studies show that small businesses create most new jobs -- meaning today’s local Valentines are tomorrow’s jobs.

    Last year’s National Retail Federation survey found that 24 percent of Americans planned to celebrate with a special evening out (the lowest in the survey’s history). Instead, 41 percent planned to hold that special meal at home.  Also, no surprise, online stores were the top place to shop for gifts.  If you plan to shop for Valentine’s gifts online, please check if your favorite locally owned shop has an online store.  Or browse our online collection of Valentine’s Day items from independent businesses at TLC Monadnock Mercantile.


    Here are some extra special ways to show your local love this Valentine’s Day:

    Purchase chocolates from Ava Marie Handmade Chocolates in Peterborough, Life is Sweet Candy Shop in Keene, Ye Goodie Shop in Keene, or L.A. Burdick Chocolates in Walpole.  Have you seen Burdick’s seasonal Chocolate Tigers to celebrate the Year of the Tiger? Adorable and available to ship now through February 5.

    Give a gift that keeps giving, select a weekly Flower CSA Share from Vera Flora Farm in Gilsum, Ripple Cut Flower Farm in Peterborough, or Catbird Flower Farm in Keene.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, meaning your purchase of a share now helps these farmers invest in the future growing season with confidence -- knowing that their bounty will go to a good home.

    Send a greeting card from Tree-Free Greetings.  They make their cards out of sustainable materials such as kenaf, hemp, wheat straw, and sugarcane waste -- right at their solar-powered facility here in Keene.  Tree-Free donates 25% of their revenue (not just their profits) to nonprofits through their Cards for a Cause program.  Pick up a card online or at Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene.

    On February 11, join the Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene for their Local Love Sample Night from 4-6 p.m. Enjoy free samples of local and regional goodies perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift or to complement a Valentine’s Day meal.

    Great news!  Last year, for the FIRST TIME, small businesses made it to the top five Valentine’s shopping destinations in National Retail Federation’s survey.  The local love spirit is growing!  So, continue to show lots of local love this Valentine’s Day. That love will circle back to you, your loved ones, and -- best of all -- your entire community.

    Looking for another way to show the local love and support local economies everywhere?  Support our Shop Indie Local crowdfunding campaign on The Local Crowd Monadnock and fuel our year-round movement to grow more local, equitable, and inclusive economies.  With your help, we’ll strengthen campaigns like Plaid Friday and Eat Local Month in the Monadnock Region and throughout North America.  Plus, we’ll add new efforts like Move Your Money and Shop Black-Owned Month. 

    Give today!

    Our crowdfunding campaign also offers a limited number of rewards to individuals who give at certain financial levels. For example, for $25, you 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.  Thank you for fueling the Shop Indie Local Movement!

  • 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.

  • October 19, 2021 5:00 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    What are “accessory dwelling units” (ADUs), and how can they help address our regional housing shortage? Find out in this free, virtual discussion, ADUs: How Homeowners Can Become Home Creators, on Wednesday, November 3, 5:30-7 pm.

    Register today!

    New Hampshire and Vermont, like much of the nation, are struggling to create housing options that meet the needs of a changing population and a shifting economy. Our population is aging, with many older adults wanting to remain in their communities but who cannot find appropriately scaled, universally accessible homes nearby. Households are becoming smaller, with families choosing to have fewer children and consequently looking for housing that’s smaller than the conventional single-family home. Wages have remained flat while housing costs have soared, straining household budgets and putting much of the housing market out of reach for working and middle-class families.

    Addressing these challenges will require pursuing a variety of strategies and creating a range of housing types. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)—a home built on a lot of an existing home—offer one approach that communities and ordinary homeowners can use to create much-needed housing that fits within the context of a surrounding neighborhood.

    Join us for a virtual discussion about:

    • How ADUs have positively impacted the lives of their inhabitants
    • What’s preventing more widespread construction of ADUs
    • What are some strategies for addressing barriers.

    Our panelists will include:

    This virtual discussion will be moderated by James Vayo of Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission and is brought to you by Southwest Region Planning Commission, Vital Communities, and The Local Crowd Monadnock.

  • October 03, 2021 8:23 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    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.

    Apply Today!


    New Crowdfunding Campaign: Shop Indie Local

    For a decade, our community has come together to support our locally owned businesses and the Shop Indie Local movement.  This year's Shop Indie Local efforts (including our community's signature Plaid Friday and Cider Monday events) will provide critical relief to local business owners -- our friends and neighbors.   

    With your support now, we will inspire more and more AND MORE community participation.  This is THE year to support this movement.  Together, we will leverage the importance of supporting locally owned businesses, inspire 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!

    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!

    The Farm Café: Outdoor Patio Campaign

    Congratulations to The Farm Café in Keene. They surpassed their crowdfunding campaign goal!  They raised $3,593 to purchase new outdoor tables, chairs, and umbrellas to create a welcoming and safe outdoor dining patio area in front of their business. 

    More about TLC Monadnock

    TLC Monadnock is a community-based crowdfunding platform that empowers individuals to support the businesses, organizations, and initiatives that grow wealthier and healthier communities in our region.  Crowdfunding, or the practice of raising funds to support a project from a large number of people, is a viable alternative to recruiting businesses from outside the region to boost economic activity.  Our goal is to raise at least $100K for ten campaign teams in 2021.  We’re thrilled to share that, as of today, we’ve supported eight campaign teams who have raised over $90K.  We’re so close to reaching our goal with just two months to go!

    TLC Monadnock is currently hosted by Monadnock Food Co-op and supported by the Greater Keene and Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation.   Have questions? Please contact me at jen@thelocalcrowd.com or 603-400-9157.

  • October 03, 2021 8:17 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    Harvey Edwards shared a local food and farm update with us. In turn, we wanted to share it with all of you!  Josie Britton painted as mural on the barn of her family’s farm, The Britton Farm in Walpole.  

    “We can always use a smile, especially when feeling stressed,” shared Harvey.  “And this mural that Josie Britton created certainly makes one stop and smile. Even more so when one of the cows or bulls at their farm is also looking out the real window and admiring this work of art.”

    Josie's father, Larry Britton, recently finished renovating this barn -- built in the 1700s by his Great-Great-Grandfather. Josie worked with her sister, Emily, to add a colorful mural to the barn this August.

    We hope you’ll check out Josie’s mural the next time you travel down Watkins Hill Road.  Thank you, Harvey, for sharing this story with us!


  • September 25, 2021 7:38 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Shop Early, Shop Local: October is the New December


    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:

    A huge thank you to the American Booksellers Association for creating the October is the New December campaign to boost the Shop Early, Shop Local message.  Check out their campaign here.

    “Bookstores Need Your Help. As booksellers are in the midst of the important fourth-quarter sales season, the American Booksellers Association encourages readers to shop local. Check with your local independent bookstore how you can shop with them — whether in-store, online, or both.”

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

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