Originally Published in the Monadnock Shopper News
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, Americans spent $20.7 billion on Valentine’s Day. Imagine if we shifted some of that spending to locally owned businesses!
“Talk about a sweetheart gift! If every family in the country shifted $100 of their Valentine’s Day shopping budget to locally owned, independent businesses over $7.8 billion would be directly returned to local communities,” shared our friends at Independent We Stand.
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 most new jobs are created by small businesses — meaning today’s local Valentines are tomorrow’s jobs.
Here are some extra special ways to show your local love this Valentine’s Day:
So, show lots of local love this Valentine’s Day, and the love will circle back to you, your loved ones and — best of all — your entire community.
We’re not sure. We'd love to see our region develop a set of Community Economic Development indicators that measure how well our regional economy is working for all people and business types.
From Economist Michael H. Shuman:
We then launched four surveys for different stakeholders (from entrepreneurs to service providers) to help us evaluate the impact of our CED initiatives.
While we need more participation to draw any statistically significant results, the answers we received pointed to some needed next steps:
Only 52% of survey respondents agreed that our region had a compelling vision for Community Economic Development. This leads us to want to better promote the current Southwest Region Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and Monadnock Region Future Plan from Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC).
A successful CED program must begin with a vision statement about its goals, one that is rooted in a serious community process. We want to support the work of SWRPC and the next strategy update to ensure that clearer indicators are identified and added to our plans.
Just 20% of survey respondents agree that our region has set clear indicators to measure whether we are reaching our CED goals.
A successful CED program will have empirical indicators, updated regularly, that provide understandable information about whether the vision is being realized.
Interested in moving this work forward? Please contact us today!
This month, TLC Monadnock will award one campaign team a free video, produced by 710 Main Films, to support their crowdfunding project.
Studies show that crowdfunding campaigns with videos raise four times more funds than campaigns without videos.
710 Main Films partnered with TLC Monadnock to produce crowdfunding videos for a number of successful campaigns over the past years. Check them out here and learn more about our latest Request for Proposals!
Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News
We’re wrapping up another inspiring year of supporting locally owned businesses and community groups through The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock. TLC Monadnock, a community-based crowdfunding program, helped four crowdfunding campaign teams raise $32,960 from 285 supporters in 2019, bringing our totals to eighteen teams raising over $126,000 since launching in 2017.
Always looking to reflect on our progress while planning for the future, we reached out to past crowdfunding campaign leaders to check in and catch up.
Cheshire Garden, a small family farm in Winchester, grows heirloom fruits and herbs that they turn into amazing jams, mustards and other products. One of my favorites, Frosty Fruit Pops! Farmer Patti Powers brings her popsicles to events like the Farmers’ Market of Keene and Winchester Pickle Festival.
Before her crowdfunding campaign, Patti used a portable freezer that ran off her car battery to keep her pops cool. Or she had to hunt down an open electrical socket, something in short supply at many outdoor festivals. She wanted a more reliable and environmentally sustainable way to keep things chill. Enter TLC Monadnock! Patti raised over $2,000 from 41 supporters to buy a portable generator and the solar panels to charge it.
Patti found that the solar-powered generator could be used in other useful ways on her farm. “We don’t actually have a lawn, but we do mow between all the garden beds and bought a battery-powered lawnmower this summer,” Patti shared. “Now we can charge that battery with the solar generator and do all that mowing with no gasoline. And even in winter, the solar-powered generator helps us heat Tiny Pie House, our little farm store, by powering a small electric heater.”
Marty Castriotta of Village Roots Permaculture Farm raised over $11,000 from 104 supporters to raise a barn in June 2018. This month, he will finish preparing the barn’s siding with high school students from the LEAF Charter School in Alstead. They use a method of waterproofing the local pine siding by burning and oiling it, a practice inspired by Shou Sugi Ban from Japan. Keene State College interns will help install the siding. This spring, they will add a shed roof over the cow loafing area and construct a walk-in cooler.
“In permaculture design, the ethics of the design are considered, including that of Careful Process,” shared Marty. “We started our barn in 2013 and each step has been weighed and considered in relation to the overall benefit for the community, the environment, animal welfare and the local food network we serve.”
In 2018, The New Hampshire Bee Initiative was launched by Melissa Stephenson and Kin Schilling to raise awareness about the plight of all pollinators. Their first action was joining The Good of the Hive, a global initiative inspired by artist Matthew Willey’s commitment to hand paint 50,000 individual honey bees on murals and installations around the world. The Town of Peterborough offered up the Community Center’s wall for Matt to use.
Since establishing and celebrating the mural (see highlights!), Melissa and Kin continue their outreach. They made Mason bee houses with the kids at Camp Best two years in a row, gave a talk at Fitchburg State and took observation hives to farmers’ markets and schools.
Archway Farm in Keene, one of the first campaigns to launch on TLC Monadnock, used crowdfunding to purchase a food truck. Farmer Mark Florenz travels to various community events with this truck, introducing his pasture-raised pork to new people throughout our region.
“We did three smaller events this year partnering with the Monadnock Food Co-op, Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition, and Picadilly Farm,” shared Mark. “We really enjoy the smaller events as they give us a good chance to get out and talk with a lot of our customers. We also were at the Dublin Gas Engine Meet for our one larger event. I anticipate a similar mix of events for 2020.”
Fresh off the rush of running their crowdfunding campaigns this fall, the progress for these projects is still unfolding! But here are some quick updates -- more to come in 2020.
Noah Elbers and Cara Campbell raised over $14,500 from 120 supporters to purchase a New American Stone Mill for Orchard Hill Breadworks in East Alstead. They expect their mill to arrive sometime this month.
“It will likely take us a few months of experimenting to figure out what changes we need to make to our process and formulas in order to accommodate milling and incorporate the new flours, as well as settle on consistent and good sources of grain,” said Cara. “So, it will likely be April or so before we are able to have it in our breads on a regular basis.”
Kat Wood and Aaron Shields raised over $2,500 to support individuals in recovery by providing scholarships to attend regular yoga classes at Mudita Massage & Wellness based in Keene. If you know someone who might be interested in one of these scholarships, find details at mudita.live/yoga-for-recovery-scholarships.
“The whole experience from planning, to rolling out, to finishing successfully in meeting our goal was valuable for us and allowed for people in our community to contribute in a positive way that they believe in,” shared Kat. “Crowdfunding is the perfect example of the ‘do what you can, where you are, with what you have’ mentality to create change.”
Mary Ewell and John Kondos from Monadnock Sustainability Network raised over $10,800 to help bring an electric vehicle fast charger to the Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene. These funds will meet the Volkswagon Restitution grant match requirement when they apply in late January.
“By adding fast charging, we establish Keene as an oasis in the NH EV charging desert,” said John. “A fast charger can provide 80-100% charging for electric vehicles, while parked at the co-op, in under 30 minutes… These fast chargers will change the EV landscape in the Monadnock Region, and let visitors and residents alike know in Keene the future has arrived.”
In the new year, watch for crowdfunding campaigns from The Cornucopia Project, Food Connects, Keene Housing Kids Collaborative and maybe one from your favorite business? Our next Request for Proposals is open and we invite emerging and established businesses based in the Monadnock Region, state of New Hampshire or Vermont to submit project proposals. Learn more! All proposals are due before 5:00 p.m. on January 17, 2020.
Thanks to all our campaign teams and the community that supports them -- together, we’re The Local Crowd!
The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock, a community-based crowdfunding program serving the entire Monadnock Region and state of New Hampshire, invites emerging and established social enterprises to submit project proposals.
For this proposal cycle, TLC Monadnock seeks projects focusing on affordable housing, farms & food or living wage jobs & equity. While all for-profits, non-profits and community initiatives are welcome to apply, projects addressing these community needs will receive extra campaign support and resources -- beyond what is currently provided to all TLC Monadnock campaigns.
All crowdfunding campaign teams receive hands-on technical assistance to help them launch a successful crowdfunding campaign. Campaign teams also receive a free crowdfunding assessment to ensure that they receive the coaching and training that best fits each team's needs.
In addition, 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.
TLC Monadnock will select up to six social enterprises to participate in this crowdfunding cohort, based on the potential of each project to positively impact their local economy and community. Accepted proposals will launch their campaigns in winter or early spring.
This request for proposals is available online at tlcmonadnock.com/rfp. All proposals are due before 5:00 p.m. on January 17, 2020.
Crowdfunding is the process in which an entrepreneur, business, or organization asks a large number of people (usually through the Internet) to contribute a certain amount of money for a specific project. By leveraging the power of crowdfunding, TLC Monadnock's fundraising platform offers an innovative way for community members to support the projects they care about.
For more information, visit tlcmonadnock.com or contact Jen Risley at 603-283-5401.
TLC Monadnock is one of five communities participating in a research project with the National Science Foundation and The Local Crowd designed to uncover the best ways to support social enterprises -- mission-driven organizations that use business principles to make the world a better place.
Locally, this program is hosted by Monadnock Food Co-op and managed by a team of volunteer community economic development leaders and business advisors. Program partners include New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation.
The Local Crowd Monadnock is a community-based crowdfunding program helping start-up ventures, early-growth stage companies and community-focused projects find access to capital. Since TLC Monadnock launched in March 2017, eighteen crowdfunding campaigns have collectively raised over $120,000 from 900 supporters.
This year’s Plaid Friday, Cider Monday and Shop Indie Local events are truly community-funded, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign on The Local Crowd Monadnock! Forty-five supporters contributed $5,039 to help us spread the word and inspire more people to join our movement. Together, we're generating ripple effects that create new jobs, charitable contributions and community prosperity.
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 29th.
Twenty-one 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. From Harrisville to Winchester, find a hub near you.
Manning Hill Farm in Winchester will offer a special photo-op: a photo of you in plaid with one of their cows also decked out in Plaid. Stop by the farm from Noon to 4 p.m. Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate made with their own chocolate milk and get 15% off purchases at their farm shop. View more Plaid Friday specials.
Wearing plaid in Keene on Plaid Friday? The Luxury Box Photo Booth will take photos at Ted's Shoe & Sport in Keene from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Elm City Brewing Company in Keene from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Plan on wearing plaid in Peterborough? Be sure to get your photo taken with local photographer Kim Peck in front of The Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
We will add these photos to our annual collage, celebrating all who wore plaid and showed their support for locally owned businesses and our local economy. Stay tuned for these photos on Facebook.
Instead of Cyber Monday, a day when online merchants offer special deals, we invite you to Cider Monday. On December 2nd, stop in for a free cup of cider from participating Cider Monday businesses including The Toadstool Bookshops in Keene and Peterborough, Monadnock Food Co-op, Mon Amie Fine Jewelry, Savings Bank of Walpole and The Yoga Space. Learn more!
From your Thanksgiving meal to your New Year's Eve celebration, Shop Indie Local! On November 1, the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) launched its Shop Indie Local holiday campaign, encouraging all of us to shift more of our holiday shopping, entertaining and dining to locally owned and independent businesses.
This national movement empowers us all to support local job creation and economic growth through our holiday purchases at locally owned and independent businesses. Over 70 business organizations and networks throughout the United States support this campaign that continues through December.
Savings Bank of Walpole will host a long weekend of Shop Indie Local celebrations from Friday, November 29 to Tuesday, December 3. The bank will set up information tables at each of their branches with Plaid Friday swag to inspire more people to participate in this year's event.
Community members are encouraged to wear plaid and stop by the bank's Marlboro Street branch to take a selfie in front of the bank's Plaid Friday backdrop. Savings Bank of Walpole will then share these photos on social media to further promote this event.
A big THANK YOU to this year's Plaid Friday, Cider Monday and Shop Indie Local sponsors: Beeze Tees Screen Printing, CC&D's Kitchen, Cheshire Horse, Creative Encounters, Cultural Cocoon, The Dragonfly Shop, Elm City Brewing Company, The Farm Café, Food Connects, Frogg Brewing, Hannah Grimes Marketplace, Joseph's Coat, Korvin Appliance, LuvINK&Paper, The Luxury Box Photo Booth, Mayfair Farm, Monadnock Food Co-op, One Stop Country Pet Supply, Peterborough Art Academy, Prime Roast Coffee, Savings Bank of Walpole, Ted's Shoe & Sport, Toadstool Bookshops in Keene and Peterborough, Tribals, Rugs by Hand and The Works Café.
Thanks to all who contribute to the success of Plaid Friday, Cider Monday and Shop Indie Local. See you this weekend!
Farmers’ Market of Keene: Monadnock Waldorf School, 98 S. Lincoln St. Every Saturday, November through December; 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. SNAP/EBT accepted. email@example.com, http://www.keenefarmersmarket.com/.
Peterborough Farmers’ Market: Peterborough Community Center, 25 Elm St., Weds. Oct.-Dec 20, 3– 6 p.m. Vegetables, flowers/plants, dairy, maple, baked goods, meat, crafts. 396-9136, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.facebook.com/PeterboroughNHFarmersMarket.
Winchester Farmers’ Market on Main: Town Hall, 1 Richmond Rd., Sat., Nov. – May, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Vegetables, maple, baked goods, meat, jams/jellies, eggs, Vegan foods, fudge, hand made soap, crafts. Live music, holiday card and cookie decorating, visits with Santa and more. SNAP/EBT accepted. 239-6361, email@example.com, www.winchesterfarmersmarketnh.com.
View New Hampshire Winter Farmers’ Markets (2019/2020 Season)
From the NH Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food
**Please contact market to verify products available**
Here is a new must-do event for your holiday list! Monadnock Music has orchestrated a Holiday House Tour like no other. Visit beautifully decorated homes on Pine Street in Peterborough and enjoy Live Classical Music & Carolers, along with festive refreshments on Friday, December 6th From 5:30pm To 7:30pm. This event is a perfect way to kick off the Holiday Spirit and bring the whole family to partake the New England traditions.
Each home will be welcoming guests to view their traditional family holiday decorations, listen to live holiday classics played by the talented musicians of Monadnock Music and nibble on the festive hot drinks and cookies provided by each Host. Visitors can stroll to each house at their own pace, at their desired sequence, no need to follow a group!
Cost for the House Tour, Musical Entertainment and Refreshments is $15 per person or $40 for a family (children 10 and under $5), Free to all Vets. Take a peak at the locations of the homes and the lovely refreshments listed below. There is plenty of street parking. Please contact Laina Barakat, Executive Director of Monadnock Music if you require assistance for physical challenges at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make your new Holiday tradition and purchase your tickets online.
Greenwood Home — 34 Pine Street - Hot Mulled Wine, Punch & Shortbread
Koch Home — 29 Pine Street - Hot Cider & Oatmeal Cookies
Drogy Home — 27 Pine Street - Hot Coco & Chocolate Orange Cookies
Ruland Home — 38 Pine Street - Hot Cranberry Cider & Snickerdoodles
Monadnock Music is a Nonprofit Organization · Peterborough, New Hampshire. We are one of New England's most diverse and exciting summer classical music festivals, encompassing all sub-genres, styles, and periods. We provide quality, adventure, intimacy, and a welcoming atmosphere in beautiful settings.
You're invited! Independent businesses and community members in the Monadnock Region will celebrate Plaid Friday on the day after Thanksgiving. This year's event falls on Friday, November 29, 2019.
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 during the holiday season. Last year, nearly 400 community members pledged to participate in Plaid Friday.
To amplify this year's event, Savings Bank of Walpole will host a Plaid Friday Week from Friday, November 29 to Tuesday, December 3. The bank will set up information tables at each of their branches with Plaid Friday swag to inspire more people to participate in this year's event. Community members are encouraged to wear plaid throughout this week and stop by the bank's Marlboro Street branch to take a selfie in front of the bank's Plaid Friday backdrop. Savings Bank of Walpole will then share these photos on social media to further promote this event.
"With Savings Bank of Walpole (SBW) being the community's local bank, we want to show our support for our local businesses," said Danielle Ruffo, Savings Bank of Walpole's new Community Engagement Coordinator. "SBW serves many customers in our community -- and keeping your money local is what we are all about. Supporting Plaid Friday and the 'Shop Indie Local' movement is all part of helping our local community thrive and grow."
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 with the intent to bring back the times when shopping for friends and family was a pleasurable and leisurely activity.
A growing list of locally owned businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs, photographing customers decked out in plaid and answering questions about this event. View a list of Plaid Friday Hubs.
Local photographer Kim Peck will host a Plaid Friday Photo Booth outside of The Toadstool Bookshop at 12 Depot Square in Peterborough (times TBD). In Keene, Ted's Shoe & Sport at 115 Main Street will host a Plaid Friday Photo Booth inside his store with Luxury Box Photo Booth, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The photo booth will then move to Elm City Brewery at 222 West Street (times TBD). Photos will be added to a Plaid Friday collage, celebrating all who wore plaid: bit.ly/MBLplaidfriday.
A number of participating businesses will offer specials to honor the day and thank community members for their support. View these specials.
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.
The Monadnock Region's Plaid Friday event is sponsored by Beeze Tees Screen Printing, CC&D's Kitchen, Cheshire Horse, Creative Encounters, Cultural Cocoon, The Dragonfly Shop, Elm City Brewery, The Farm Cafe, Food Connects, Frogg Brewing, Hannah Grimes Marketplace, Joseph's Coat, Korvin Appliance, LuvINK&Paper, The Luxury Box Photo Booth, Marcia Kayser, Mayfair Farm, Monadnock Food Co-op, One Stop Country Pet Supply, Peterborough Art Academy, Prime Roast Coffee, Savings Bank of Walpole, Ted's Shoe & Sport, Toadstool Bookshops in Keene and Peterborough, Tribals - Rugs by Hand and The Works Cafe.
Shop Indie Local provides a gateway to resources from many community campaigns and includes easy-to-use graphics and activities that allow participating partners to spread the critical message easily where they live. Visit the site for information on the campaign, partnering organizations, special events, and stories from Granite State communities making the shift in 2019. Plaid Friday and Shift Your Shopping for the Holidays campaigns, in collaboration with national local economy leaders at The American Independent Business Alliance.
Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News
From your Thanksgiving meal to your New Year’s Eve celebration, are you ready to Shop Indie Local? On November 1, the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) will launch its Shop Indie Local holiday campaign, encouraging all of us to shift more of our holiday shopping, entertaining and dining to locally owned and independent businesses. This national movement empowers us all to support local job creation and economic growth through our holiday purchases at locally owned and independent businesses. Over 50 business organizations and networks throughout the United States will kick off this collaborative campaign next week. The campaign continues through December.
When you spend your dollars at locally owned retail businesses in the Monadnock Region four times more money returns to our local economy compared to chain retailers. Spend a dollar at an independent business and 62 cents returns to our local economy, spend it at a chain store and only 13 cents returns.
The money that returns recirculates through our economy, generating ripple effects that create new 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.
Here are five tips to boost your Shop Indie Local efforts:
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. LuvInk&Paper in Keene will offer a Plaid Friday Holiday Card Buffet at their studio (103 Roxbury Street – Suite 306). Stay tuned for more!
Wearing plaid in Keene on Plaid Friday? Hop on into the Luxury Box Photo Booth at Ted’s Shoe & Sport at 115 Main Street in Keene on November 29th. Kim Peck will also set up a booth in Peterborough – stay tuned for the location. 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 photos from past Plaid Fridays at bit.ly/MBLplaidfriday.
Also, to amplify this year’s event, Savings Bank of Walpole will host a Plaid Friday Launch Party. We’ll post more details in early November.
That’s not a typo! Instead of Cyber Monday, a day when online merchants offer special deals, the Toadstool Bookshops invite you to a new tradition, CIDER Monday. On December 2nd, stop in for a free cup of cider and browse their amazing selection of books. In response to Cyber Monday, a day when online merchants offer deep discounts to divert your attention away from buying locally, Willard Williams of the Toadstool Bookshops dreamed up this new tradition.
“Customers are promised cider and smiling servers that will not crash,” said Willard. “As always, we’ll offer personal service, advice and the opportunity to touch and try items — with no logins or passwords necessary! Join us in taking a bite out of Cyber Monday.”
A big THANK YOU to this year’s Plaid Friday and Cider Monday sponsors: Cheshire Garden, The Cheshire Horse, The Dragonfly Shop, Frogg Brewing, Hannah Grimes Marketplace, LuvINK&Paper, Monadnock Food Co-op, Prime Roast Coffee, Savings Bank of Walpole, Ted’s Shoe & Sport, and The Yoga Space. Own an independent business? It’s not too late to jump in and participate. Contact us today at email@example.com.
Please join us and Shop Indie Local this holiday season. Together we’ll create a true holiday gift to our community — one that will keep on giving throughout the New Year.
The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431