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Join With Us!

We invite you to join Monadnock Buy Local, a network of retailers, service providers, restaurateurs, non-profit organizations and more.  We’re in our fifth year and we hope to connect with you and your staff, as well as your customers and clients.

While member surveys show that most of us joined Monadnock Buy Local to encourage our customers and clients to “think local first” (and make locally owned businesses their first choice), we also joined to help our local economy grow, meet like-minded business owners and find ways to source more of our own products and services locally.

Our values may drive us to join – but we also enjoy many membership benefits, such as a listing in Monadnock Buy Local’s annual Buy Local Guide, that is distributed throughout the Monadnock Region, and group marketing opportunities during public education campaigns such as Plaid Friday.

A new nationwide survey of independent business owners yielded powerful evidence that pro-local attitudes are growing, driving customer traffic, and indicates the educational work of Monadnock Buy Local and more than one hundred similarly-organized groups are yielding large benefits for their members. Together we are stronger!

Join With Us Before May 1, 2014

For more information, please contact us at 603-283-5401, monadnockbuylocal@gmail.com.

Together, we are stronger!

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City of Keene Mayor Kendall Lane will announce the winner of The Monadnock Green Business of the Year Award on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 12:15 p.m. during the Monadnock Earth Day Festival.  This award recognizes one socially and environmentally responsible business in the Monadnock Region. The nominees for this year’s award are the Amazing Flower Farm, Clark-Mortenson Insurance, Dave’s Automotive Enterprises, Hillside Spring Farm, Monadnock Food Co-op and Monadnock Paper Mill.

Monadnock Buy Local is proud to partner with the Keene Cities for Climate Protection Committee, Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Hannah Grimes Center and Monadnock Sustainability Network to award this honor to one for-profit business this year.

GBYA-2014-promo-2up“Holding events like this one are so important for engaging the public in community efforts to reward environmentally responsible businesses,” said Karen Purinton Keene City Planner.  “Not only do they provide media attention for employers that go above and beyond; these events further announce the community’s commitment to providing and consuming resources locally.”

This year’s Monadnock Earth Festival, sponsored by Antioch University New England, will take place next to the Monadnock Food Co-op at 34 Cypress Street in Keene, NH.  The theme, Healthy Community, Healthy Planet, will showcase local businesses, non-profits and individuals contributing to the health and wellness of the Monadnock community.

The Keene Cities for Climate Protection Committee was created to aid in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in order to protect the viability of the community and to protect public health, safety and welfare.  Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 8am at the Keene Public Library.  For further information contact Karen Purinton, City Planner at 603-352-5474.

Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News

And the winner of the 2014 Monadnock Green Business of the Year Award is … (drum roll, please). Darn it, we can’t announce the winner until the Monadnock Earth Day Festival on April 26, 2014, 12:15 p.m. at the Railroad Land next to the Monadnock Food Co-op.

While we’re waiting to announce this year’s winner — a business being recognized for its strong social and environmental practices — we want to gives kudos to the six businesses nominated for this year’s award. These businesses are all environmental and social responsibility leaders in their industry and in our region. Here’s just one highlight from each nominee’s application:

The Amazing Flower Farm in New Ipswich offers annuals, perennials and vegetable starts. Three years ago, they replaced their greenhouse oil and propane heaters with more sustainable wood pellet stoves. Their wood pellets are sourced only twelve miles away at New England Wood Pellet in Jaffrey.

Clark-Mortenson Insurance and Financial Services in Keene is one of the largest independently owned insurance agencies in New Hampshire. In 2009, their employees formed the Business Sustainability Committee (a.k.a. the Green Team) to identify and research environmentally friendly practices to recommend to their senior management. The team awards its own “Oscar” to the employee who suggests a good green initiative. The award winner receives a small Oscar the Grouch (from Sesame Street) “trophy,” proudly kept on the winner’s desk until it moves on to the next person.

Dave’s Automotive Enterprises in Marlborough is a family owned and operated Motor Vehicle Salvage Yard. They note in their application that up to 85% of an average car’s parts can be salvaged. Dave’s is a New Hampshire Green Yard Certified facility and they have developed their own monthly Green Yard and Water Runoff check sheet to help them make sure pollutants are safely contained and not leaking into the environment.

Hillside Springs Farm in Westmoreland is a biodynamic farm that uses plow horses instead of gas-powered tractors and other equipment to grow its vegetables. The farm also grows about 75% of their horses’ food and, in turn, the horses’ manure is added to the farm’s compost – recycling nutrients into the soil for the next harvest.

Monadnock Food Co-op a community-owned grocery store in downtown Keene. It works to keep its waste out of the landfill through a variety of methods such as collecting food scraps produced by its kitchen and produce departments for pick-up by local farmers to add to their own compost systems, saving waste from their Meat and Seafood Department for a meat rendering business that recycles the scraps into soaps and perfume and sharing their used cooking oil with another business that converts the waste into biodiesel.

Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. in Bennington produces up to 50 percent of its own electricity with its on-site hydroelectric power system. They recently upgraded their system and expect an increase of 400,000 kilowatt hours of self-generated electricity annually – reducing their dependence on nonrenewable sources. Monadnock Paper Mills is an EPA 100% Green Power Leader and since 2009 they have reduced their electricity consumption by 7%.

This year’s winner will join past year’s Monadnock Green Business of the Year Award winners: W.S. Badger, Filtrine Manufacturing, The Works Bakery Café and the Inn at Valley Farms.  This award is a partnership with the Keene Cities for Climate Protection, Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Hannah Grimes Center, Monadnock Buy Local and Monadnock Sustainability Network. Thank you to this year’s judges: John Kondos from the Monadnock Sustainability Project, Christine Hadlow from the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Rebeckah Bullock from Monadnock Buy Local, John Sturtz from the City of Keene Cities for Climate Protection Committee and Andrew Richardson from the Hannah Grimes Center.

Please join us on April 26th at 12:15pm when Mayor Kendall Lane announces this year’s Monadnock Green Business of the Year Award winner – and also plan to stay and enjoy a full day of fun at this year’s Monadnock Earth Day Festival. This year’s theme, Healthy Community, Healthy Planet, will showcase local businesses, non-profits and individuals contributing to the health and wellness of the Monadnock community. Save the date and stay tuned for details at https://www.facebook.com/MonadnockEarthDayFestival. We hope to see you there!

View our 2013 Annual Report1 - Annual Report 2013 Final_Page_1

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2014 Nominees

About the Award
In its fifth year, the Monadnock Green Business of the Year Award recognizes for-profit businesses using innovative practices or programs to increase their environmental stewardship and social responsibility, while contributing to the Monadnock Region’s economic vitality.

Eligibility is limited to for-profit businesses located in the Monadnock Region.

Community Partners
This year’s award is supported by the following community partners:

Calling all Buy Local fans!  We need your help to push Monadnock Buy Local up and over the summit of 200 members by May 1, 2014.

How can you help? 

As you visit locally owned businesses, work with nonprofits and visit friends, neighbors and family members who own businesses, ask them, “Are you a Monadnock Buy Local Member?”  If they say yes, thank them profusely (hugs may be appropriate!).   However, if they say no, ask them if they have any questions about us.  To help you answer some of their questions, current Monadnock Buy Local members contributed their own answers:

What is Monadnock Buy Local?

Missy Blanchard of MB Massage Studio in Keene answered, “We are group of businesses who share a common business value — supporting the businesses of our friends, neighbors and community.”

We come together to encourage our community to “think local first” (and make locally-owned businesses their first choice), help our local economy grow, meet like-minded business owners and find ways to source more of our own products and services locally.  We are retailers, wellness providers, architects, bankers, chefs, farmers, grocers, artists and more – and we invite you to join with us!

How can it help my business/nonprofit?  Why do others join?

“Individually we are all always talking about the benefits of buying locally, but it’s often with those who are already convinced. By joining together, the members of Monadnock Buy Local have the opportunity to reach a much bigger group of people and, through our events and directory, get the attention of a growing community of people eager to support locally owned businesses in the Monadnock Region,” shared Willard Williams of the Toadstool Bookshops.  “We joined because we believe it is a necessary and effective way to keep our stores at their best, and, we hope, enjoyable places for locals to shop and as attractions for visitors.”

Peter Poanessa of Keene Signworx stated, “Joining with others to strengthen our local economy makes sense to me. I live here, I run my business here and my friends and neighbors live here. The last five years have been a reminder of how destructive giant businesses can be to us all. Strengthening the local economy is the only possible defense against such disruption.”

Missy added, “I joined to be a part of something that is positive and that celebrates the work and creations of our friends and neighbors.  Being a member has reframed my own shopping habits.  I more carefully choose where I spend my money and aim to keep a healthy percentage of what I spend at locally owned businesses.”

Am I eligible to become a member?

You can join if your business or organization is:

  • Privately held and not publicly traded.
  • Located in our community and 50% or more of the business ownership lives within a reasonable distance from the MBL footprint or in our state more than half of the year.
  • Based locally with no corporate or national headquarters outside the state.
  • Able to make independent decisions regarding the name and look of the business, as well as all business purchasing practices and distribution.
  • Paying all marketing, rent, and other business expenses without assistance from a corporate headquarters.

Where can I learn more?

See who else is a member in your town by visiting http://monadnockbuylocal.wildapricot.org/Directory and learn more about Monadnock Buy Local from them. Or learn more from Monadnock Buy Local at www.monadnocklocal.org or contact us at 603-283-5401, monadnockbuylocal@gmail.com.

It takes our whole region to help Monadnock Buy Local reach its membership summit. We appreciate your help and your individual commitment to supporting our amazing network of diverse businesses in our region, owned by friends and neighbors, and to strengthening our local economy.

Join with us today!

A new nationwide survey of independent business owners yielded powerful evidence that pro-local attitudes are growing, driving customer traffic, and indicates the educational work of Monadnock Buy Local and more than one hundred similarly-organized groups are yielding large benefits for their members.

The seventh annual survey by the Institute for Local Self Reliance tallied responses from 2,602 businesses, all independent and locally owned, across all 50 states. About half were retailers.

Among the notable results:

  • Independent businesses reported revenue growth of 5.3% on average in 2013.  The retailers surveyed experienced a 1.4% increase in same-store holiday sales, comparable to many competing chains.
  • Independent businesses in communities with an active “buy independent/buy local” campaign run by grassroots groups like Monadnock Buy Local, saw revenues grow 7.0% in 2013, tripling the 2.3% increase for those in areas without an alliance.
  • More than 75% of businesses located in cities with active Independent Business Alliances/Local First organizations reported increased customer traffic or other benefits from these initiatives.

“Businesses that participate more in Monadnock Buy Local report a bigger impact from the campaign than those who are less engaged,” said Jen Risley, Monadnock Buy Local Board Member.  “Community members are responding to our work, such as our annual Plaid Friday event, and businesses spreading our messages are seeing more benefits.”

The survey also assessed major concerns of independent business owners, indicating:

  • Competition from large online companies poses the greatest challenge for retailers. More than three-quarters of independent retailers said their sales were hurt by Internet competitors not being required to collect sales tax.
  • Top policy priorities among respondents are closing the loophole that allows giant online retailers to avoid collecting sales tax to large online retailers, eliminating public subsidies and tax loopholes for large corporations and limiting credit card processor swipe fees.
  • For businesses that applied for bank loans within the past two years, 42% either were denied or received less money than requested.

“Knowing the issues that impact independently owned businesses nationwide, buy local campaigns and their partners can work together to build solutions to these common challenges,” said Risley.

“It’s great to see such thorough data supporting what we hear from local Alliances — that their work continues to shift local consciousness and is driving more business to local independents,” said Jeff Milchen, co-director of the American Independent Business Alliance, which partnered in the survey. Monadnock Buy Local is a member AMIBA, a national network of more than 85 community alliances supporting local entrepreneurs.

“With more than 130 members from 28 towns throughout the Monadnock Region, these results give us momentum to grow our membership and impacts in 2014,” said Risley.  “Our focus this year includes encouraging independent businesses to buy more from other locally owned businesses, and helping local governments create policies to do the same.”

Download the full report (15-page PDF) and read more.

View the results for the Monadnock Region.

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