Locally owned businesses contribute so much to our local economy and community — make sure everyone knows that you’re part of this movement and join Monadnock Buy Local today.

What is Monadnock Buy Local? We are a network of locally owned businesses, nonprofits and citizens building a stronger local economy and a more vibrant community.  See which of your friends and neighbors joined this year.

Why Join?

  • Earn recognition for being a locally owned business
  • Feel pride in supporting the Buy Local Movement
  • Increase customer loyalty and visibility in your community

Is Monadnock Buy Local supporting its members? Sixty-nine percent of businesses located in cities with active Independent Business Alliances / Local First campaigns (like Monadnock Buy Local) reported increased customer traffic and other benefits from efforts like ours.  They reported sales growth of 9.3% on average in 2014, compared to 4.9% for businesses in places without such an initiative.  Businesses in the Monadnock Region reported a 10.3% sales growth in 2014.  See more about our impacts.


Which businesses, organizations and initiatives are helping us bounce back and adapt to the effects of CLIMATE CHANGE in our Monadnock Local Living EconomyPlease add your suggestions to the comments section below.

From Jen: The City of Keene’s Cities for Climate Protection Committee, Climate Adaptation Plan and Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report

Originally posted at Monadnotes

Tropical Sensations Steel Drum band has been bringing music of the Caribbean to the Monadnock region since 2003. Founded by Elaine Merrifield, Tropical Sensations plays at concerts, private parties and weddings. The band is twenty members who play a repertoire of approximately 250 songs, including Caribbean music, popular music, church hymns and Christmas songs.  Learn more about Tropical Sensations.

Tropical Sensations will be playing on April 12 at East Hill Farm in Troy, NH for Caribbean Night.

Which businesses, organizations and initiatives support LIVABLE WAGE JOBS in our Monadnock Local Living EconomyPlease add your suggestions to the comments section below.

From Jen: Healthy Monadnock 2020 hosted a community forum called Why Living Wages Matter to the Health of Our Community.

In an online discussion, we brainstormed a list of businesses, organizations and initiatives supporting GREEN BUILDING in our Monadnock Local Living Economy.

From Brie: Eastern Slope Construction in Dublin. Not only supporting & building green and sustainable but living it himself in his completely off-grid home in Dublin!

From Missy: Farnum Cellulose Insulators with their energy audits, recycled insulation products and window quilts!

Our Facebook fans generated these recommendations – we hope you will add your suggestions as well!

I consider us lucky – Monadnock Buy Local, that is – that key players in the local economy movement continually ask, “Is our work making a difference?” and “Why is our work important?”

Tackling the former question first, there is strong evidence that our work is, in fact, strengthening locally owned businesses.

That evidence comes from the eighth annual Independent Business Survey led by the Institute for Local Self Reliance and the Advocates for Independent Business.  This year’s survey garnered responses from 3,057 businesses across North America, all independent and locally owned. We’re proud that thirty-nine of these responses came from Monadnock Region businesses.

What positive impacts did this survey highlight?

More people are embracing the Buy Local Message: Independent businesses reported revenue growth of 8.1% on average in 2014 (compared to 5.1% across the entire retail industry).  Monadnock Region independent businesses reported an average of 10.3% growth.

Buy Local Alliances drive more people to Buy Local: Sixty-nine percent of businesses located in cities with active Independent Business Alliances / Local First campaigns reported increased customer traffic and other benefits from these initiatives.  They reported sales growth of 9.3% on average in 2014, compared to 4.9% for businesses in places without such an initiative.

independents-comparative-sales-increase-100billShift Your Shopping and Plaid Friday influenced holiday shoppers: The retailers surveyed experienced a 4.8% average increase in holiday sales, beating many competing chains (holiday sales for all retail businesses actually fell 0.9% this year). Retailers in the Monadnock Region experienced a 10.8% increase in holiday sales.

“The efforts of Monadnock Buy Local to promote the benefits of shopping at locally owned businesses are certainly evident in our stores,” stated Willard Williams, co-owner of The Toadstool Bookshops.  “Many, many people told us they were doing all their holiday shopping locally.  Plaid Friday, Shift Your Shopping — I’m confident all this contributed to the 11% increase in December sales at our bookstore in Keene.”

Read the full 2015 Independent Business Report on our website.

Now on to the second question: Why is our work important?

Once again, we can turn to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance for an answer and use their Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses list (reprinted with permission):

Local Character and Prosperity: In an increasingly homogenized world, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.

Community Well-Being: Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.

Local Decision-Making:  Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy: Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.

Job and Wages:  Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.

Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

Public Benefits and Costs:  Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.

Environmental Sustainability: Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

Competition: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long term.

Product Diversity:  A number of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantee a much broader range of product choices.

Learn more from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Our work is important and it is making a difference! We are retailers, wellness providers, architects, bankers, chefs, farmers, grocers, artists and more – and we invite you to join with us to make even more of a difference.  Individuals can support our work as Citizen Members.  Learn more about membership today.

Originally posted at Monadnotes

Mole Hill is actually a converted tool and die shop in East Alstead.  Giant, colorfully-painted (and occasionally working) machines are part of the décor, as well as artwork and a variety of seating options. The lighting, wood stoves, and wood paneling all make the space warm and welcoming.  Even more welcoming is the hosting provided by Dennis Molesky and Jackie Kensen.

Read: A Visit to Mole Hill Theatre


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