Archive for the ‘Buying Local Adventures’ Category

Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News

Indie ChallengeAre you ready (insert echo here: ready, ready, ready) for the Indie Challenge (challenge, challenge, challenge)?  Forty-five of your friends, family and neighbors have enthusiastically answered YES!  We invite you to join them.

What’s the Indie Challenge?  It’s a challenge to fulfill all of your needs at locally owned and independent businesses during Independents Week, July 1–7, 2015.  Sign on to the Indie Challenge today.

“I salute our community members and locally owned independent businesses who are integral to the unique flavor of Keene and honor their efforts to make Keene the place we want to live and work,” stated Keene Mayor Kendall Lane in this year’s Independents Week Proclamation.  “As we celebrate Independents Week 2015, we acknowledge that the ability to choose the direction of Keene lies within each of us.”

While Independence Day is a time to celebrate our freedom, Independents Week is a time to reflect on our interdependence: how locally owned businesses contribute to a healthy community and local economy and how each of us contributes to the success of these businesses.

In addition to taking the Indie Challenge, celebrate Independents Week by participating in a myriad of events offered by locally owned businesses throughout the Monadnock Region:

Start the week out with some homegrown music at Fitzwilliam Inn’s Open Mic on Wednesday, July 1 from 7pm to 9pm.

Celebrate with a laugh or two (or more) at Walpole Valley Farms as they show the movie “The Goonies” in their barn on Thursday, July 2.  The farm’s grassfed burgers and hotdogs will be available for sale, and popcorn too. The movie starts at 7pm and food is available starting at 6pm. Bring your own beach chairs, blankets and beverages.

Go back in time on Thursday, July 2 or Friday, July 3 between the hours of 11am and 4pm.  Take a guided tour of the historic Wyman Tavern Museum and learn what it was like to run a family business in late 18th-early 19th century Keene.  Cost: $3.

There’s a Local Food BBQ at Monadnock Food Co-op on July 3 from 5pm–7pm.   The menu features Italian Sausage (with locally raised pork from John Davis in Surry), house made Beet and Black Bean Burgers, Orchard Hill Breadworks Bread, Salad Greens (from True Nature Garden in Keene), Gluten Free Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto (from Old Athens Farm in Putney,VT) and Pea Salad (from Generation Farm in Concord).  The cost is $9 per plate and there will be live music too.

Friday, July 3 brings fireworks to Rindge and Keene. The Rindge Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual Family Festival and Fireworks at the common starting at 5pm with fireworks at 9pm.  Enjoy rock and roll, soul, swing and Cajun music with Tattoo.

The Keene Swamp Bats will offer fireworks at their game against the Sanford Mainers at Alumni Field in Keene. The game starts at 6:30pm with fireworks show to follow.

Race to the finish line on Saturday, July 4 at the “4 on the 4th” Road Race in Keene while supporting a great non-profit, Pathways for Keene — promoting the development, maintenance and use of alternative transportation in our city.

After the race, stroll over to the Farmers’ Market of Keene from 9am–1pm on Gilbo Avenue.  Browse the bounty of locally grown produce and locally made products from local farmers and artisans — and cool down with one of my favorites, a Patti Jazzy Popsicle from Cheshire Garden.

From the Farmers’ Market, head over to the 15th Annual Harrisville Old Home Days and Arts and Crafts Fair, 10am–3pm.  The day includes children’s games and crafts, live music, food vendors, Harrisville mill architecture tours and over 30 local artisans offering photography, jewelry, blown glass, wood products, homemade jams, local syrup, knitted items and more.  Call 603-827-3094 for more information.

On Sunday, July 5, enjoy music from the Westmoreland Town Band 6:30pm–8:30pm at the Town Green Gazebo in Walpole, sponsored by the Savings Bank of Walpole. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. For more information, call 603-355-1602.

Mondays mean contra dancing!  On July 6, join the Monadnock Folklore Society for their Monday Night Contra Dance 8pm–10:30pm at Nelson Town Hall.  New to contra dancing?  That’s okay!  Just let the caller know. Cost: $3.

Finish Independents Week at Orchard Hill Breadworks Pizza Night in Alstead on Tuesday July 7 from 5pm–7:30pm.  You bring your own pizza toppings, drinks, picnic blanket, dinnerware and $7 per crust. Orchard Hill Breadworks provides the pizza crusts, cheese, and sauce and will cook your pizza in their new outdoor oven.  All profits for this night’s Pizza Night go to Animaterra Women’s Chorus.

Traveling during Independents Week?  Enjoy what locally owned businesses have to offer wherever you are.  Ask locals who their favorites are and look for networks like Monadnock Buy Local in the areas you’re visiting at amiba.net/about_ibas/find-iba and bealocalist.org/localist-champions.

As you take the Indie Challenge, we’d love to hear how the challenge is going for you. Email us at monadnockbuylocal@gmail.com.  If you get stumped, use our 2,857 Facebook Fans (and your friends and neighbors) to help you brainstorm possibilities.  Another great resource for finding independent businesses is our online directory, listing 310 locally owned businesses in the Monadnock Region.  You can search by business type, town or keywords to find what you’re looking for.

Choose the direction of the Monadnock Region, take the Indie Challenge, celebrate Independents Week and shift your spending to locally owned businesses everyday.

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Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News

One hundred fifty four locally owned businesses fuel Monadnock Buy Local’s efforts. These businesses help spark a movement — one that calls upon each of us to “think local first” and choose to shift more of our spending from national chain stores to locally owned businesses. Together, we’re building a stronger community.

I love how the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies puts it, “[This movement] is about building communities that are more healthy and sustainable — backed by local economies that are stronger and more resilient. It means we use regional resources to meet our needs — reconnecting eaters with farmers, investors with entrepreneurs, and business owners with the communities and natural places on which they depend. It recognizes that not one of us can do it alone and that we’re all better off, when we’re all better off.”

This year, we plan to better promote the impacts of supporting locally owned businesses. Our main mantra comes from a Civic Economics report that found that locally owned businesses in our region return 4x more money to our local economy compared to chain retailers. The study also concluded that shifting just 10% of our purchases from national chains to locally owned retail businesses would keep $27 million in the regional economy — recirculating through the Monadnock Region to create new jobs, more charitable contributions and a better quality of life for more residents.

Monadnock Final Indie Impact Study_Page_4

We also want to inspire more of you to think local first — and buy local, bank local, eat local, drink local and BE LOCAL! And we want to make it easier for you to find what you need at locally owned businesses. In turn, we want to encourage our 150 business members to adopt innovations that forward a local, green and fair economy.

Ideally, we hope to reframe what “value” means to us all — in terms of buying the goods and services we want and need. As the American Independent Business Alliance points out, “Of course, we usually choose to do business where we perceive the best value for our time and money. But in an age where we’re bombarded with thousands of corporate advertisements daily, perceptions may differ widely from reality. The unrelenting emphasis on cheapness above all other values, leads many people to overlook the values independent businesses provide us, both personally and in our communities.”

Thank you to our 154 members: retailers, service providers, chefs, farmers, artists, nonprofit leaders, friends and neighbors. Of those members, 22 have been members for all six years of Monadnock Buy Local’s existence: Cheshire Garden, Deep Roots Massage, Elm City Restaurant & Brewery, Hannah Grimes Center, Hannah Grimes Marketplace, Howard’s Leather, Jack Daniels Motor Inn, Keene Fresh Salad, The Keene Sentinel, Keene Sign Worx, Life is Sweet, Monadnock Shopper News, Monadnock Table Magazine, Northfield Drive-In, Peterborough Camera Shop, Picadilly Farm, Prime Roast Coffee, Savings Bank of Walpole, Ted’s Shoe & Sport, Toadstool Bookshops, Walpole Mountain View Winery and WiValley. A very big thank you to these businesses for their commitment to our mission.

We expect to release our 2015-2016 Monadnock Buy Local Guide, listing all of our members and more inspiration for thinking local first, by late July. Until then, we invite you to explore who our members are at http://monadnockbuylocal.wildapricot.org/Members.

And thank all of you for supporting locally owned businesses and Monadnock Buy Local. We look forward to many more years of contributing to a stronger local economy and more vibrant region.

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Help Buy Local Enthusiasts Find You!

Locally owned businesses throughout the Monadnock Region are invited to create a free business listing in Monadnock Buy Local’s online directory. Currently, 300 independent businesses are listed, giving Buy Local enthusiasts a place to go to find the products and services they’re looking for. Users can search for businesses by name, town and offerings.

Eligible businesses can join at the “Online Listing Only” Level to receive their free listing at monadnockbuylocal.wildapricot.org/Join.

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A new survey of independent business owners across the U.S. and Canada yielded powerful evidence that pro-local attitudes are growing and driving customer traffic.  The results also indicate that the educational work of Monadnock Buy Local and similarly organized groups are yielding large benefits for their members and local economy.

The annual survey by the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR) and Advocates for Independent Business tallied responses from more than 3,000 independent businesses. Just under half were retailers, while restaurants, service providers and others comprised smaller portions.

independents-comparative-sales-increase-100billAmong the notable results:

  • Independent businesses in communities with an active “buy independent/buy local” campaign run by grassroots groups saw revenues grow 9.3% in 2014, nearly double the 4.9% increase for businesses in areas without such an alliance.
  • Overall, independent businesses reported revenue growth of 8.1% on average in 2014.  Monadnock Region independent businesses reported revenue growth of 10.3% on average in 2014.
  • The retailers surveyed experienced a 5.1% increase in same-store sales and 4.8% increase in holiday sales, beating the growth of many competing chains. Retailers in the Monadnock Region experienced a 10.8% increase in holiday sales.
  • Wages paid by respondents equaled or exceeded their chain competitors.  41% of independents’ employees make between $10 and $15 hourly, while 34% make $15 or more hourly.
  • 69% of businesses located in cities with an active Independent Business Alliance / Local First organization reported increased customer traffic or other benefits from these initiatives.

“The efforts of Monadnock Buy Local to promote the benefits of shopping at locally owned businesses was 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.”

“The work of dedicated community coalitions continues to shift local consciousness and is driving more business to local entrepreneurs,” said Jeff Milchen, co-director of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), which partnered in the survey. Monadnock Buy Local is a member of AMIBA, a national network of more than 85 community alliances supporting local entrepreneurs.

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

  • Among retailers, 71% said competition from large internet companies was the biggest challenge facing their business, followed by supplier pricing that favors their big competitors, chain competition and other issues.
  • Top policy priorities among respondents are extending the requirement to collect sales tax to large online retailers and enforcing antitrust laws against large, dominant companies.
  • For independent businesses, which applied for bank loans within the past two years, 30% were denied and another 14% received less money than requested. Businesses owned by people of color, women and immigrants were far less likely to get loans.

“More people are seeking out independent businesses, which we know from academic research is great news for job creation, income growth and the well-being of communities,” said Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher at ILSR. “Now we need policymakers to step up and create a level playing field to allow locally owned businesses to really thrive.”

With more than 150 members, Monadnock Buy Local plans to expand its work this year by encouraging businesses, organizations and municipalities to adopt innovations that forward a local, green and fair economy.

Download the 2015 Independent Business Report (PDF).

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Congratulations to Susan Mann of Greenfield, NH — the winner of our first ever Shift Your Shopping Spree.  Susan will receive $500 in gift certificates from her choice of Monadnock Buy Local member businesses.  Her winning receipt was from the Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough, NH. Susan Mann SYS Spree Winner 2014This contest was part of the Shift Your Shopping annual campaign sponsored by Monadnock Buy Local which encourages residents to shop at locally owned businesses during the holidays to grow our local economy and strengthen our community.   Over 1,030 receipts were collected from 353 individuals totaling $45,000 in local purchases. We can’t wait for next year!Shift-Your-Shopping-Spree-Poster

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#MBuyLocal Selfies at the Eat, Drink & Be Local Event

The @ClarkMortenson crew supporting @MonadnockLocal & @ECBrewpub #MBuyLocal #Represent

The @ClarkMortenson crew supporting @MonadnockLocal & @ECBrewpub #MBuyLocal #Represent

See more selfies below!

Elm-City-PosterElm City Restaurant & Brewery hosted a fundraising event for Monadnock Buy Local called “Eat, Drink & Be Local” on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Over 85 restaurant patrons mentioned “Monadnock Buy Local” on March 24th at Elm City Restaurant & Brewery and triggered 10% of their check to be donated to this nonprofit. We love that Monadnock Buy Local members like Elm City Restaurant & Brewery are stepping up and raising support for our work. Together we can inspire more individuals to shift their spending to locally owned businesses to create a stronger local living economy.

Thanks to all who supported this event!

Local Massage Therapists supporting Monadnock Buy Local today! At Elm City Brewery. #mbuylocal — with Jessica Day, Jessica Boynton and Jen White.

Local Massage Therapists supporting Monadnock Buy Local today! At Elm City Brewery. #mbuylocal — with Jessica Day, Jessica Boynton and Jen White.

Kevin from Keene Music Festival at Elm City Brewing Company, Restaurant & Brewery today for Eat, Drink & Be Local Fundraiser! #‎MBuyLocal‬

Kevin from Keene Music Festival at Elm City Brewing Company, Restaurant & Brewery today for Eat, Drink & Be Local Fundraiser! #‎MBuyLocal‬

Monadnock Time Exchange supports MBL!

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Now available from Kimberly Peck Photography:

2015 Farm. Food. Life. Wall Calendar

* 12 Featured New England Farms * Includes January 2016 *

11 x 17 inch (when open) 2015 Wall Calendar.
8.5 x 11 folded.
Full Color + Black and White Photographs.
Each calendar is shrink-wrapped for protection.
Printed on fabulous recycled paper + printed in Maine!

Shop Local * Shop Handmade * Shop Happy

As a continuation of her on-going Farm. Food. Life. series, and her first book (Farm. Food. Life: Photographs + Recipes Inspired by Local Farms, published 2013), her new 2015 Farm wall calendar features 12 New England farms with color and black + white photographs. A visual monthly chronicle of New Hampshire farms, her focus, as always, is on the hard work that farmers undertake to produce the vegetables, dairy products, eggs and meat that we eat every day.

The Calendar will be available at these places:
Via phone or email orders: 924.6556 or kpeckphoto@comcast.net
My Etsy Shop (with FREE shipping until December 1) (click to purchase + more photos!)
Toadstool Bookshop : Peterborough NH

Local Craft Fairs:
Monadnock Waldorf School Fair, Keene NH : November 14 + 15
Broke Affordable Arts Fair, Peterborough NH : November 22
Monadnock Food Co-op, Plaid Friday Photobooth, Keene NH : November 28
Living Local Art Fair, Peterborough NH : November 29
Antioch Winterfest, Keene NH : December 11

Kimberly Peck, photographer
Portfolio: kimberlypeckphotography.com
Facebook: facebook.com/kimberlypeckphotography

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