Which businesses, organizations and initiatives are supporting HEALTH in our Monadnock Local Living Economy?

Facebook fans generated a short list of recommendations – we hope you will add your suggestions as well:

From Missy: “There are SO many [businesses & organizations making us more healthy] — we are fortunate here. Farms like Edgefield Farm & Milkweed Farm who provide us with fresh food; groups like  Healthy Monadnock 2020 who educate & motivate a community; Businesses like Blossom Skin Care Studio & Spa & Badger Balm who understand what we put on our body affects our health & wellbeing — just to name a few!  Then don’t get me started on massage! There are so many health benefits! We all in the Monadnock Region – NH are super lucky because there are so many wonderful practitioners here!!”

From Meeting Waters YMCA: “We’re proud of all we are doing to improve health at the personal, family, organizational, community, states (NH & VT) and national levels through our youth development programs; healthy family home initiative; and our Healthy Communities Coalition that is “making the healthy choice the easy choice where people live, work, learn and play” in the Fall Mountain region and Windham County; as well our advocacy work at the local, state and federal levels.”

From Carey: “The Mt. Monadnock District of the Boy Scouts of America teach kids how to live healthy, play outdoors, treat nature right, and stress being good to your body and your community.”

From Ellie: “Of course I have to add www.MonadnockRideshare.org. Saving on stressful situations via carpooling and less green house gases into the air. Why not carpool?”

From Season:Cornerstone Center for Wellness has many, many practitioners working there making our community healthier!”

From Annie:Morning Sun Mindfulness Center! Thanks for strengthening the health on all levels of our local community!”

From Jen: Small businesses From Inc Magazine: Small Business Does a Body Good? A Day in the Life

Which businesses, organizations and initiatives are supporting ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION in our Monadnock Local Living Economy?

In 2012, Facebook fans generated a short list of recommendations – we hope you will add your suggestions as well:

From Jamie:

By using a combination of City Express and our bicycles we’ve been able to completely do away with our motor vehicle.

It presents some challenges, but it also for us is a big accomplishment in reducing our carbon footprint. We rely very much on Andy’s Cycle to meet our bicycle maintenance and improvement needs and they always treat us well. I’m especially grateful, too, for the bike racks on the City Express buses, which make it easier for us to combine public transportation and biking as a primary means of transportation.

Others mentioned:

Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News

A loss of $30 million in economic activity a year in the Monadnock Region — that’s what a recent report estimated the closing of Vermont Yankee would result in.  My ears perked up when I heard that amount: $30 million.  Why?  Because a different report notes that if every Monadnock Region resident shifted just 10% of their purchases from national chains to locally owned retailers, we would keep $27 million in our local economy annually.  If we accomplished this, we’d be well on our way to replacing the loss of $30 million.

Looking at our efforts through the lens of collective impacts helps us put into perspective how our everyday actions (such as what we purchase) combine with others into a stimulus for our local economy — creating new jobs, more charitable contributions and a better quality of life for more residents.

Other groups are also taking this approach and documenting the collective impacts of their efforts.  Monadnock Arts Alive works to sustain, promote and expand access to arts and cultural resources in the Monadnock Region.  In 2008, they partnered with the Americans for the Arts on a study that found that nonprofit arts and culture organizations contribute $16.6 million annually to the Monadnock Region.  The report also notes, “This economic impact study sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in the Monadnock Region’s economic wellbeing.”
The Monadnock United Way and Healthy Monadnock 2020 are driving long-lasting community change through an approach that’s actually called “Collective Impact.”   To successfully use this model there must be a shared vision for change, consistent data collection, differentiated but coordinated activities, open communication and a separate organization to serve as the backbone for the effort.  Instead of individual organizations developing isolated projects or programs to address a need, multiple coordinated stakeholders drive real social change.  An article about Collective Impact by John Kania & Mark Kramer states, “No single organization is responsible for any major social problem, nor can any single organization cure it.”

The Monadnock United Way partnered with the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and others to create Impact Monadnock — an effort to ensure that all children in the Monadnock Region and their families are healthy, learning, and thriving, now and in the future. They have identified four potential Collective Impact action areas: Early childhood school readiness, access to livable wage, early childhood safety and development and regional economic development.

“Issues such as these are complex and interrelated,” said Tim Murphy, Executive Director of Southwest Region Planning Commission.  “Improving the future of our children is tied to many variables such as safe and affordable housing, quality education, jobs which offer households a livable wage and opportunities for healthy living – and access to all of these via adequate transportation and communication infrastructure.  To focus on improving the future of our children in a meaningful way, and with measurable success, will require that we view these interrelated issues as part of the overall equation to be addressed concurrently.”

Healthy Monadnock 2020, founded by the Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene in 2007, has a vision that the Monadnock Region will be the healthiest community in the nation where all individuals will reach their highest potential for health. Their action areas include healthy eating, active living, educational attainment, income, mental wellbeing, healthcare access and social connections — and they’re partnering with 2,500 individuals and 105 local businesses, organizations and schools to improve 27 shared measures and be the healthiest community in the nation by the year 2020.

“Shared measures can move a community beyond the often fragmented and disconnected efforts of well-meaning organizations and funders, and create a new degree of coordination and learning that can magnify the impact on a social problem,” said Linda Rubin, Director or Healthy Monadnock 2020.

Looking at our community through the lens of collective impacts can put our everyday actions into perspective — whether at work, at home or at play.  Take a moment to look at what you value in your community.  How are your choices nurturing what you value?  How is the collective impact of your family contributing to our local living economy?

In addition to your everyday choices, here’s a very small way you can contribute to Monadnock Buy Local’s efforts to strengthen our local economy: The Eat, Drink and Be Local Fundraising Event at Elm City Restaurant & Brewery on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Mention “Monadnock Buy Local” on March 24th and Elm City will donate 10% of your check total to Monadnock Buy Local.  We love how 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.


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).

Which businesses, organizations and initiatives are supporting the ARTS & CULTURE in our Monadnock Local Living Economy?

Facebook fans generated a short list of recommendations – we hope you will add your suggestions as well:

Which businesses, organizations and initiatives are supporting sustainable agriculture and the local food system in our Monadnock Local Living Economy?

Facebook fans generated a short list of recommendations – we hope you will add your suggestions/updates as well:

  • Manning Hill Farm: From Angela: “The best milk ever!”
  • Orchard Hill: Via Stephanie “I will put a word in for my friends over at Orchard Hill in East Alstead again, specifically responding to the local food system question this week, the Village Roots CSA and Orchard Hill Breadworks. Ellen doesn’t have a website for the CSA, but I found this blog post from 2010 that has the link to the Breadworks site, and talks about how the gardens are so connected to the Orchard School curriculum.”
  • Tracie’s Community Farm: From Ann: “Her farm is wonderful, and she is such a dear, sweet soul. Loving for the CSA!!!”
  • Walpole Valley Farms: From Jackie: “Walpole Valley Farms for 100% grass-fed beef, pasture-raised heritage pigs, pasture-raised chicken, turkey, eggs and lamb! And of course their lovely green B&B! :)”

Others mentioned:

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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