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In its sixth year, Monadnock Buy Local experienced an 8% growth rate in its membership. This movement now includes 163 business owners, representing 23 towns and well over 1,000 jobs throughout the Monadnock Region. A notable addition to its membership is its first municipality: the City of Keene is now a member of Monadnock Buy Local.

“Locally owned businesses in communities with Buy Local efforts experienced a 9.3% increase in revenues last year,” said Jen Risley, Monadnock Buy Local Executive Director. “That’s double what independent businesses in communities not served by such efforts saw. Efforts like ours are making a difference.”

A recent study found that when money is spent locally in the Monadnock Region, up to four times more of that money recirculates through the local economy generating more jobs, charitable contributions and other community benefits.

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Help drive the success of two Complete Streets demonstration events happening in Swanzey on August 29th and Keene on September 19th.  A segment of roadway in each place will be temporarily transformed into a safe (and fun!) place for all users, whether walkers, bicyclists, motorists or bus riders.

How can you help?

  • Donate/loan out materials (street furniture, potted plants, pallets, etc.)
  • Organize an activity (pop up retail store, parklet, public art, etc.)
  • Share your ideas
  • Volunteer to help at the event

For more information or to help, contact Tara Germond at 603-357-0557 or tgermond@swrpc.org

View Complete Streets Demo Events flyer.

 Inspiration from The Better Block Project:

On June 2, 2015 Keene Mayor Kendall Lane proclaimed July 1 – July 7 as Independents Week:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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Originally posted at Monadnotes

The month of May finds us celebrating warm weather and moving our entertainment outdoors. Part of a growing tradition in the Monadnock Region is the Up In Smoke Festival that features BBQ, beer and lots of live music, held at the Cheshire Fair Grounds on May 29-31.

The Festival’s inaugural event was held in May 2013. Monadnock Up in Smoke was founded by Geordie Fifield – owner of Joe Peanuts Wing House and a barbecue competitor himself – with some help from David Devoid. For the first year the focus was the barbecue competition with some live music and a car show. Since then Geordie and David formed a partnership and have expanded the festival. This year you will find three days of music and entertainment, a Kids Zone, demonstrations, contests, craft beers, races, shopping, fireworks, and of course, world class barbecue!

The Festival runs from 4:00 – 10:00PM on Friday, 11:00 – 10:00 on Saturday, and 11:00 – 5:00 on Sunday. Admission is $3.00. For more information, visit the website.

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