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  • November 27, 2022 7:19 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    You love the idea of buying local, but the next thing you know … click, you bought that gift online from a business based far from our community.  It’s so easy!  And your one purchase won’t really make a difference… or will it?

    Shopping online impacts job growth, taxes, and land use patterns in our community.  Why?  One reason is the Local Multiplier.

    The Local Multiplier occurs when you spend your dollars at a locally owned and independent business instead of a chain store or online giant. Spend your dollars at independent business and your dollars recirculate through our local economy four times more than if you spent that money at a chain store or online giant. As your dollars move through our community, the money generates more local wealth, charitable contributions, and jobs.

    While the image above reflects national data, Monadnock Region independent retailers return, on average, $62 of every $100 spent at their businesses back into our local economy.  National chain stores return $14 of every $100 spent, while Amazon returns close to zero.

    What causes the Local Multiplier to happen?

    We can thank the actions of independent business owners for the Local Multiplier since they spend more of their revenue locally than chain stores and online giants.  “Say you spend money at a local pharmacy,” explains local economist and author Michael Shuman.  “Its employees then go to the supermarket, which might buy from a local farmer. The more times and the faster a dollar passes between hands without leakage, the more income, wealth, and jobs in a community.”

    Job Growth

    To get more specific about jobs, one study found that independent retailers employ 57 people for every $10 million in sales, while Amazon employs only 14 people per $10 million in revenue.  In 2021, Amazon sales in New Hampshire displaced 8,199 retail jobs, while Amazon employed just 1,000 workers in our state.

    These statistics come from a Civic Economics study called “Unfulfilled.”  The report found that Amazon’s sales displaced 1,014,163 retail jobs and 621.8 million square feet of commercial space nationally in 2021.

    In some communities, the cost to taxpayers is even higher when economic developers offer tax rebates and subsidies to attract Amazon to base some of its operations in their region.  As of November 17, Amazon and its subsidiaries received over $5.1 billion in public subsidies. Learn more at goodjobsfirst.org/amazon-tracker.  

    The rise of online shopping, undercutting Main Street retailers, also changes land use patterns.  Amazon doesn’t place its warehouses downtown but in remote industrial parks.  Civic Economics concluded that as demand for Main Street storefronts declines, so will local governments’ tax revenue base.

    “Amazon provides a valuable convenience, one that tens of millions of households (ours included) are willing to pay $99 a year to maximize,” said Matt Cunningham from Civic Economics.  “We do not believe, though, that Americans yet comprehend the nature of the tradeoffs to come. They may be asked to accept an increase of hundreds of dollars in annual household tax burden to pick up the slack from the stores they visit less often. They may be required to fund redevelopment efforts around struggling commercial districts and failed shopping centers, or to live with the boarded up storefronts.”

    "This unprecedented study makes abundantly clear the deleterious effects on the American economy resulting from Amazon's strategy of retail dominance," said Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association. "It's our hope that the facts included in this report will help policymakers and the public better understand the need for more diversity in the marketplace and recognize the potential long‐term costs of the loss of healthy local economies."

    Do you just love the ease of shopping online?  You can still shop online and shop at locally owned businesses.  Check out our online marketplace called The Local Crowd Mercantile.  Discover gift ideas from 200 Monadnock region businesses.  Thanks to Monadnock Food Co-op and Saving Bank of Walpole for allowing us to offer our online marketplace at no cost to participating businesses this year.

    Remember, every purchase -- and click -- counts.  Please Shop Indie Local this holiday season: Gift Local and Give More!

  • November 01, 2022 8:06 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Give more this holiday season. How? By joining the Shop Indie Local movement!  From our Thanksgiving meal to our New Year's Eve celebration, we’re purchasing more of our holiday gifts and celebration needs from our friends and neighbors -- locally owned business owners.  Please join us!

    Shop Indie Local and Give More

    Think about the people you love. Instead of stuff, what do you truly want to give them?  Perhaps it’s more hope, inspiration, or connection.  Now, consider each person, place, and thing that plays a part in growing, making, and getting that gift to your loved one.  When you Shop Indie Local, you give more to everyone.

    Why Shop Indie Local?

    When you spend your dollars at locally owned retail businesses in the Monadnock Region, four times more money returns to our local economy than if you spend that same dollar at a chain store.  Spend a dollar at an independent business and 62 cents return to our local economy. (Spend it at a chain store and only 13 cents return; spend it at an online giant and only a couple pennies return.)

    Those 62 cents recirculate through our economy, generating ripple effects that increase job growth, charitable contributions, and community prosperity.  If everyone shifted just 10% of their purchases from national chains to locally owned retailers, we would return $27 million to our regional economy annually.

    Indie Impacts

    Shop Indie Local Online

    Check out TLC Monadnock Mercantile, a regional online marketplace featuring a diversity of products and services from locally owned businesses. Our virtual store compiles gift ideas, gift cards, and restaurant take-out options -- all in one place. Best of all, it is free for locally owned businesses to participate. 

    The site includes 200 businesses offering some fabulous gift ideas for your loved ones.  Many thanks to Monadnock Food Co-op and Savings Bank of Walpole for sponsoring TLC Monadnock Mercantile. 

    Shop Indie Local Online

    Get Ready for Shop Indie Local Week

    This week after Thanksgiving is a super busy one for the Shop Indie Local movement as we celebrate Plaid Friday, Small Business Saturday, Artists Sunday, Cider Monday, and Giving Tuesday.  Learn more!

    Plaid Friday

    For the thirteenth year, independent businesses and community members in the Monadnock Region will celebrate Plaid Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. This year's event falls on Friday, November 25, 2022. Wear plaid on Friday to show your support for our local economy and commitment to buying local this holiday season.

    Learn More: Plaid Friday

    A number of locally owned businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs this year.  Hubs pledge to photograph you decked out in plaid and answer questions about Plaid Friday.  TLC Monadnock will post all Plaid Friday photos throughout the day on our Facebook page.

    Find a Hub Near You

    Small Business Saturday

    While Plaid Friday overshadows Small Business Saturday in our region, we encourage everyone to celebrate this event, too.  One way to participate is to play Shop Small Bingo.  Download your bingo card at tlcmonadnock.com/shopindielocal. No matter how you get involved, every little bit makes a big difference.

    Artists Sunday

    November 27 is Artists Sunday, an art shopping movement of over 4,500 artists and organizations coming together to encourage consumers to shop with their favorite local artists and makers during the holiday season. Think of it as Plaid Friday but for the arts. Learn more!

    Cider Monday

    Instead of Cyber Monday, a day when online merchants offer special deals, we invite you to Cider Monday.  On November 28, stop in for free cider from participating Cider Monday businesses.  Also, if you choose to shop online, choose local too!  Learn more!

    Giving Tuesday

    A global generosity movement, Giving Tuesday on November 29 encourages you to give any way you can.  Organizers share, “Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.” Learn more!

    Together, we're generating ripple effects that create new jobs, charitable contributions, and community prosperity -- what a gift!  Thank you for supporting the Shop Indie Local movement.
  • October 20, 2022 11:20 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    We invite businesses and organizations to participate in the Monadnock Region's Plaid Friday event on Friday, November 25.  Celebrate in creative ways that work best for you, your staff, and neighborhood.

    Here's one great way to participate: Become a Plaid Friday Hub

    As a Plaid Friday Hub, your business commits to:

    • Printing out and posting our Plaid Friday Poster before the event
    • Having you and your staff wear plaid on November 25
    • Photographing customers who visit your business wearing plaid (browse past year's photos for inspiration)
    • Sharing information about Plaid Friday with all your staff, clients, and customers

    Other Ways to Participate in Plaid Friday

    Here are some other ideas -- but get creative, too!

    • Encourage your staff (and your partner’s staff) to wear plaid (Not open on Plaid Friday? Check out what Badger Balm does the day before Thanksgiving)
    • If you offer any holiday specials/sales/event, please share them with us and we'll post them on our Plaid Friday Members Specials Page
    • Create a display featuring locally made items
    • Use plaid ribbon, tissue paper or buy local bags
    • Add #shopindielocal and #plaidfriday to your social media posts

    If you'd like to serve as a Plaid Friday hub this year, please contact us today.

    I want to be a Plaid Friday Hub

  • September 24, 2022 8:56 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    “The arts are the lifeblood of our communities, raising morale, creating community cohesion, and providing comfort during dark times while also delivering a huge economic footprint,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “And it is more important than ever that everyone take part to recognize the creative and cultural value of the arts and humanities in our communities.”

    This October, celebrate the arts during Shop Indie Art Month hosted by the American Independent Business Alliance. We’ll recognize all types of artists -- crafters, painters, musicians, actors, writers, and others -- and boast the positive impacts artists have on our community and local economy.  Join us!

    Four Reasons to Celebrate

    The arts mean business: In 2020, the art sector made up 4.2 percent of the US economy -- greater than construction, transportation, or agriculture industries -- and included 4.6 million workers.  The arts also mean revenue for other local businesses, as each arts event attendee spends an additional $31.47 at neighboring stores, restaurants, and hotels.

    Art boosts our well-being: A national opinion poll from the Americans for the Arts found that 69 percent of us believe the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences,” and 81 percent shared that the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”  Recognizing the healing power of art, about half of US hospitals offer arts programming.

    Art brings us together: 72 percent of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity,” and 73 percent agree that the arts “helps me understand other cultures better.”

    Art inspires creativity:  One Journal of Business Research study found that displaying art in the workplace boosted employees’ creative thinking.

    Learn more

    Fours Ways to Celebrate

    Shop Indie Art: Look for opportunities to purchase art and creative works from Monadnock Region artists.  Here’s one option coming up soon: The 49th Annual Cheshire Craftsmen Fair on October 1 and October 2 from 9 am – 3 pm at the Keene Recreation Center.  Shop early for unique holiday gifts, including home decor, quilted items, jewelry, soaps, woven items, quilted crafts, pottery, fleece and felted crafts, framed photos, wooden toys, wooden crafts, candles, and more.

    Attend an art event or take a tour:  Here are two fantastic chances to meet local artists and see where they work.  The Monadnock Art Tour and Fall Foliage Art Studio Tour both happen the weekend of October 8 – 10. Take a walk around downtown Keene’s public art murals painted in 2019 by The Walldogs, a group of over 200 sign and mural artists from around the world. If you prefer a guided tour, register with the Historical Society of Cheshire County (tickets are $10 per person).

    Discover more events

    Take a class: Get your creative juices flowing by signing up for a class or two.  Mill Hollow Works in Keene will offer a Halloween Mask Making Party on October 30, 10 am – 2 pm or 2 pm – 4 pm.  Sign up your kids of “Trick or Treating” age. Tickets are $15 per mask maker. Check out all the details.  The Jaffrey Civic Center will host card-making, poetry, and pastel classes in October.  See details at jaffreyciviccenter.com/classes

    Browse many more classes

    Show your art: Join #ShowYourArt2022, an Instagram challenge hosted by Americans for the Arts.  They want to “inspire your creative spirit and showcase the culture that makes our communities unique and vibrant. And whether you post once or all month long, you’ll be part of the movement showing the power and purpose of the arts and humanities across all parts of life.”  Learn more.

    Stay tuned for more Shop Indie Arts news, events, and inspiration 

    Shop Indie Art is part of a larger Shop Indie Local year-round movement.  Together, we inspire our communities to take positive action and boost the ripple effects our neighborhoods, towns, and cities receive when we spend and invest more of our dollars at locally owned, independent businesses.

  • July 26, 2022 8:23 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    For the tenth year, let’s shine a light on local food, farms, and our Monadnock Region food system during New Hampshire Eats Local Month, a month-long celebration of our state’s harvest in August. 

    What do we mean by a food system?

    Our food system includes all the pieces needed to bring local food from the farm to our plates: the soil, farm workers, transportation networks, markets, and more -- everything needed to grow, harvest, and distribute these goods to us.  These pieces come together to form our local food system.

    Please dig in and enjoy part one of this year’s bounty of updates!

    Northeast Permaculture in Action

    Marty Castriotta of Village Roots Permaculture in Alstead recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to help him write a book called Emerging Patterns of Resilience.  The book will explore some of the best examples of permaculture design in the Northeast, including farms and backyard gardens.

    Permaculture uses ecological principles -- inspiration from nature -- to design and regenerate healthy, productive landscapes and communities. Marty aims to inspire the next generation, the climate generation, to co-create a future of abundance. 

    Support Village Roots Today!

    Growing Together

    Exciting news for local food producers in our region!  Monadnock Food Co-op purchased a food production facility on the other side of their parking lot.  Ten years ago, the building housed a shared-use space called Neighbor Made to support local producers. 

    While Neighbor Made closed, a plant-based meal producer, MamaSezz, currently utilizes the space. MamaSezz plans to outgrow the space within the next three years.

    What’s next for the space? The Co-op hopes to establish a place that supports its own growth while providing production space for local food producers. Have ideas or questions? Please contact General Manager Michael Faber at gm@monadnockfood.coop.

    Round It Up for Food Connects

    This August, round up your purchases at Monadnock Food Co-op and donate your change to Food Connects, a food hub based in Brattleboro, VT.  Food Connects proudly serves New England farmers and food producers and recognizes that local shopping strengthens our local economy.

    In 2021, Food Connects broke all previous records and returned over $1,240,000 in sales to its farmers and food producers, demonstrating its commitment to New England food systems. New Hampshire food producers generated about 38% of these sales.  Food Connects also joined the New Hampshire Food Hub Network, made up of six food hubs working collaboratively to strengthen our state’s local food economy.

    “We’re thrilled to formally partner with the NH Food Hub Network to strengthen our hub’s connection to others across the state,” said Alex McCullough, Food Hub Co-Director, “Regional partnerships like this provide Food Connects with the ability to connect New Hampshire producers to new markets to the west and south.”

    Fresh Local Food Offerings

    Cornucopia Project works to plant the seeds for a lifetime of healthy eating. This year’s fresh new offering includes a traveling hydroponic tower for growing food in our region’s schools, libraries, and institutions. They piloted the hydroponic tower in an eighth-grade science classroom and it quickly engaged the students.

    Students helped establish the “baby” plants grown on Cornucopia Project’s educational farm in Peterborough and learned how to keep the plants nourished throughout the spring. Lettuce, spinach, pea, tomato, sage, basil, and Swiss chard (a favorite!) provided snacks every week, along with water chemistry and biology lessons.

    “We are seeing the impact of firsthand experience on our participants’ learning, joy, curiosity, and engagement with the local food system,” shared Jess Gerrior, Cornucopia Project Program Specialist.  “We celebrate our local farmers, restaurants, gardeners, seed savers, and others who are making those lifelong connections.”

    Protecting Land for Local Farmers

    One thing for sure, food can only be grown locally if there is local land on which to grow it. That’s why the Monadnock Conservancy is working to protect some of the most beloved farms in our region. Using a tool called a conservation easement – a permanent agreement that prohibits development but permits forestry and farming – the Conservancy ensures local farms stay farms in perpetuity while remaining more affordable for future farmers. What’s more, when established, many farm conservation easements provide cash to farmers to expand their business, pay down debt, or plan to transfer the farm to the next generation.

    This summer, the Conservancy partnered with Kroka Expeditions to protect 15.5 acres of farmland in Alstead, where the wilderness school grows much of the food consumed by their students and livestock. The soil on the property is considered “prime” by the US Department of Agriculture, meaning it is among the country’s most fertile and productive farmland.

    Monadnock Conservancy will work this summer to conserve seven acres of prime land owned and farmed by Pete’s Stand, a third generation farmstand, along the Connecticut River in Walpole.  Looking ahead, Picadilly Farm in Winchester will conserve the last 25 unprotected acres of their 71-acre property, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm that feeds 1,000 households in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

    “We are honored to partner with local farmers to ensure that their land remains available to farm forever and that their businesses thrive,” said Monadnock Conservancy Executive Director Ryan Owens. “The Monadnock Region’s farms are the cornerstones of our communities.”

    Visit a Monadnock Farm

    Now, get out there and enjoy our farms!  Attend the fourth annual Monadnock Farm Tour on Saturday, August 20, from 12 – 5 pm. Twelve vibrant Monadnock farms will open their barns, fields, hen houses, kitchens, and a pudding plant. The event highlights the impact farms have on our local economy, their role in preserving open space, and how they contribute to our quality of life. The tour costs $10 per car or $5 per person. This Monadnock Farm Tour is produced by the Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition and Monadnock Food Co-op.

    Discover more!

    Stay tuned for part two of this article in August, including local food and farm updates from Cheshire County Conservation District, The Community Kitchen’s Mobile Food Pantry, and more!

    Thank you to all the individuals, programs, policies, and initiatives that continue to build a more robust local and regional food system in our corner of the state and throughout New England.  Together, we’re cultivating healthier citizens, communities, and economies.


    Celebrating Local Food, Farms, and our Food System

    We’re wrapping up NH Eats Local Month -- a month-long celebration of local food, farmers, producers, and our local food system.  A strong local food system keeps communities vibrant, economies growing, and landscapes healthy. When you eat local food, the benefits ripple out through our community, helping small businesses thrive.

    Here’s part two of our article highlighting updates in our local food system. 

    Boosting Healthy Food Access

    The Local Crowd Monadnock and The Local Crowd Upper Valley launched a crowdfunding campaign to support Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire and Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont Farm Share Programs. These two programs support organic farmers while making high-quality local food more accessible to community members in need.

    Funds raised from this crowdfunding campaign will allow more children, families, seniors, and other low-income individuals to receive a season’s worth of farm-fresh, organic produce at a reduced cost.  Learn more and support this campaign today.  

    Support This Campaign

    The State of Local Producers

    The Monadnock Food Co-op conducted its inaugural Producer Survey this year in partnership with the Cheshire Country Conservation District. The survey collected baseline data from 110 locally owned businesses growing or making products in our region.

    These businesses’ most significant challenges include hiring labor, generating a profit, and developing marketing options. In terms of opportunities, survey respondents shared that they’d like to see local food system builders support Eat Local/Shop Local education, boost grant programs, and invest in labor resources.  Learn more about the survey at monadnockfood.coop/vendors.

    Cultivating Vibrant Farm Businesses

    In 2022, Cheshire Country Conservation District partnered with the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship and National Center for Appropriate Technology to host a free business planning course for local food producers. Participating farmers learned how to enhance the competitiveness of their business, created a business plan, and received a $2,000 stipend.  Stay tuned for another course this fall at cheshireconservation.org/businessplanning.

    Mobile Food Pantry

    The Community Kitchen hosted its first Monadnock Mobile Food Pantry pop-up event at the Senior Living Center in Winchester this summer.  In addition to pantry staples, the pantry offered locally grown produce from Picadilly Farm in Winchester. Southwestern Community Services provided information about food and heating assistance, and the Monadnock Humane Society offered pet food and information on animal care.
    Help bring more local food to the Mobile Food Pantry by contributing to the Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition Locals’ Local Fund at bit.ly/localsfund. This fund will support local farmers who sell fresh, local food at a negotiated price to the mobile pantry.  Interested in future mobile pop-up events or volunteering? Please call Kate at 603-352-3200. 

    Monadnock Grown

    Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition will launch a new marketing campaign to help you more easily identify products made or grown in the Monadnock Region. The “Monadnock Grown” designation will inspire us to choose local and boost our local economy by purchasing Monadnock made and grown products at grocery outlets and farm stands. Stay tuned at mfcommunitycoalition.org.

    Gardening Together

    Some thirty gardeners are growing produce on more than sixty plots at Monadnock View Community Garden (MVCG) in West Keene this season.  MVCG also includes a pollinator garden and a communal raspberry patch. Subsidized plots are available for community members who may need assistance, courtesy of Antioch University’s Community Garden Connections.

    Gardeners donated seedlings and purchased plants to six dedicated 'Giving Garden' plots to grow vegetables for The Community Kitchen and Hundred Nights Shelter.  Volunteer garden angels share in the watering, weeding, and harvesting.

    "Impacts from food insecurity, supply chain issues, and climate change mean providing healthy local food to those who need it is more important than ever," shared Rowland Russell, who co-coordinates the Giving Garden with Toni Spring-Baker.

    If you are interested in securing a plot at the garden next year, contact Kristy Morrison with the City of Keene at kmorrison@ci.keene.nh.us. Contact Rowland to learn more about becoming a garden angel at rrussell@antioch.edu.

    Thank you to all the individuals, programs, policies, and initiatives that continue to build more robust local and regional food systems in our corner of the state and throughout New England.  Together, we’re cultivating healthier citizens, communities, and economies.

  • July 11, 2022 8:16 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    It's time to start planning for this year's Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, and Shop Indie Local efforts!

    We're kicking off our Shop Indie Local planning efforts with a crowdfunding campaignThe more funds we raise, the more we'll amplify our message.

    Together, we will:

    • Leverage the importance of supporting locally owned businesses -- LIKE YOURS!
    • Inspire more of us to shift our holiday spending to independent businesses.
    • Affirm our dedication to the local economy movement.

    Business Owners: Make the Pledge to Become a Shop Indie Local Sponsor

    Show off your dedication to the local economy movement and support our Shop Indie Local efforts today!

    Shop Indie Local includes supporting Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, Small Business Saturday, and other promotions happening November 1 - December 31, 2022.

    With your support, we will continue to build traction -- inspiring more and more AND MORE community participation and media attention.

    Please consider supporting this year’s Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, and Shop Indie Local campaign at one (or more!) of the levels below.

    Cider Monday Rock Star: $50

    Your logo will appear in our Cider Monday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers).

    Plaid Friday Rock Star:  $75

    Your logo will appear in our Plaid Friday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers).

    TLC Monadnock Mercantile Rock Star: $100

    Your logo or product will appear prominently on our TLC Monadnock Mercantile for one week (you choose the week - first come, first served).

    Plaid Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cider Monday Rock Star: $150

    Your logo will appear in our Plaid Friday AND Cider Monday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers) AND the Keene Sentinel (delivered to ~10,000 households).

    Plaid Friday Photo Booth Host: $400

    Sponsor a Plaid Friday Photo Booth in your town or business.

    Plaid Friday Radio Rock Star: $500

    Your business will be mentioned during one week of our Plaid Friday radio ads (2 sponsors highlighted in each ad).

    Plaid Friday Launch Sponsor: $1,000

    Sponsor a Plaid Friday launch in your town or at your business. Your name and logo will appear on our Launch Event marketing materials and press release. We'll plan this launch together.

    All sponsorship pledges are due by October 31, 2022.  Send us an email to pledge your sponsorship or click on the button below to purchase your sponsorship through our crowdfunding campaign.

    Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for all you do to support our local economy each and every day.

  • July 08, 2022 7:19 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Keene Mayor George Hansel proclaimed July as Independents Month at the July 7, 2022, City Council Meeting.

    "Keene's local independent businesses help preserve the uniqueness of the community and give us a sense of place," said Mayor Hansel. "As we celebrate Independents Month 2022, we acknowledge that the ability to choose the direction of Keene lies within each of us."

    Independents Month, led locally by The Local Crowd Monadnock and nationally by American Independent Business Alliance, is a time to recognize locally owned businesses and how they make their community healthier and wealthier.

    Learn More

  • June 28, 2022 9:03 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    This July, celebrate Independents Month with The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock.  Independents Month is a time to think and act locally to shape our region’s future.  One perfect way to celebrate is to take our Indie Challenge.  Pledge to make all your purchases at locally owned businesses -- for one day, one week, or the entire month.  You choose! 

    Sign on to the Indie Challenge today! 

    “I want to help create a robust local economy,” said Indie Challenge-taker Laura Carbonneau from Food Connects. “Business owners can't do it on their own -- they need community buy-in and investment!”

    Independents Month Staycation Giveaway

    Here’s an extra incentive to take the Indie Challenge: One lucky participant will win our Independents Month Staycation Giveaway.  Our Staycation Giveaway includes a two-night Stay at the Inn at Valley Farms in Walpole, a gift card to The Hungry Diner in Walpole, a gift certificate to the Farm Store at Walpole Valley Farms in Walpole, a gift certificate for two 5 x 7 photo prints from Peterborough Camera, Copies & More in Peterborough, two tubes of sunscreen from Badger in Gilsum, one yoga class from Aloha Keene, and two keychains from GeoGraphic Gems.  WOW! Now, that’s some staycation inspiration.

    Also, all Indie Challenge participants can enter to win the Upper Valley of NH/VT Staycation Giveaway.  We’ll announce the winners in early August.

    See all the details here

    “I believe in buying local -- I did even before it was so popular!” shared Indie Challenge participant Sue Ells from Monadnock Food Co-op.  “And I need a staycation!”

    Independents Month is an ideal time to recognize our locally owned and independent businesses for the community values they embody and their spirit of entrepreneurship. Also, how they give back to our community with their time, talents, goods, and services, making us healthier and wealthier.  Thank an independent business owner and their staff today!

    “I love having local businesses nearby because it’s convenient. I can see what I’m buying and how the businesses contribute to our economic community,” said Paula F. of Stoddard. “And I can get the advice and guidance needed for my purchases. We all win!”

    Healthier and Wealthier

    How do locally owned businesses keep us healthier and wealthier?  It’s thanks to the local multiplier effect.  When you spend your dollars at independent businesses, those businesses also spend more of their dollars locally, creating a ripple effect in our community that boosts job growth, charitable giving, and overall prosperity.  The Monadnock Indie Impact Study found that our region’s local retailers return 62.4% of their revenue to our local economy, while chain stores return just 13.6%. 

    Learn more  

    “Our community is the foundation for everything that is good in our world,” shared Michelle D. of Spofford.

    Support Local Wherever You Are

    Traveling during Independents Week?  Enjoy what locally owned businesses have to offer wherever you are.  Ask locals where their favorite independents are and look for networks at amiba.net/our-network.

    Think independently and act locally this Independents Month and beyond.  Together, we’ll boost the positive ripple effects our community receives when we spend more of our dollars at locally owned, independent businesses.
  • May 24, 2022 9:14 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Summer means vacation for many of us.  However, taking a vacation doesn’t have to include traveling far to get away.  Take a staycation this year!  Stay close to home and experience all the Monadnock Region has to offer.  You’ll save money at the gas pumps.  Plus, any money you do spend will recirculate in our local economy, building more community health and wealth.

    Here are just a few events to add to your staycation plans this June. Also, keep reading to the end of this article to find out how to enter our Staycation Giveaway!

    Gilsum Rock Swap & Mineral Show

    Gilsum will ROCK the weekend of June 25 – 26 during the Gilsum Rock Swap & Mineral Show at the Gilsum Elementary School and Community Center.  Browse tables, tables, and tables of gems, jewelry, and minerals for sale or swap.  Grab a meal and pan for minerals.  At 1 p.m. on Saturday, Paul Brandes, the “Indiana Jones of Geology,” will share a history of mining starting 60,000 years ago.

    View the full schedule

    Enter Our Staycation Promotion

    Finally, check out our Independents Month Staycation Promotion coming this summer. Enter our giveaway by signing on to our Indie Month Challenge.  

    Take our pre-survey now and then a post-survey (coming in late July).  Complete both surveys for your chance to win our Staycation package. 

    The winner of our Staycation Package will receive a two-Night Stay at the Inn at Valley Farms in Walpole, a gift card to The Hungry Diner in Walpole, a gift certificate to the Farm Store at Walpole Valley Farms in Walpole, a gift certificate for two 5 x 7 photo prints from Peterborough Camera, Copies & More in Peterborough, two tubes of sunscreen from Badger in Gilsum, one yoga class from Aloha Keene, and two keychains from GeoGraphic Gems.  Best of all, you can enter to win an Upper Valley of NH/VT staycation package, too.  We’ll announce winners in early August.

    Take the Indie Challenge!

    We hope summer means staycation for you this year.  Happy local travels!


    Taste of Keene Food Festival

    Also on June 4, downtown Keene comes alive with food, too! The Keene Young Professionals Network will host the second annual Taste of Keene Food Festival at the top of Main Street from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Central Square, the upper section of Main Street, and part of Roxbury Street will be closed to traffic, allowing for a fantastic pedestrian-only event.

    Enjoy small bites from twenty-five local restaurants and food producers.   Purchase your food tokens today and save.  Watch cooking demos from local and regional chefs throughout the day.   

    As an added treat, The Colonial Theatre will host two live performances during the festival, the Real McCoy Show International Stunt Comedy in a Hard Hat

    Brent McCoy is the Real McCoy.  “His acclaimed show features breathtaking stunts, natural charisma, and a lightning-fast wit. It’s a rocking circus and comedy experience, appropriate for all ages. This ain’t no imitation… it’s the Real McCoy,” shared The Colonial Theatre.  “The show features audience participation, original comedy, diabolo, juggling (fire is optional), breakdancing, and his signature finale, ‘a boy on a board on a ball on a bench.’ Brent will meet members of the audience in The Colonial tent between performances. And it's customary to tip street performers!”

    Don’t forget to visit the Taste of Keene’s local craft biergarten to sip on a selection of our region's best brews and spirits (21 and over).  Please bring your ID.  Beverage tokens available for sale at the event.  Enjoy live music while you sip from three bands: The Evocatives, Modern Fools, and Mojohand.  

    BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!  This just in from KeeneYPN: We're looking for ten brave souls who are looking to terrify their taste buds in a scorching hot wing eating contest at the Taste of Keene Food Festival.  Contestants will be expected to eat four rounds of increasingly hot chicken wings, with short breaks between each round to let the heat...well...burn.  If more than one person survives the wings, we will offer a devilish dessert as a tie-breaker. The winner will be the last one sweati--uh, standing. 

    Each contestant will get a limited edition Taste of Keene Hot Wing t-shirt, flame sweatband, pint of Frisky Cow Gelato and  pint of milk.  The top three winners receive grand prizes. Please note that contestants will be required to sign a waiver prior to participating.

    Enter by purchasing your ticket here ($30 entry fee). The The Few, the Brave, the SPICY!! contest will run from 3:30 to about 4:15.

    Stay tuned for the Taste of Keene’s full schedule

    Keene ArtWalk

    Downtown storefronts will transform into art galleries during Keene ArtWalk on June 3 – 12.  Stroll up and down Main Street to view the works of over sixty New Hampshire artists.

    Learn More: Keene ArtWalk

    On Saturday, June 4, the ArtWalk expands to Railroad Square with a day of performances and demonstrations, including ballroom dance, glass blowing, and more.

    Bike Tour: Backroads and Rail Trail

    For a more nature-based staycation plan, join Monadnock Conservancy for a 20-mile mountain bike tour in Fitzwilliam on Saturday, June 18, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Learn about plans to improve this section of the Cheshire Rail Trail, plus efforts to protect the Chamberlain Conservation Area and Sip Pond.  Registration is required.

    Register today!

  • May 23, 2022 8:13 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    NH Gives, an initiative of the NH Center for Nonprofits, is the Granite State's largest day-of-giving - bringing together hundreds of nonprofits and tens of thousands of donors to raise as much money and awareness as possible for the causes they care about.

    TLC Monadnock Participating Nonprofits

    Is your favorite nonprofit participating?

    NH Gives has raised more than $8 million dollars for more than 900 nonprofits since 2016.

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