As we wind down 2023, here’s The Local Crowd Monadnock’s top five Choose Indie Local highlights of the year -- events and promotions to inspire you to spend and invest your dollars at locally owned businesses to boost our community’s health and wealth all year long.
We loved seeing so many of you dressed in plaid the day after Thanksgiving to celebrate Plaid Friday. Heaven Hair Gallery Salon in Keene on Plaid Friday. From left to right: Victoria McIntosh, Torrie Rice, Brandon Norman, Anjalee Call, Alicia Berntsen, and Ashley Corrow.
Number one on our list, hands down, is Plaid Friday. We loved seeing so many of you dressed in plaid the day after Thanksgiving to celebrate Indie Locals (locally owned and independent businesses) and the Local Economy movement. The nation saw record sales from Thanksgiving to Cider Monday. Indie Locals in the Monadnock Region were busy, too!
“[Plaid Friday] was a crazy busy but awesome day! There was excitement in the air,” shared April Reynolds of Norm’s Ski & Bike Shop. “We served free hot cocoa, mulled cider, and Benjee's Cookies. Everyone loved the cookies! We had a great day -- and our customers were amazing!”
Twenty-nine locally owned businesses served as Plaid Friday Hubs this year in Harrisville, Jaffrey, Keene, Peterborough, Spofford, Swanzey, Walpole, and Westmoreland. View this year’s Plaid Friday Hub photos on our Facebook page.
July’s Independents Month is second on our list. It’s a time to recognize all types of independent businesses and celebrate their spirit of entrepreneurship, individuality, uniqueness, and character.
For the second year, we invited our community to take the Indie Challenge and pledge to buy only from locally owned businesses for a day, week, or more. Over 240 of you have taken the challenge so far! Our 2023 challenge-taker winner won a staycation to the Inn at East Hill Farm, plus other treats from Monadnock Region independents. Stay tuned for our next Indie Challenge in 2024.
“This was a practice in being present for sure,” said Indie Challenger Barbara Davis of Alstead. “I would have to remind myself each time I needed to purchase something. I put a sticker on my car dash to remind myself.”
We highlight Move Your Money Month each April. This campaign urges you to support community banks and credit unions and move more of your money from Wall Street to Main Street. This is number three on our list! However, this is number one on my personal list since I was hired in July to become editor of The Main Street Journal, a hub for local investing published by economist and author Michael Shuman. Now I get to promote the Move Your Money message every week!
“After investing in Wall Street for thirty-four years, I am really enjoying the idea of supporting my local community and small businesses,” shared Ivy Hess, a subscriber of The Main Street Journal. “I have made seven investments in 2023 and am looking to do more. The Main Street Journal makes it easy to keep up with what is out there.”
Fourth on our list are two Choose Indie Local campaigns celebrating diversity: Shop Black-Owned Month in February and Choose Indie Pride in June. Both campaigns work to make our spending and investing more inclusive and uplift what makes our community welcoming and unique.
The Keene Family YMCA partnered with us during this year’s Shop Black-Owned Month. “We already know that shopping local has tangible benefits and helps to build a strong local economy,” the Keene Family YMCA’s website states. “By shopping Black-owned, you are voting with your dollar. You are voting for equity.”
Last but certainly not least is GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement. 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.”
“This was, by far, our most successful GivingTuesday event in our history,” said Sarah Harpster, Executive Director of The Community Kitchen in Keene. “And it’s really helping set us up for entering the new year strong.”
Your support for the Choose Indie Local movement this year sets us all up for a strong 2024. Thank you, and Happy New Year, everyone!
The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431