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Weathering the Storm Together

April 29, 2020 6:09 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

The Local Crowd Monadnock (TLC Monadnock), a community-based crowdfunding program, is getting closer to launching an initiative that will empower you to support the local businesses and organizations that you don’t want to live without. 

While we work to lay the groundwork for this initiative, here are some ways you can help local businesses weather the COVID-19 storm now.  Thank you to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance for providing the tips below.  We also share updates from local businesses related to each tip.  Their quotes show that many of you have already embraced the idea of weathering this storm together.

#1: BUY LOCAL

Lots of small businesses have online storefronts. Many offer home delivery too. You’ll not only get your products faster than if you order them from an online megastore, but you’ll also be helping the small businesses you love stay in business.

Some local business owners reported an uptick in business due to the coronavirus.   “Our farm has seen an increase in the number of people joining our spring and main season CSAs for this time of year,” shared Gene Jonas of Hungry Bear Farm in Mason.  “We sold out spring shares weeks ago and had to turn some people away even.  Our main season CSA is about two-thirds full right now.”

In terms of our community taking advantage of online storefronts, here’s one report from a local business owner in Keene. “I have been overwhelmed by the love from our community and beyond,” said Brandie Wells from Soul Emporium.  “My goal during this pandemic was to creatively keep inventory moving. I am selling Mystery Boxes (with crystals, herbs, teas, and other items) and the community is purchasing! Some are even buying them as pick-me-ups to ship to friends and family. This creative solution is helping my store thrive and bringing love and light to my community as well.”

Looking for businesses with an online storefront?  View our searchable directory at tlcmonadnock.com/online.

#2: BE FLEXIBLE

Order online from your favorite local restaurants, then pick up curbside. Take your fitness classes by Zoom. No matter how your favorite businesses are offering goods and services now, keep supporting them with your purchases.

Restaurants and other businesses pivoted to curbside pick-up.  Many yoga and wellness centers moved their services online.  While you shift the ways you support your health, find ways to support the health of local businesses that provide so much to our community.  What they provide ripples out way beyond the products and services they offer.

“When we opened Aloha Healthy Living just a year ago, we had a different vision than most new businesses. We wanted to give all our incoming money to our practitioners and the rest to nonprofits,” said Josephine Russell. “We are at the stage of life where we still have a lot of energy and we wanted to have somewhere to pour this energy into that gives us meaning and happiness.”

Josephine continued, “Our teachers have switched to online offerings. Some offer classes for free, some by donation, and some at a fee. Most importantly, we have many tools in our yoga toolbox for getting us through this time stress-free and happy.”

“The social capital and the community’s support of our shops and restaurants has been stupendous,” shared Ted McGreer of Ted’s Shoe & Sport in Keene. “I wanted to personally find a way to support our regions’ businesses, and with so many people trying to get outside and increase their level of activity, I decided to hold a Keene Community Virtual 5K.” 

Instead of race participants receiving a t-shirt, they received a gift certificate from a local business of their choice.  The result, just shy of $20,000 in gift certificates going to support area businesses.

#3: BE GENEROUS

Tip well. Spread the news (safely) about the great service you’re getting from your small businesses. Leave positive reviews online (small business owners could really use some love right now). Donate to your favorite businesses through crowdfunding.

There’s much generosity happening in our region.  We’re thrilled to share that our community stepped up to support Food Connects crowdfunding campaign with TLC Monadnock.  On April 18, they reached their campaign goal to raise $10,000 to increase market access for local farmers and food producers in our region.

Food Connects continues its local food delivery service to wholesale customers. “The last three weeks we’ve seen a 50-80% increase in our local food sales,” says Alex McCullough, Food Hub Manager. “We are delivering food to local co-ops and markets, hospitals, school meal programs, and buying clubs in record numbers. This diverse group of customers is allowing us to continue supporting farmers and finding outlets for their food.”

Please share more examples of how you and your community are weathering the storm together.  Contact me at jen@thelocalcrowd.com.  Be well!


The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431

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