Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News
Last April, Monadnock Buy Local hosted two events focusing on Pollinator Enterprises with author, attorney and local economist Michael Shuman. What’s the latest buzz around Pollinator Enterprises?
First, a refresher on Pollinator Enterprises from Michael Shuman: A “pollinator” is a self-financing enterprise committed to boosting local business. Some pollinators are for-profit businesses, some are nonprofits, but all allow a community to undertake one or more of five key economic development functions — planning, purchasing, people, partnerships and purse — with far greater efficacy and at a substantially lower cost than typical, taxpayer-funded programs. [Pollinator enterprises] ultimately aim to avoid dependency on government grants or charitable contributions.
Want a full refresher? Watch Michael Shuman’s Pollinator Enterprise talk from last year.
We continue to compile the names of existing and emerging pollinator enterprises in the Monadnock Region in hopes of amplifying this approach to boosting our local economy. View our current list of pollinator enterprises.
Now, some short updates on three aspiring Pollinator Enterprises in the Monadnock Region: Community Supported Solar, Machina Arts and Placemaker.
The Monadnock Sustainability Network’s Community Supported Solar project brought the power of renewable energy to the Monadnock Food Co-op on May 25, 2016. This 43.5 KW photovoltaic solar electric system covers the roof of the Co-op and is locally owned by a small group of investors called Cypress Community Solar, LLC. The renewable energy produced by these solar panels is sold to the Co-op and, within ten years, the Co-op plans to purchase the entire PV system from Cypress Community Solar.
“Renewable power production and reducing carbon emissions were important goals,” stated John Kondos, founder and president of Monadnock Sustainability Network. “But [we] also prioritized ownership by area people because local ownership promotes local sustainability.”
Machina Arts, a business passionate about community-based art, just completed its latest project -- redesigning a space into “The Hive” (nice name, huh?), a co-working space at Hannah Grimes Center.
“The idea of pollination has echoed throughout our work with our start-up business Machina Arts,” shared Danya Pugliese, Co-Founder of Machina Arts. “Although our business focuses on boosting the arts and culture, we believe that the arts touch more people then just artists and musicians -- they create the heartbeat of our region’s culture, give room for healthy social interactions and help to retain our young professionals. Pollination is spreading your passions!”
For years, Monadnock Buy Local searched for ways to demonstrate our true impact on our local economy. Are our efforts really making a difference? Enter the Placemaker Local Rewards Program, an online loyalty platform that tracks purchases made at locally owned businesses while offering gifts and discounts to users who spend their dollars locally. Placemaker’s mission: Strengthen neighborhood business districts that lead to thriving local economies.
Watch for our Placemaker crowdfunding campaign coming to The Local Crowd Monadnock in late spring.
“The benefit to [groups like Monadnock Buy Local] is now they have the data to prove whether their campaign was a success,” said Michael Scotto di Carlo, Co-Founder of Placemaker. “We want their members to pay dues, not as a gift, but rather because the alliance is really improving their bottom line.”
The biggest challenge for these three emerging Pollinator Enterprises is the transition from start-up to a fully self-funding program. Please support these, and other Pollinator efforts, by spreading the buzz around these efforts with your connections. Also, dive into this topic more by picking up a copy of Michael Shuman’s book The Local Economy Solution at the Toadstool Bookshops today!
The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431