Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News
My dream: To see more of us investing our dollars in Main Street over Wall Street. Individuals and businesses in Northeast Minneapolis, MN had the same dream -- and banded together to form a community investment cooperative called the Northeast Investment Cooperative (NEIC). Members of this cooperative pool together their money to buy and develop real estate that they sell or lease to locally owned businesses.
If you picked up this year’s Monadnock Buy Local Guide, you may have read the article about this investment cooperative called, “These Neighbors Got Together to Buy Vacant Buildings. Now They’re Renting to Bakers and Brewers.”
“For most of us, investing means mutual funds or a 401k. We hope those funds grow, but are only vaguely aware of how that money is being used,” said Seth Erling, NEIC member. “With the NEIC, we see our investment everyday. The return is not only to our personal financial benefit, but to the social and economic benefit of the whole community.”
Let me back up -- just in case you haven’t read the article about Northeast Investment Cooperative. Individuals and businesses based in Minnesota can join NEIC for $1,000 to collectively purchase, renovate and manage commercial and residential buildings in Northeast Minneapolis. Like the Monadnock Food Co-op, NEIC members receive one vote to elect a board of directors that will govern the business. Members can choose to invest more money in the co-op, but they will still only receive one vote.
“When I found out my neighborhood was coming together to take change into their own hands, and not just wait for someone else to do it, I wanted to do my part,” said NEIC member, Brian Linder. “My first worry was, ‘Can I afford this?’ Then I realized that if I truly believed in our community, how could I afford not to.”
Currently, NEIC’s 231 members have purchased three buildings. One was sold to a bicycle repair shop and the other is leased to two locally owned businesses -- a cooperatively owned brewery and a German bakery. NEIC is now seeking a tenant for its newest building.
As the NEIC website states, “We believe that by investing patient capital, actively recruiting local businesses to occupy our property, and supporting those businesses as they grow and thrive, we can bring transformative change to Northeast Minneapolis, one building at a time.”
Learn more about NEIC.
Could we leverage this business model to purchase, develop and manage real estate in ways that enhance local ownership and fill empty storefronts? Or could it help us create affordable housing options for more of us? Could it make it easier to fund environmentally sustainable development projects like Monadnock Sustainability Network’s Community Supported Solar project?
The first and biggest hurdle: we need to confirm that this business model is exempt from state securities law. Securities laws require a business to register with the state and federal government before it can sell shares to investors. It’s a costly and time-consuming process. Real estate companies are exempt from this process at the federal level, but our state may have laws in place that limit this model, making it too cost-prohibitive for us to do right now. If real estate companies are not exempt in New Hampshire, we might then decide to take a very long-term approach and push for cooperatives to be added to exemptions at the national level. Negotiating securities law is not my cup of tea -- is it the beverage of choice for any of our readers?
Next, it would take a lot of people power to establish a cooperative like this. Just like our food co-op, it took many, many, many volunteer hours to bring that cooperative to where it is today. Do we have the right people, with the right skills, who have enough time to make this happen?
Could we transform our communities one building at a time? If you’re interested in exploring community investment cooperatives more with us, please drop us an email.
Originally posted in Monadnock Shopper News
While Plaid Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cider Monday and Giving Tuesday have come and gone, Monadnock Buy Local’s Shift Your Shopping effort continues through December. The Shift Your Shopping movement supports job creation and economic growth by inspiring you to shift more of your holiday spending to locally owned and independent businesses.
If everyone in the Monadnock Region shifted just 10% of their annual purchases from national chains to locally owned retailers, we would return $27 million to our regional economy annually. This money would recirculate through our economy, generating ripple effects that create new jobs, charitable contributions and community prosperity. From your holiday gift giving to your New Year’s celebration, are you ready to Shift Your Shopping?
“We are supporting Shift Your Shopping because every penny spent locally counts, and when you buy locally produced gifts at our co-op, you are supporting two local business with one purchase,” shared Emerald Levick, Marketing Manager at the Monadnock Food Co-op. “Locally made gifts don’t just convey the richness of our region, but the deeper meaning of your gift is that it gives back to your home community, your friends and neighbors.”
Now, as the month of December speeds by, you might find yourself in a panic to find a special gift for a loved one. While your instinct might drive you to hop online and shop with Amazon, we’re asking you to “think before you click” and consider the larger impacts of this choice on our community and local economy.
Here’s a summary of those impacts: In 2015, Amazon sold $272.3 million worth of retail goods in New Hampshire -- equal to 189 retail storefronts, which might have paid $3.6 million in property taxes. That represents a $6.96 subsidy to Amazon from each household in our state. While Amazon employs 95 workers in our state, their sales resulted in a net loss of 1,541 retail jobs in New Hampshire last year. These statistics come from a study by Civic Economics and the American Booksellers Association. Read more at: civiceconomics.com/empty-storefronts.html.
Let’s say you love shopping online -- why not shift your shopping from Amazon to online shops managed by locally owned businesses? The Toadstool Bookshops has an incredible online book directory. Search for books at toadbooks.com, select the books you want and decide whether to pick up your purchase in-store or have it delivered right to your house or a loved one’s home (gift wrapped and ready for giving).
Other Monadnock Buy Local Members with online gift shops include Badger Balm, Beeze Tees Screenprinting, Bunny Boogie Products, Cheshire Horse, Cheshire Garden, Eight Cattails Imagery, Good Fortune Jewelry, Hike Monadnock, Holland Homestead Farm, Jack’s Crackers, Jayelay Jewelers, Jeni Skin Care, Korvin Appliance, Of Moose & Mountain, Prime Roast, Thistle in Thyme, Wilderness Creations and Woodard Sugar House. Search this list by town or product at monadnocklocal.org/online.
Don’t forget! You can also purchase gift certificates either at a locally owned store or sometimes online.
Please join us and Shift Your Shopping this holiday season. Together we’ll create a true holiday gift to our community -- one that will keep on giving throughout the New Year.
Originally published by Advocates for Independent Business (AIB)
When you choose locally owned businesses for your shopping, you create a ripple effect. It starts with your own experience, and the benefits that you get from shopping at independent stores, like getting to rely on local retailers’ expertise.
But then, the effects keep going. By shopping at local stores, you connect with your community. You strengthen your local economy. And finally, as the circle of ripples extends out, you cast a vote for the American dream.
Here’s what happens when you shop with a locally owned business — starting with you.
While most independent retailers say the growth of Amazon is negatively affecting their businesses, a large share also report being better positioned than many national chains to weather the seismic shifts underway in the retail industry.
A new national survey of independent retailers called Independent Retailers and the Changing Retail Landscape provides essential data needed to elevate discussions around the impacts of online sales on local economies and community wealth in the Monadnock Region and statewide.
In the age of Amazon, cities and towns face the implications of online sales on job growth and tax revenue. The results of this survey suggest that investing in measures that strengthen locally owned businesses could foster a local economy that is more resilient in the face of these upheavals.
In the Monadnock Region, potential measures include supporting efforts such as Monadnock Buy Local’s Complete Economy Project. This project calls for the adoption of policies that level the playing field for locally owned businesses, while cultivating a regional economy that works for more people and balances the needs of diverse business types.
This survey, conducted by Advocates for Independent Business, gathered data from over 850 independent retailers in 49 U.S. states. Their responses yield valuable insight into how independent businesses are responding to the changing landscape — and how they perceive the way their distinct attributes set them apart from national retail chains and from Amazon.
The survey’s findings include:
“These findings provide valuable insights for local officials assessing how best to sustain the economic vitality of their communities,” said Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which conducted the survey on behalf of Advocates for Independent Business. “While many malls and chain stores are going dark, independent retailers are a better bet for the future. Many offer distinct attributes that customers can’t find at Amazon or most chain stores, and they have something more to offer their communities. For these small businesses to thrive though, officials need to do more to ensure they have a level playing field.”
Read the full report
Farmers’ Market of Keene: Monadnock Waldorf School, 98 S. Lincoln St. Every Saturday, November through December; 2nd and 4th Saturday, January through March; Every Saturday in April, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. SNAP/EBT accepted. firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.keenefarmersmarket.com/.
Peterborough Farmers’ Market: Peterborough Community Center, 25 Elm St., Weds. Oct.-Dec 20, 3– 5 p.m. Vegetables, flowers/plants, dairy, maple, baked goods, meat, crafts. 396-9136, email@example.com, https://www.facebook.com/PeterboroughNHFarmersMarket.
Winchester Farmers’ Market on Main: Town Hall, 1 Richmond Rd., Sat.,
Nov. – May, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Vegetables, maple, baked goods, meat, jams/jellies, eggs, Vegan foods, fudge, hand made soap, crafts. Live music, holiday card and cookie decorating, visits with Santa and more. SNAP/EBT accepted. 239-6361, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.winchesterfarmersmarketnh.com.
View New Hampshire Winter Farmers’ Markets (2017/2018 Season)
From the NH Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food
**Please contact market to verify products available**
Monadnock Buy Local's eighth annual Plaid Friday Event is set for Friday, November 24, 2017. Wear plaid on Plaid Friday to show your support for our local economy and commitment to Shift Your Shopping and support locally owned businesses this holiday season. Last year, over 360 community members pledged to participate in Plaid Friday. Let's beat that number this year!
RSVP to Plaid Friday and help spread the word
Plaid Friday celebrates the diversity and creativity of local and independent businesses. It's a fun and festive alternative to the "Black Friday" consumer frenzy perpetuated by big box stores.
It's also a great way for the community to show its support for Monadnock Buy Local -- a network of locally owned businesses, organizations and individuals working to build a stronger local, green and fair economy. This event originated in Oakland, CA with the intent to bring back the times when shopping for friends and family was a pleasurable and leisurely activity.
"Plaid Friday is an exciting day to celebrate the special role that neighborhood stores play in their communities -- I love to see all of the plaid and the happy smiles," said Kimberly Peck, owner of Nest :: Mother Child Home. "Each year the amount of people choosing to shop local increases, and it's incredibly heartening as a small business owner to see more and more of our community turning out to support our small-town economy. We really are all connected!"
Thirty locally owned businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs, photographing customers decked out in plaid and answering questions about this event.
Local photographer Kimberly Peck will host her annual Plaid Friday Photo Booth outside of her retail shop, Nest :: Mother Child Home, located at 4 Grove Street in Peterborough, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. In Keene, Ted's Shoe & Sport at 115 Main Street will host a Plaid Friday Photo Booth inside the store with Luxury Box Photo Booth from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monadnock Buy Local will add all of the photos taken to their Plaid Friday collage, celebrating all who wore plaid.
A number of Monadnock Buy Local members will offer specials to honor the day and thank community members for their support. LuvInk&Paper in Keene will offer a free gift tag make-n-take project at their 103 Roxbury Street - Suite 306 studio and Beeze Tees Screen Printing at 117 Main Street in Keene will give all customers 30% off their in-store purchases on November 24th.
Plaid Friday is part of the "Shift Your Shopping" movement in the Monadnock Region. From November 1 to December 31, Monadnock Buy Local encourages residents to choose local and independent businesses for more of their holiday purchases.
The Monadnock Region's Plaid Friday event is sponsored by Badger Balm, Beeze Tees, Brie & Vessie, CC&D's Kitchen Market, The Cheshire Horse, The Economizer, The Farm Concessions & Cafe, The Fitzwilliam Inn, Hannah Grimes Marketplace, Howard's Leather, The Inn at East Hill Farm, Korvin Appliance, Joan's Personal Chef Service, Katz Architect, Korvin Appliance, LuvINK&Paper, MB Massage Studio, Monadnock Food Co-op, Nest: Mother Child Home, Of Moose & Mountain, One Stop Country Pet Supply, Steele's Stationers, Ted's Shoe & Sport, Walpole Mountain View Winery, VizionZ and Yoga with Josephine.
On November 1, the seventh annual Shift Your Shopping holiday campaign launched for the 2017 season, encouraging individuals and businesses to "shift" more of their visits for holiday shopping, entertaining and dining to local independent businesses. Monadnock Buy Local, along with seventeen business organizations and networks in towns and cities throughout New Hampshire, kicked off this collaborative campaign this week. The campaign continues through December.
Shift Your Shopping's mission is to "build a tradition that strengthens local economies, expands local employment, nurtures a sense of community and provides a more relaxed, fun and rewarding holiday shopping experience."
Monadnock Buy Local and Seacoast Local launched the Shift Your Shopping concept with partners around the nation in 2010. Now they're inviting like-minded organizations to grow the campaign in the Granite State. Partners bring their own local flair, using Shift Your Shopping templates as well as incorporating events like Plaid Friday and Cider Monday (pro-local antidotes to the chain-centered Black Friday and "Cyber Monday") to their efforts. The campaign also encourages people to employ the energy and resources of Small Business Saturday as part of their season-long outreach plans.
The campaign also makes a timely economic case for buying local. Every dollar spent at a local, independent business recirculates 2-4 times more in the community compared to a dollar spent at a non-local business. With consumers reporting that they will spend an average $967 for holiday shopping this year, according to a 2017 National Retail Federation survey, a shift to local purchases represents a significant contribution to local jobs and taxes. Sustained "buy local" campaigns have demonstrated their capacity to shift sizable portions of that spending from chains and online giants to local entrepreneurs, according to the Institute for Local Self Reliance.
Karen Marzloff, executive director of Seacoast Local, notes that redirecting spending on gifts, dining, beverages, decorations, party planning and local experiences creates an opportunity to make a real impact on the local economy. "Regardless of the size of your holiday budget, each dollar matters when we Buy Local. Your gift can generate a smile today, and also build a legacy in your community for tomorrow."
Partners are businesses and organizations that understand the increased economic and community benefits that accrue when we spend dollars at locally owned, independent businesses. They also value programs and policies that build a local, green and fair economy rooted in the Granite State: New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, Northern Community Investment Corporation, Vital Communities' Local First Alliance (Upper Valley), White Mountain Independents, NH Made, NH Food Alliance, North Country Farmers Co-op, Hannah Grimes Center (Keene), Monadnock Food Co-op, Edible New Hampshire, The Monadnock Beat, Ash Hill Center for the Arts (Swanzey), Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, Monadnock Arts Alive, Portsmouth Clippers Farm to School and PortsmouthNH.com.
From November 1st to December 31st each year, Monadnock Buy Local works extra hard to ensure your holiday spending matches the community values you support. To make our “think local first” message stronger, we participate in the Shift Your Shopping campaign. This national movement encourages citizens to support local job creation and economic growth through their holiday purchases at locally owned and independent businesses.
Now is the perfect time to set goals for yourself around your holiday shopping pursuits. Maybe you want to make all your gifts for loved ones this year. Or perhaps, you want to give only services (like a massage) instead of stuff. Every year, we offer you the chance to take the “Shift Your Shopping” pledge and commit to shift at least 10% of your holiday purchases from chains and online giants to locally owned businesses. Add all your goals around holiday gift-giving to this pledge.
Sign on to this year’s pledge today
Our first event -- to help you build and strengthen your commitment to reach your holiday spending goals -- is Plaid Friday. Wear plaid on Friday, November 24th to show your support for our local economy and commitment to buying from locally owned businesses this holiday season. Some Monadnock Buy Local members will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs. These dedicated businesses will photograph customers decked out in plaid and answer questions about Plaid Friday and Monadnock Buy Local.
Discover the closest Plaid Friday Hub to you
Wearing plaid in Keene on Plaid Friday? Hop on into the Luxury Box Photo Booth at Ted's Shoe & Sport at 115 Main Street in Keene from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 24th. We’re also very excited that Kimberly Peck Photography will once again set up a Plaid Friday Photo Booth from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4 Grove Street in Peterborough, outside of the shop Nest :: mother child home.
Monadnock Buy Local will add all the photos taken to our annual collage, celebrating everyone who wore plaid to honor the day. Check out our gallery of over 370 photos from past Plaid Fridays.
In addition to hubs, some members will offer other special offerings to thank you for stopping in. LuvInk&Paper in Keene will offer a free gift tag make-n-take project at their 103 Roxbury Street – Suite 306 studio and Beeze Tees Screen Printing at 117 Main Street in Keene will give all customers 30% off their in-store purchases on November 24th.
On Monday, November 27th it’s Cider Monday. Step away from your computer and pop on into participating businesses like The Toadstool Bookshops in Peterborough, Keene and Milford for a free cup of cider. In response to Cyber Monday, a day when online merchants offer deep discounts to divert your attention away from buying locally, Willard Williams of the Toadstool Bookshops dreamed up this new tradition.
“Customers are promised cider and smiling servers that will not crash,” shares Willard. “As always, we'll offer personal service, advice and the opportunity to touch and try items -- with no logins or passwords necessary! Join us in taking a bite out of Cyber Monday.”
View the growing list of locally owned businesses participating in Cider Monday this year.
A big THANK YOU to this year's Shift Your Shopping and Plaid Friday sponsors: Badger Balm, Beeze Tees, Brie & Vessie, CC&D's Kitchen Market, The Cheshire Horse, The Economizer, The Farm Concessions & Cafe, The Fitzwilliam Inn, Hannah Grimes Marketplace, Howard's Leather, The Inn at East Hill Farm, Korvin Appliance, Joan's Personal Chef Service, Katz Architect, Korvin Appliance, LuvINK&Paper, MB Massage Studio, Monadnock Food Co-op, Nest: Mother Child Home, Of Moose & Mountain, One Stop Country Pet Supply, Steele's Stationers, Ted's Shoe & Sport, Walpole Mountain View Winery, VizionZ and Yoga with Josephine.
Every time you Shift Your Shopping, and spend your dollars at locally owned businesses, you give a boost to our local economy. The money you spend recirculates through our economy and generates a ripple effect -- joining with other local purchases to create new jobs, charitable contributions and more. If everyone shifted just 10% of purchases from national chains to locally owned retailers, we would return $27 million to the regional economy. Now, that’s all I want for Christmas this year!
The Works Café proudly announces the launch of its first-ever mobile ordering app for iOS and Andriod. Starting today at The Works Café in Keene, guests can place their order right from their phone or tablet.
App users can order and pay through their mobile device. They can also schedule a pickup time in 15-minute increments. Past orders are easily accessed for even faster ordering of favorites -- and users earn loyalty points each time they order, redeemable for discounts and other rewards.
As a thank you for downloading The Works Café Mobile app, users will receive $5.00 off their next mobile order.
The Works Café will announce its timeline to roll out the app in all its cafés at a future date.
“We are incredibly excited to offer this app to our customers -- allowing them to get a healthy meal with greater speed and convenience,” said Richard French, President of The Works Café. “When you come to pick up your order, you’ll see that we stayed true to our mission by repurposing an old shoe rack for our mobile ordering pick up area.”
Monadnock Buy Local invites all locally owned businesses in the Monadnock Region to participate in this year's Shift Your Shopping campaign running from November 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017.
Shift Your Shopping includes our signature community event called Plaid Friday on Friday, November 24, 2017 and a newer event called Cider Monday on Monday, November 27, 2017.
"During the winter holiday season, Monadnock Buy Local works extra hard to ensure that our spending matches the community values we support," said Jen Risley, Executive Director of Monadnock Buy Local. "To make our 'think local first' message stronger, we participate in the Shift Your Shopping campaign. This national movement encourages citizens to support job creation and economic growth through their holiday purchases at locally owned and independent businesses."
Plaid Friday on Friday, November 24th is a day when community members show their support for local and independent businesses by wearing plaid. The event was created in Oakland, CA and spread to the Monadnock Region seven years ago. Last year, over 200 individuals registered to participate throughout the region and Monadnock Buy Local is making plans to attract an even bigger response this year.
"The store was busy all day [during last year's Plaid Friday]. Lots of customers know about Plaid Friday and are wearing plaid -- even babies," said Françoise Bourson, owner of Joseph's Coat in Peterborough, NH. "In fact we were so busy ringing up customers, we forgot to take any pictures."
Cider Monday is a direct and delicious assault on the Monday after Thanksgiving, infamously known as Cyber Monday. It's an opportunity to connect in-person and pause to reflect on the hidden impacts of shopping with online giants. Locally owned businesses participating in Cider Monday will offer community members a warm welcome and a cup of delicious cider on Monday, November 27th.
"Customers are promised cider and smiling servers that will not crash," said Willard Williams, co-owner of the Toadstool Bookshops in Keene, Peterborough and Milford and founder of Cider Monday. "As always, we'll offer personal service, advice and the opportunity to touch and try items -- with no logins or passwords necessary!"
Participation in these events is free. Monadnock Buy Local will share promotional materials and inspiration on its website that any business is welcome to use. Businesses are encouraged to connect with their customers and let them know that they plan to celebrate Plaid Friday on November 24th and/or Cider Monday on November 27th.
This year's Shift Your Shopping and Plaid Friday sponsors include Badger Balm, Brie & Vessie, CC&D's Kitchen Market, CJ the DJ, The Cheshire Horse, The Economizer, The Farm Concessions & Cafe, The Fitzwilliam Inn, Hannah Grimes Marketplace, Howard's Leather, The Inn at East Hill Farm, Korvin Appliance, Joan's Personal Chef Service, Katz Architect, Korvin Appliance, LuvINK&Paper, MB Massage Studio, Monadnock Food Co-op, Nest: Mother Child Home, Of Moose & Mountain, One Stop Country Pet Supply, Steele's Stationers, Ted's Shoe & Sport, Walpole Mountain View Winery, VizionZ and Yoga with Josephine.
Shift Your Shopping promotional tools, social media posts and other updates will be posted at https://monadnocklocal.org/shiftyourshopping.
The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431