Giving Tuesday – A Global Day of Giving

Giving Tuesday is a one-day annual campaign that encourages people to contribute to their local communities. Celebrate #GivingTuesday this Tuesday, November 28, by making a donation or volunteering for an Upper Valley organization you believe in. Appreciate, support, and celebrate what makes the Upper Valley such a special place to live, work, and play.STACKED_0Look for #GivingTuesday posts on our Vital Communities Facebook page, where we’ll share some of our work from the past year and celebrate the impact of the community members who make it possible. Leading up to and on November 28, look for the #GivingTuesday hashtag for ideas on how to get involved and use it to share what you’ve done this year for your community.

#GT Heart (1)Learn more about #GivingTuesday.

Field Harlow Farm June 2007 by LJ

Leasing Your Land to a Farmer Workshop

Leasing Your Land to a Farmer Workshop

Join Vital Communities and Land For Good to learn about leasing your land to a farmer. This workshop is for private landowners interested in making their land available to farmers for agricultural production, for members of community organizations interested in assisting local farmland owners to keep agricultural land in active production, and farmers interested in leasing issues. Assessing your land, crafting leases, legal, financial, tax, insurance, liability, and finding a farmer are some of the topics that will be covered in a panel discussion.

November 15, 2017

6-8 pm

Kilton Public Library, West Lebanon, NH

Register here.

Questions? Email Nancy@VitalCommunities.org

Upper Valley Housing Coalition Fall Business Leaders Breakfast

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The Upper Valley Housing Coalition Fall Business Leaders Breakfast is being held on Friday, November 3, 2017, at the Fireside Inn in West Lebanon. Registration and a full breakfast buffet will begin at 7:30am followed by presentations from 8:00am to 9:00am. A very special thank you to Lake Sunapee Bank (a division of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust) and Vermont Housing Finance Agency for sponsoring this important event!

Participate in an interactive panel discussion on The Future of the Upper Valley Housing Coalition, featuring Tom Roberts, Executive Director of Vital Communities; Clay Adams, CEO of Mascoma Savings Bank and Chair of the Corporate Council; Kyle Fisher, Executive Director of Listen and Upper Valley Housing Coalition Board Member; and Rob Schultz, Area Director of the Upper Valley Region of Granite United Way.

You will also hear the latest on the Upper Valley rental and home purchase markets from Buff McLaughry of Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty and Lynne LaBombard of Housing Solutions Real Estate.

We’ll have the informative presentations and great networking opportunities that you have come to expect from this event!

Please RSVP by Friday, October 27 to Rachel@VitalCommunities.org

A $10.00 donation at the door is encouraged.

 

Locally Owned Businesses Drive Our Local Economy

The following opinion article appeared in the Valley News last week after the closing of Everything But Anchovies, a local Hanover restaurant that had been feeding Dartmouth and our larger community for 38 years. You can also read the May 17 Valley News article about the restaurant’s closing.

Local First Alliance supports independent locally owned businesses by promoting shopping local in the Upper Valley. Scroll down to learn the benefits to our community when you keep it local!

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We’re Losing More Than EBA’s Pizza

Thursday, June 8, 2017 — The closing of Hanover’s Everything But Anchovies has left us with more than just hunger pangs. The shuttering of a local business — be it a restaurant like EBAs or any other enterprise — weakens our regional economy in ways not easily corrected.

Hardest hit are the workers. Even a short disruption in cash flow makes it hard to retain housing or buy necessities. These neighbors deserve our empathy and encouragement as they hustle to replace lost income. When we choose to do business with locally owned businesses, our patronage lowers the risk of layoffs and creates more jobs.

Chain restaurants, stores and franchises do have considerable impact on local employment. These firms employ our neighbors, who offer friendly service and work hard to earn our business and trust. National and international chains have deep pockets, but their owners and shareholders live outside our region, so more of their profits flow out of the Upper Valley.

Locally owned businesses “play a key role in forming the foundation of community life,” notes Judy Wicks in her book, Good Morning, Beautiful Business. 

Owners of local businesses make extraordinary contributions to social programs, the arts and charitable organizations. While some businesses based far away make generous contributions to local needs, some have policies that restrict giving.

Small businesses are the “best contributors to economic development,” adds Wicks, an entrepreneur and founding member of the localism movement. According to a 2010 Michigan State University Study, $73 of every $100 spent at local businesses stays in local economies. By contrast, only $43 of $100 spent at non-local businesses stays close to home. Local businesses and local patronage power local economies.

If we all did at least 10 percent of our shopping at locally owned businesses, we’d give a substantial financial boost to them. The negative effect on big chains would be slight. But — as the closing of Everything But Anchovies demonstrates — if customers shift 10 percent of their dollars away from locally owned businesses, the impact can be disastrous.

Spending locally may ask us for an added measure of faithfulness. Our loyalty may mean driving a little farther, or spending a bit more on goods and services. But shopping locally supports a vibrant business landscape. Only local spending can ensure us access to local goods and services, from the service station that keeps your car running to banks committed to local investment.

As we lament the loss of Everything But Anchovies, let’s use its closing as motivation to increase our patronage of local businesses. At our Co-op, we know that businesses, farms, food producers and service providers nourish community by cultivating cooperation. It takes work and commitment from all involved, but we all share in the long-lasting benefits of homegrown prosperity.

Bill Craig, President,

Ed Fox, General Manager

Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society 

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A Strong Economy and Vibrant Community

When you patronize a local business instead of a chain store or shop online, you are helping to keep our community economically strong and diverse. Here are just some of the benefits:

BUILD COMMUNITY! The casual encounters you enjoy at neighborhood–scale businesses and the public spaces around them build relationships and community cohesiveness.  They’re the ultimate social networking sites!

STRENGTHEN YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY! Each dollar you spend at independent businesses returns 3 times more money to your local economy than one spent at a chain (almost 50 times more than buying from an online mega-retailer) — a benefit we all can bank on.

SHAPE OUR CHARACTER! Independent businesses help give your community its distinct personality and character.

YOU CAN BUY IT WHERE YOU TRY IT! Local stores enable you to try on and try out items before you buy — and get real expertise — saving your time and money.

CREATE A HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT! Independent, community-serving businesses are people-sized. They typically consume less land, carry more locally-made products, locate closer to residents and create less traffic and air pollution.

GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY! Small businesses donate more than twice as much per sales dollar to local non-profits, events, and teams compared to big businesses.

LOWER TAXES! More efficient land use and more central locations mean local businesses put less demand on our roads, sewers, and safety services. They also generate more tax revenue per sales dollar. The bottom line: a greater percentage of local independent businesses keeps your taxes lower.

ENHANCE CHOICES! A wide variety of independent businesses, each serving their customers’ tastes, creates greater overall choice for all of us.

CREATE JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES! Not only do independent businesses employ more people directly per dollar of revenue, they also are the customers of local printers, accountants, wholesalers, farms, attorneys, etc., expanding opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

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Keep it local and look for the logo!

Find a Local First Alliance business

 

Soups and Salads at Newbury

Newbury salad bar

Newbury Elementary is enjoying the fruits of our summer and fall labors this winter. Our 5/6 team is planning to make bread and a variety of soups for the March Town Meeting Day- mostly from fare that was grown in our raised beds and gardens near the school. The money they raise from the lunches will go toward a wonderful end-of-the-year science field trip to Cape Cod. Our terrific Chef Paul continues to provide superb, healthy lunches for our students and staff and offers a full salad bar every day. He’s eager for spring to come so he can continue to purchase locally grown produce to supplement our salad bar and lunches. Here’s to the coming of the spring season! – Kim Goody, Farm to School Coordinator, Newbury Elementary School, Newbury, VT

Ledyard Bridge Bikes

New Study on Funding Local Transportation

Vital Communities is pleased to release a new study that examines an optional vehicle registration fee used by over a dozen New Hampshire municipalities. The fee, authorized under RSA 261:153 VI, allows municipalities to collect up to $5 per registration to establish local transportation improvement funds for projects as diverse as basic road maintenance, sidewalk construction, and public transit.

Vital Communities Transportation Program Manager Aaron Brown, the report’s author, concludes that a growing number of communities are interested in the fee and that towns and cities have benefited greatly from their local transportation funds.

“The municipalities that collect the fee range in population from under 2,000 to more than 100,000, but they share a common theme: the revenue collected under this program is essential for maintaining good local transportation options.” —Transportation Program Manager Aaron Brown

Representative Patricia Higgins, a Democrat who represents Hanover and Lyme, recently introduced a bill that would raise the maximum amount that a municipality may add to their vehicle registration fee from $5 to $10, but only if the voters of that municipality decide they want to raise more revenue.

“Towns and cities can no longer rely on state funds to meet their important transportation needs, be it repairing a bridge so goods can reach a market, funding public transportation so commuters can get to work, or making a bike route safer for students to get to school. This fee, totally optional, allows localities to identify and solve their own problems. I’m grateful for the work of Vital Communities in educating towns and cities all over the state of the existence of this enabling legislation, and I hope my bill will allow local residents more flexibility to arrive at local solutions.”

Read the full report: A Look at the Municipal Vehicle Registration Fee

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Modern Wood Heating Forum

Modern Wood Pellet Heating Forum
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, 6–8 pm
Montshire Museum in Norwich, Vermont – and ONLINE

This forum will focus on central wood pellet heating technology for residential and commercial settings. This technology is highly efficient and more affordable than ever thanks to several new incentives in both New Hampshire and Vermont. A modern wood pellet boiler can completely replace a conventional oil boiler for a fraction of the annual heating cost. And there are no heavy pellet bags to haul. Central pellet boilers are fed automatically from a hopper, and the hopper is filled with pellets by a delivery truck.

Experts in wood pellet modern wood heating technology will discuss:

  • Central residential and commercial modern wood heating technology, including efficiency
  • How wood pellets are processed, delivered, stored, and automatically fed to the boiler
  • Environmental concerns (sustainable harvesting, short vs. long term carbon release, particulates, etc.)
  • Pricing and availability of boilers and pellets
  • Economics of modern wood heat vs. fossil fuels
  • Incentives and financing

Participants include:

  • Adam Sherman, Biomass Energy Resource Center
  • Maura Adams, Northern Forest Center
  • Charlie Niebling, Innovative Natural Resource Solutions
  • Scott Nichols, Tarm USA
  • Morton Bailey, Lyme Green Heat

This forum is free and, open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

Can’t make it to the Montshire on September 15? Thanks to Bob “The Green Guy” Farnham, we will stream the forum live and post the video for viewing after the event at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNT2NFOgrO0

Sponsored by Lyme Green HeatTarm USAPellergy and Kedel Pellet Boilers

Organizational cosponsors: Sustainable Energy Resource GroupVital CommunitiesEfficiency VermontNorthern Forest CenterBiomass Energy Resource CenterRenewable Energy VermontSierra Club Upper Valley GroupTwo Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission,Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning CommissionAlliance for Green Heat

For more information contact Sarah@VitalCommunities.org (802.291.9100 x109) or SERG@SERG-Info.org (802.785.4126).

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Meet Our Board: Bill Geraghty

Hanover resident and Vital Communities Board Chairman Bill Geraghty is no stranger to leading people. His accomplishments include nearly a quarter century leading human resources teams at the Upper Valley’s two largest employers, Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Dartmouth College, and before that, a combined 15 years at Princeton University and nearby Middlesex County College. Currently Bill is an adjunct faculty member at both Franklin Pierce University and New England College. In addition, he leads his own consulting practice focusing on leadership development, coaching, positive employee relations, labor relations, hiring processes, and communications. Bill’s track record of volunteering is just as impressive as he willingly shares expertise gathered during his four-decade career by serving on the boards of several nonprofits. Bill also currently serves on the Hanover Board of Selectmen.