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Neighbor Helping Neighbor

Locally owned businesses strengthen our community in many ways including  job creation, tax dollars, charitable giving, economic vitality, responsive customer service, and community character. Local First Alliance business owners live in our communities and are our friends and neighbors that are invested in making our community better and helping neighbors in need.

Simple Energy proved this community commitment during the cold snap that hit the Upper Valley this winter. The Simple Energy team worked day and night helping it’s customers and neighbors with all of the crises that can happen when temperatures stay below zero (way below zero) for weeks.  Frozen pipes and emergency fuel deliveries were not uncommon during the cold snap which meant that the Simple Energy crew was answering calls and sending out trucks 24 hours a day to help their customers in need. Communities pull together in times of stress and Simple Energy answered the call.

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Tom & Pat McNamara, McNamara Dairy

In December, another business in need called on Simple Energy to help them out of a bind and replace a failed boiler in less than 36 hours just a few days before Christmas. Watch a great testimonial from McNamara Dairy about how neighbor helping neighbor is an important aspect of our community and makes the Upper Valley an amazing place!

This is why we are excited to celebrate Simple Energy as February Business of the Month!

Congratulate them for being the BOM by visit Simple Energy on Facebook and share a comment about your Simple Energy experience.

For a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to January BOM Trail Break taps+tacos or a fashionable Simple Energy hat,  snap a photo of Simple Energy in your community (truck, delivery hero, etc), post it to their Facebook page. Most popular photos win!!

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January BOM: Trail Break taps + tacos

We are excited to be celebrating the hot, new eatery in White River Junction

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as Local First Alliance 
Business of the Month in January!

Visit Trail Break taps + tacos January 11-25, give them a high five for being the BOM, and get a free chips & salsa or a free upgrade to a large “FLiPs” (aka churros- the most amazingly light, fluffy, and sweet dessert)!

And, wait, there is more!!!

Plus a chance to win one of two $25 Trail Break gift cards AND a chance to choose a beer that will go on tap in March!!

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You can read more about the excellent food and experience at Trail Break in this  DailyUV feature.

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Member Spotlight: John Ring CPA, A.B. Gile & Ledyard Bank

Local First Alliance is proud to represent so many members that make our economy strong. Retail stores are the businesses that many people think of when “shopping locally first”, but the professional services-including accounting, insurance, and banking are critical to making our local economy hum. John Ring CPA, A.B. Gile, and Ledyard National Bank provide expert professional and banking services while supporting our communities.

John Ring, CPA

John Ring, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), is the definition of a vested Local First Alliance member. What sets John apart from others in his field are his devotion to the Upper Valley and his connection to its heritage. He has lived in the Upper Valley for more than 40 years and is proud to be an 11th generation Northern New Englander. Born and raised in Claremont, N.H., John has been a CPA since 1971 with an office in Hanover.

“Local First Alliance matches my personal beliefs as a local”, says John. “I only represent local clients and I’m happy when they’re successful. I’ve experienced first-hand what happens when we lose our local businesses and only focus on price and convenience.”

Aside from calling this area home, John makes a concerted effort to shop at, and do business with, other Local First Alliance members and locally based businesses. John@JohnRingCPA.com

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Based in West Lebanon, NH, A.B. Gile provides insurance coverage to both private individuals and business clients throughout the Upper Valley and greater New England area. This Local First business offers a commitment to its customers that stems from a deep understanding of our specific region. Living and working alongside their clients and employees for generations has fostered a deep sense of dedication to their community. Founded in 1871, A.B. Gile has been meeting the insurance needs of area residents for over 140 years, now supporting and insuring over 75 locally based non-profits!

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In addition to providing banking services across the Upper Valley, Ledyard National Bank supports our community in numerous ways including generous contribution to charities, arts & culture, and community development.

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Remember these backbone local economy partners when searching for these professional services. Keep it local and look for the logo!

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Giving Back to the Community

Local First Alliance members really know how to give back to the community. Year-round Local First Alliance members go above and beyond by putting the community and its residents first and giving back in any way they can.

This holiday season support the businesses that help make the Upper Valley so special by patronizing Local First Alliance members. When going out think local first and choose to visit local independent stores and services providers. Anytime of the year it is important to support local businesses but during the holiday season you can make an even bigger impact by also buying your gifts locally. Picking up gifts or gift certificates at Local First Alliance member businesses is easy and rewarding. Make a difference this year and Shift Your Shopping. Think Local First!

Continuing reading to see just how much Local First Alliance members have contributed this year to help make the Upper Valley a better place to live, work, and play.

Co-op Food Stores – Pennies for Change program collected more than $250,000 for area charities,2 tons of food donated each week to Willing Hands, and  proudly support organizations like Vital Communities, The Upper Valley Haven, LISTEN, and many more.

Mascoma Savings Bank – the bank gives to hundreds of organizations throughout the year through the Mascoma Savings Bank Foundation and Bank Sponsorships. Read More

Chippers – Vital Communities, David’s House Golf Tournament, Friends of Morrill Homestead, Howe Library, Lake Sunapee Region VNA, Marion Cross School PTO, Montshire Museum , New London Barn Playhouse, New Hampshire Humane Society, Northern Stage, Norwich Historical Society, Opera North, Our Lady of the Snows, Pomfret/Teago Volunteer Fire Department, Prosper Valley School, Thompson Senior Center, Woodstock Union High School teams, Upper Valley Haven, Upper Valley Land Trust, VINS, Woodstock Historical Society, Woodstock Recreation Center, Woodstock’s Spectrum Teen Center, Zack’s Place Turkey Trot, Quechee Public Library, Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, Hanover Rotary Club, Health Connection of the Upper Valley, Thompson Senior Center, Change the World Kids, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Greeley House, Hanover High School Project Graduation, Make a Wish Vermont, Thetford Elementary, Woodstock High School Project Graduation, Woodstock Food Shelf.

Great Eastern Radio – Central Vermont Salvation Army, Vital Communities, New Hampshire Food Bank, David’s House and Upper Valley Haven, and Lakes Region Children’s Charities.

King Arthur Flour – Hunger Free Vermont, Vital Communities, Upper Valley Haven, and their Bake For Good: Kids program, Vermont WARMTH (Home fuel heating assistance), Vermont Foodbank, Family Place, David’s House, Helping Hands, Vital Communities.

LaValley Building Supply – Northern Stage, David’s House, Upper Valley Haven, Vital Communities.

West Lebanon Feed & Supply – Upper Valley Humane Society, VINS, Lacey’s Fund & the VT Police Canine Assoc., Lebanon Varsity Sports, Willing Hands & Share the Harvest, Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society, Watson Upper Valley Dog Park, Shaker Field Dog Park, Local 4-H & GMHA programs, Local Police k-9 training, Local Boy & Girl Scout Troops, Vital Communities

A.B. Gile – Lebanon Opera House, Northern Stage, Colonial Theater. Staff members serve on the board of Visiting Nurse Hospice VNH, Second Growth, and Cedarcrest of Keene. Staff members volunteer for Lebanon High School Hockey, Special Olympics, and Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl

Jake’s Market & Deli and Jake’s Coffee Co. – West Central Services, Special Olympics, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Toys for Tots, Montshire Museum, Kilton Library, Lebanon Opera House, Good Neighbor Health Clinic, David’s House, WISE, AVA Gallery, Skip’s Run, New London Hospital, SPARK Community Center, Zac’s Place, Lebanon CCBA, Karp’s Classic, Visiting Nurse & Hospice for NH & VT, Dartmouth Athletics, Lebanon/Hanover/Hartford/Walpole/Springfield/Andover/New London Schools, Enfield Village Assoc., Upper Valley Haven, Lebanon/Hanover/New London/White River/Bellows Falls Rotary, Friends of Veterans NH & VT, Greeny Golf Tournament, DARE, New England Handicapped Sportsman’s Assoc., Norwich Lyons Club, Local Fire and Police Depts., Upper Valley Trails Alliance

Systems Plus Computers – Supports over 100 local organizations each year. Read more.

Ledyard National Bank – Ledyard giving 2017 Ledyard’s commitment to community support encompasses all that we do as bankers and as citizens responsible for the growth and vitality of the areas we serve. Our civic involvement is built upon a well-defined ongoing charitable giving program that allows us to impact our neighbors in ways that go beyond day-to-day business activities. Through both in-kind and cash donations, we help nonprofit organizations throughout the Upper Valley, Concord and Lake Sunapee Regions succeed.

As a community bank, Ledyard is aware of the hardships and challenges facing individuals, businesses and nonprofits. Thus a significant portion of our charitable donations support organizations that address the needs of those in the low-to-moderate income segment of our communities (we allocate at least one-third of our total contributions budget for this purpose).

Chase Brook Software – Hanover Conservancy, Hanover Trails Committee, Howe Library, Willing Hands, Hanover Conservancy, Hanover High Field Hockey, Hanover Community Gardens, Hanover Improvement Society, Storrs Pond Recreation Area, Campion Rink, Ford Sayre Memorial Ski Council, Hanover Rotary, Hanover High School Soccer Program

Copeland Furniture Company Store – Montshire Museum, AVA Gallery, Bradford Conservation Commission, Mentoring Project, Make a Wish, Connecticut Valley Fair

Dan & Whit’s General Store – ​The Norwich Lions Club, Hartford/Norwich Basket Helpers, Upper Valley Trails Alliance, Norwich Women’s Club, Upper Valley Trails Alliance, Upper Valley Hostel, Upper Valley Reptile Group, COVER Home Repair, Norwich Child Care Center, WISE, AVA Gallery, Bayada Nurses for Veterans, Hartford Historical Society, Special Needs Support Group, Upper Valley Humane Society, Norwich Library, High Horses, The Upper Valley Haven​, White River Junction Rotary, VT Prevent Child Abuse, Alice Peck Day Senior Center, Grass Roots Soccer, Upper Valley Aquatic Center, High Horses, Windsor County Partners, Beaver Meadow & Root Dist. Schoolhouses.

ECFiber – Free upgrades to all schools, public institutions, and libraries in its coverage area.

Energy Emporium – Shaker Bridge Theater, Shaker Museum, Whaleback, The Mascoma Music Performing Arts,  Upper Valley Robotics Team #95, the Grasshoppers, Lebanon Opera House.

Got Weeds? – Rural Vermont, NOFA VT, VT Food Atlas, 350 VT, VT Food Bank, Royalton Community Radio, Farm to Ballet, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Upper Valley Haven, Vermont Food Bank

Henderson’s Tree Service – Vital Communities

Hubert’s Family Outfitters of West Lebanon  Hubert’s is a big supporter of  the communities they serve making annual donations to regional youth sports programs including several soccer programs , Lebanon basketball and baseball, and  Hartford, Claremont, New London, Newport, and Peterboro baseball.

Hubert’s is yearly supporter of Lebanon Parks and Recreation program, Newport Recreation Center, Claremont Recreation Centers, Arrowhead, CHAD, the Prouty, Good Beginnings, Valley Regional Visiting Nurses, New London Hospital Days, Valley Regional Hospital Golf Tournament, and many road races to foster the health of community members.

Support for the arts and education include: Lebanon Opera House, Claremont Opera House, New London Barn, Peterborough Players, Newport Art Center, concerts on the common, Newport Winter Carnival, Newport and New London Historical Society. Hubert’s supports library arts centers at Richards, Fisk Free, and Kilton libraries, and a variety of community events such as local school plays, honor society, yearbook, teams, organizations and class fundraisers, and Dollar for Scholars.

We are and have been proud supporters of Grafton County Senior Center, Claremont, Newport Senior Centers Wise, Listen, Turning Point Network, Claremont Soup Kitchen, Newport Food Pantry, United Way, Southwestern Community Services, Shelter From the Storm, Cornucopia, Livable communities, local farmers market, Sargent Land trust, friends of Mt. Sunapee, We have partner with Lebanon, Newport,Claremont Peterboro Rotary and Sunapee lions on specific fundraiser to support local communities

Some of the larger endowment renovation projects include: Twin State Maker Space, Eagle Block, New London Hospital Expansion, Claremont Community Center, The Brown Block, Grafton Senior Center Expansion, Corbin Covered, Newport Railroad covered bridges, Sullivan County Dental Program, Richard Library renovation, Library Arts Center endowment.

The Hubert family have donated countless hours on various committees and boards to support and improve our communities (Richards Library board, NH Fish and Game, Sullivan County Sportsman Club, Economic Corporation of Newport member, New London and Newport Chamber, Newport PTO, Richard School renovations committee, Newport Education Foundation, Citizens Leading for Environmental Responsibility (CLEAR),  Newport Recycling Committee, and ACTs.

Janson Law Office – Lebanon Opera House, Lebanon Rail Trail, Shaker Bridge Theater, City Center Ballet, Second Growth,  NH Charitable Fund, Vital Communities

Longacres’ Nursery Center – Wounded Warrior Projects

Molly’s Restaurant & Jesse’s Steak House – The Upper Valley Haven, Upper Valley veterans

Norwich Bookstore – We support the community in many different ways. Some are ongoing like the 1% of all books purchased through our Rewards Program that is donated to a variety of organizations. Others are event based such as our collaborations with The Book Jam to raise funds for the Norwich Public Library and several area school’s reading programs – Pages in the Pub and mutilple Book Buzz gatherings. Now in it’s 20th year, our Book Angel program collects hundred’s of books annually for local children, some of whom receive their first ever “very own” book. In addition, we donate books and gift certificates to auctions and other fund raisers – Good Neighbor, Norwich Women’s Club, Montshire Museum, AVA, and various libraries throughout the year.

Red Kite Candy – Many schools (Thetford Elementary, Thetford Academy, Oxbow, Bradford Elementary, Open Fields) for raffles, silent auctions, project grad donations, TA’s 7th grade DC Fundraising), Thetford Elementary PTO, area libraries (Strafford Library, Latham Library (Thetford), Peabody Library (Thetford), Bradford Library, and the Howe Library in Hanover.

South Royalton Market – Donates about $4,000, including fresh summer produce, to community meals and local organizations in the White River Valley.

Three Tomatoes Trattoria – CHaD, Vital Communities, Montshire Museum, LISTEN, AVA Gallery, Upper Valley Haven,Change the World Kids, Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Lebanon Opera House, Opera North, VINS, Lebanon Farmers’ Market, West Central Behavioral Health Lebanon, Northern Stage

U.K. Architects – Owner is a board member of Plan New Hampshire (a statewide advocate of good planning, design, and responsible developement) and member of the West Wheelock Gateway Committee. Staff member is starting a nonprofit trails advocacy group in Woodstock

Woodstock Insurance –  Annual donations to non-profits is about $10,000 including the food shelf, the Woodstock Sr. Center, Pentangle  Council on the Arts, Project Graduation, Billing Farm & Museum, The Union Arena, The Library and many others. Serves on Boards for Woodstock Rotary and Thompson Senior Center.

And don’t forget our many members participating in the 19 Days of Norwich for the Upper Valley Haven organized by Local First Alliance member, Dan & Whit’s! To see all of the participating businesses go to the list provided by Upper Valley Haven, some members involved are:

We also have great non-profit members you can support directly:
To see all Local First Alliance members, please visit our local business directory.
If you are a Local First Alliance member not mentioned here, please tell us how you give back – Nancy@VitalCommunities.org – We want to know.
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BOM Spotlight: Hubert’s Family Outfitters

Hubert’s Family Outfitters has been in business for 42 years with the third generation fully involved in this Local First Alliance business. With seven retail stores selling quality family clothing and footwear, a centralized warehouse, and online sales for products and gift cards, Hubert’s is proud to employ more than 80 people.

Celebrate our December
Business of the Month

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Visit Hubert’s Family Outfitters of West Lebanon between December 1-10 and get $5 off any purchase of $30 or more AND enter into a raffle to win one of two $25 gift cards for Hubert’s.

 

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Because Community Matters

Hubert’s is a big supporter of  the communities they serve making annual donations to regional youth sports programs including several soccer programs , Lebanon basketball and baseball, and  Hartford, Claremont, New London, Newport, and Peterboro baseball.

Hubert’s is yearly supporter of Lebanon Parks and Recreation program, Newport Recreation Center, Claremont Recreation Centers, Arrowhead, CHAD, the Prouty, Good Beginnings, Valley Regional Visiting Nurses, New London Hospital Days, Valley Regional Hospital Golf Tournament, and many road races to foster the health of community members.

Support for the arts and education include: Lebanon Opera House, Claremont Opera House, New London Barn, Peterborough Players, Newport Art Center, concerts on the common, Newport Winter Carnival, Newport and New London Historical Society. Hubert’s supports library arts centers at Richards, Fisk Free, and Kilton libraries, and a variety of community events such as local school plays, honor society, yearbook, teams, organizations and class fundraisers, and Dollar for Scholars.

We are and have been proud supporters of Grafton County Senior Center, Claremont, Newport Senior Centers Wise, Listen, Turning Point Network, Claremont Soup Kitchen, Newport Food Pantry, United Way, Southwestern Community Services, Shelter From the Storm, Cornucopia, Livable communities, local farmers market, Sargent Land trust, friends of Mt. Sunapee, We have partner with Lebanon, Newport,Claremont Peterboro Rotary and Sunapee lions on specific fundraiser to support local communities

Some of the larger endowment renovation projects include: Twin State Maker Space, Eagle Block, New London Hospital Expansion, Claremont Community Center, The Brown Block, Grafton Senior Center Expansion, Corbin Covered, Newport Railroad covered bridges, Sullivan County Dental Program, Richard Library renovation, Library Arts Center endowment.

The Hubert family have donated countless hours on various committees and boards to support and improve our communities (Richards Library board, NH Fish and Game, Sullivan County Sportsman Club, Economic Corporation of Newport member, New London and Newport Chamber, Newport PTO, Richard School renovations committee, Newport Education Foundation, Citizens Leading for Environmental Responsibility (CLEAR),  Newport Recycling Committee, and ACTs.

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Gift Thoughtfully this Season!

Every dollar spent at a local, independent business returns 2-4 times more to be re-spent in the community than 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, taxes, and community support.

This season make sure your gift giving matches your community values and keep your money here at home by patronizing locally owned services and businesses. Search the Local First Alliance directory and shop at stores owned by your friends and neighbors, and enjoy expert service, unique product selection, and know that you are strengthening the Upper Valley by keeping your money circulating in our community.

To encourage shopping locally this season, the Shift Your Shopping campaign highlights the value and importance of thinking local first. Support this effort and visit our wonderful and diverse community of local businesses on these special days:

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Plaid Friday, November 24

Turn Black Friday on it’s head and take part in Plaid Friday events this year! Our community is stronger when we all engage with our community (plaid is made up of interwoven fabrics!). Visit these businesses during their Plaid Friday events:

Dan & Whit’s General Store

West Lebanon Feed & Supply

 

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Small Business Saturday, November 25

Shop Small and keep your dollars here at home when shopping at these businesses:

The Country Cobbler

 

 

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Cider Monday, November 27

Appreciate the personal service and community aspects of shopping locally during this special day aimed at combating Cyber Monday. Visit these locally owned businesses and enjoy cider and community cheer as you make shopping a joyful fun event:

The Co-op Food Stores, all locations

Revolution, White River Junction

Norwich Bookstore

Yankee Bookstore, Woodstock

Dan & Whits’ General Store, Norwich

 

 

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Give the perfect gifts this season: gift certificates to Local First Alliance businesses!

Support our community while giving the perfect that your friends and family will  appreciate AND that strengthens our Upper Valley economy. Make a difference this year and Shift Your Shopping. Think Local First!

 

 

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BOM Spotlight: West Lebanon Feed & Supply

We are excited to be celebrating Local First Alliance Green Circle Sponsor West Lebanon Feed & Supply (WLFS) as the November Business of the Month! Visit West Lebanon Feed & Supply November 17-30, congratulate them for being the BOM, and get a free treat for your four legged friend.

In addition to having an amazing selection of pet, garden, and gift items, WLFS is also a dedicated supporter of our community. They organize free educational community events year round, collect donations for pets in need, and generously support Upper Valley nonprofits. One small example of how they strengthen our community is that they are a collection hub for surplus eggs from customer’s flocks and the fresh local eggs are donated to Willing Hands, which then distributed them to area food pantries. Stop in WLFS and ask them about the many other ways they support our communities.

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You can read more about how West Lebanon Feed and Supply has become a new generation of feed store in this Valley News Enterprise Magazine article.

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Co-op Food Stores: Nourish. Cultivate. Cooperate.

Since 1936 The Co-op Food Stores has been nourishing our community through their stores, educational activities, and community support. The co-op is owned by more than 20,000 families, and is one of the oldest and most successful co-ops in the United States. Anyone can shop, member or not. They also employ close to 400 people and have nearly 300 local suppliers, which means their impact ripples throughout our community.

Local First Alliance began as a Co-op local economy building initiative almost 10 years ago. The Co-op believes that a strong local economy keeps our community strong and resilient and started LFA to build support among the business community and to educate the community of the value locally owned businesses bring to the Upper Valley.

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The Co-op engages in dozens of community building project including Pennies for Change, which collected more than $264,000 last year for Upper Valley nonprofits (include 2,023.66 for Vital Communities!). The Co-op also supports the work of dozens of organizations doing good around the Upper Valley with food and product donations and staff community service hours. The Hanover Cooperative Community Funds supports Upper Valley nonprofits through annual donations and the Co-op recognizes the value of community service with the King Award each year.

When you shop at the Co-op Food Stores, you are not only buying the freshest products with a focus on locally sourced, at a fair price,  you are also supporting thier ability to strengthen our community in a multitude of ways. Nourish; cultivate; cooperate; because community matters.

 

photo credit: Molly Drummond

The Skinny Pancake is the October BOM!

Celebrate our wonderful, community-building, locally owned businesses with

Local First Alliance Business of the Month (BOM)

The Skinny Pancake will be our October featured business with a delicious promotion and engagement opportunities.

Our friends and neighbors are the people behind the amazing locally owned business and the BOM program is a way to learn about all the ways they support our communities (job creation, charitable giving, civic engagement, economic impact) and to thank them for all they do to make the Upper Valley a great place to live, work, and play.

Visit the BOM during the promotion and learn about the often overlooked value that locally owned  businesses contribute to our communities while taking advantage of the personal attention,  expert service, and unique products they provide.

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Join the Celebration October 10-27 and enjoy a delicious bonus!

Visit The Skinny Pancake October 10-27 and  thank them for being such valuable community members and get a free group munchie with purchase of two meals (crepes, salads, and dinner plates)!
Learn about Local First Alliance , snag a Love Local bumper stickers,  and enjoy a locally sourced meal at Skinny Pancake.

Keep your dollars circulating through our economy and support our locally owned businesses!

Future BOMs:

November – West Lebanon Feed & Supply

December – Hubert’s of West Lebanon

January – Norwich Bookstore

Member Resources for Holiday Promotions

Trying to compete with box stores and online retail advertising budgets ability to dominate many marketing channels means that locally owned businesses need to be creative and work collaboratively. Plaid Friday and Cider Monday are grassroots campaigns that have spread nationally and are a good way to combat Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Small Business Saturday is an American Express initiative that provides outreach and resources for participating vendors. Local First Alliance will be promoting all of these local focused shopping days with our general outreach and marketing.

November 24
Plaid Friday

Plaid Friday started as answer to Black Friday. The name is based on the concept of plaid fabric where each thread is interwoven with others much like how independent small businesses are an integral part of the fabric of the community.

Many communities nationally celebrate shopping local on the Friday after Thanksgiving with in-store events, social media contests, and other creative ways to engage customers. Local First Alliance will promote your store events and be hosting a ‘plaid photo’ photo contest. This is still in development – stay tuned for more info.

 

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November 25
Small Business Saturday

American Express’ “Shop Small” campaign is in its 7th year and reported $15.9 billion spent at independent retailers and restaurants on the day in 2016. Learn about how your business can use the vast marketing network of American Express and other resources they have developed and provide for free.

November 27
Cider Monday

Cider Monday initiated by a New Hampshire based Local First group- Monadnock Buy Local and Toadstool Bookshop, an independent bookstore. The idea came about as a rebuttal to Cyber Monday by highlighting the expert service and relationships that are part of the local shopping experience. The businesses offered free cider to customers and other in-store events which is something online retailers can not do.

Local First Alliance will be promoting any and all events you have built around Cider Monday or any of the above campaigns, so let me know what you have going on.

 

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