Ledyard National Bank has been an Upper Valley institution since opening in 1989. Now with seven branches and two Ledyard Financial Advisors offices across the region, the Local First Alliance member strives to give back to the community through a variety of innovative programs. Through a recent campaign encouraging customers to switch to e-statements, for each conversion Ledyard donated a tree for planting in conjunction with the Connecticut River Watershed Council. The bank has also rolled out a new mortgage product to support the purchase of manufactured homes; geared toward low- to moderate-income households, the program serves an often overlooked population in the region. These are just two examples of how the bank helps customers in the local community “Plan well. Live well.”
Local First Alliance businesses strengthen the Upper Valley economy not only through their own work but by supporting each other. Three Tomatoes Trattoria in downtown Lebanon exemplifies that practice. With the belief that “living and working in the community is a privilege,” Three Tomatoes Trattoria provides a gathering place where neighbors and friends can connect over fresh, authentic, simply prepared Italian meals in a casual atmosphere. The restaurant takes pride in sourcing ingredients from local farmers and producers, and actively participating in the good work that best serves the people who live in the Upper Valley.
Another Local First Alliance member, North Road Sugar Works in Vershire, is a new nonprofit organization aimed at establishing an educational sugarhouse while stimulating the local economy and community. Founder Marc McKee, who has 25 years of experience sugaring at Vershire’s Mountain School, is working to build an efficient, sustainably constructed sugarhouse that can serve as a model for “responsible” sugaring and open up discussions about the impacts of climate change on maple trees, “the love and lore associated with maple production,” and the challenges for the industry moving forward. Look for North Road Sugar Works to open (fingers crossed) in Spring 2015.