King Arthur Flour is the BOM!

Introducing a new way to celebrate our wonderful, community-building, locally owned businesses:

Local First Alliance Business of the Month (BOM)!

Throughout the year we will be highlighting specific Local First Alliance members by celebrating with in-store promotions 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 September 18-30 – Free Stuff!

Visit King Arthur Flour Bakery + Cafe from September 18-30 to thank them for being such valuable community members and pick up a free baguette! Learn about Local First Alliance , snag a Love Local bumper stickers and a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase from King Arthur.

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

Future BOMs:

October – Hubert’s Family Clothing & Skinny Pancake

November – West Lebanon Feed & Supply

Hats for Whatever Shape Your Head is In

The Fat Hat corner in Quechee is a land mark most Upper Valley residents know. The funky old car, the lawn art, and now featuring Chef Brad’s Crazy Sides (another LFA member!). This  bustling retail corner is a far cry from the humble beginnings of Fat Hat Clothing more than 35 years ago when Joan Ecker was sewing hats under in a tent and selling them out of the back of an old Volvo.

Today F.H. Clothing Co. has a retail store in White River Junction (across from Northern Stage’s new theater) in addition to the main store in Quechee, an online market, and is carried by dozens of stores nationwide. With grit and determination, Joan Ecker built thins thriving local business. Read about the history of this local business on their website.

In addition to producing stylish, comfortable clothing (all made in the US…on purpose), their two stores carry gifts, menswear, and more creating a truly unique Upper Valley shopping experience.

Fat Hat2017 credit Molly Drummond (4)

And, if wonderful, high quality clothing isn’t enough, F.H Clothing donates dozens of fat hats to cancer patients going through chemo therapy. They also participate in the Job Shadow project of Upper Valley Business and Education Partnership. This spring they hosted 4 young young women for the job shadow day mentoring the next generation of female business owners.

These are only a few of the ways F.H. Clothing supports our community. Visit F.H Clothing for unique clothes and cool gifts, and to support a business that gives back to the community.

 

F.H. Clothing Co.
“Hats for whatever shape your head is in”

QUECHEE MAIN ST.
Quechee, Vermont 05059
M-S 9:30AM – 5:30PM
Sun 10AM – 5PM
(802) 296-6646
83 GATES ST.
White River Junction, VT 05001
W-S 10:30AM – 4:30PM
(802) 698-3329

 

photo credit Molly Drummond

 

Local First Alliance Lunch & Learn Series

Local First Alliance Member Professional Development & Networking Opportunity

Lunch & Learn Series – 
Bring or buy a lunch and learn from LFA members this summer. Free for members, $10 non-members.

 

9/13- Driving Traffic to Your Website, The Co-op Food Stores Culinary Learning Center, Lebanon
Learn how radio can be an important partner in your web marketing efforts from Marc Berman, of Great Eastern Radio. Register here.

Marc Berman is retired from a thirty-year career in commercial radio station ownership as senior executive and partner in broadcast companies, both publicly and privately held.

He is Chairman Emeritus of the New England Public Radio Foundation, licensee of western New England’s regional National Public Radio (NPR) stations.

He is adjunct professor at UMass/Amherst where he teaches The Business of Media.

An investor in and consultant to companies involved in commercial and non-profit broadcasting and affiliated industries, he is Senior Advisor to Great Eastern Radio and Nantucket NPR.

 

Past events:

8/22- Web Marketing for Small Businesses, Noon-1:00pm
 King Arthur Flour conference room, Norwich
Good marketing needs to convey who you are, attract and inform your audience, and be professional. Doug Lufkin, of Lufkin Graphic Designs and an LFA member, will share his insights and experience from more than 25 years in the business.

7/25- $$Energy$$ Savings for Small Businesses, Noon-1:00pm
Vital Communities conference room, White River Junction
Hear from Sarah Brock, Vital Communities Energy Program Manager about the resources (rebates, incentives, etc) available to small businesses on both sides of the river.

 

Questions? Email Nancy@VitalCommunities.org or call 802.291.9100 x106

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.

LFASlider 
Keep it local and look for the logo!

Find a Local First Alliance business

 

Congratulations Communication Contest Winners!

Local First Alliance hosted the 4th Annual Upper Valley High School Communications Competition with the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center’s (HACTC) Media Arts class this spring. As part of the student’s year-end project, the class designed a marketing campaign promoting Local First Alliance, and specifically the value locally owned businesses bring to our community.

Local First Alliance (LFA) members with communications, marketing, and design expertise visited the students three times during the semester to provide guidance as the project progressed. The campaign needed to include print ad, radio spot, and video. The professional mentoring from LFA members gave the students experience that could prepare them for a career in media art and the quality finished project is a wonderful addition to thier portfolios.

HACTC Media Arts teacher, Felicia Allard, appreciates the partnership with Local First Alliance, “The students used to create ad campaigns for imaginary products that I would make up. Partnering with Local First Alliance gives the students the chance to create a campaign for something that is real and part of our community. It is a win-win for everyone.

 

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Congratulations to the winners!

Print: August Kuhn
Radio: Nicole Walker, listen to radio PSA here
Video: Shannon McGonis, view video PSA here

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The winning ads will be used in Local First Alliance’s ongoing outreach campaign. The print ad will be seen around the Upper Valley on a Chippers bucket truck. The radio ad will be heard on several Great Eastern Radio stations, and look for the video on Facebook. Each winner received a $100 gift cards to Lebanon Village Pizza courtesy of Great Eastern Radio.

Many thanks to Nichole Romano (Great Eastern Radio), Ruth Perkins (King Arthur Flour), Tom Hoyt (Mascoma Savings Bank), Erika Gavin (Co-op Food Stores), Jennifer Sensenich (DailyUV), Allison Rogers Furbish (Vital Communities), Michael Cyr (Skinny Pancake), BOb Sherman (Great Eastern Radio), John Tunnicliffe (King Arthur Flour), Michelle Ollie (School for Cartoon Studies).  Special thanks to Chippers and Great Eastern Radio for supporting this project.

Think Spring with Local First!

 

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A picture is worth 1000 words and this Local First Alliance ad that recently ran in the Valley News shows the power of our local economy (click here to view ad). With close to 100 members, Local First Alliance works to add resilience to our economy by encouraging shoppers to think local first when in the market for groceries, banking services, a gift, a restaurant, clothing, landscaping services, or building supplies.

LaValley

LaValley Building Supply and Chippers are examples two long time LFA members that support our communities while providing unique and quality products and services. Both businesses are a great place to start when considering yard and home projects this spring.

With ten stores from Rutland, Vermont to Hampton, New Hampshire, LaValley – Middleton Building Supply is the largest independent building materials supplier in Vermont and New Hampshire. In an effort to provide quality and affordability for their customers, LaValley’s expanded into manufacturing trusses, panelized homes, garages, sheds, and energy efficient modular homes through Preferred Building Solutions.

 

Chippers color logo

 

Over the past 30 years Chippers has grown to provide more services, too. Today Chippers is proud to be a client-oriented and environmentally-centered green care company that specializes in exceptional tree, landscaping, land enhancement, woodlands, garden, turf care and maple sugaring services. The Chippers mission is to exceed client expectations through personalized service, professionalism and quality workmanship and with a staff of professional arborists, turf and soil care specialists, land enhancement experts, and garden enthusiasts this is the season to contact Chippers for all your landscaping needs.

This spring think local first and support the locally owned businesses that are integral to our communities and have a focus on quality and customer service.

 

Professional Business Service Members Quietly Strengthen Our Local Economy

Think local first when shopping! A common call to action because when consumers spend their money at locally owned businesses there is a multiplier effect as your hard earned dollars circulate throughout our Upper Valley economy. But, many people only consider shopping at locally owned retail shores when supporting the local economy, but many Local First Allianc members are in professional business services. Remember to think local first when you are shopping for insurance, opening a bank account, consulting an accountant or attorney.

Local First Alliance Business Services Members:

AB Gile
Chase Brook Software
EC Fiber
Erika Gavin Design
Key Communications
Law Office of Eric W. Janson, PLLC
Ledyard National Bank
Mascoma Savings Bank
Nomad Communications
Twin State Inspections
UK Architects, PC
Woodstock Insurance

Great Eastern Radio

Congratulations to Local First Alliance member Great Eastern Radio for receiving  several top awards at the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters annual Granite Mike awards for excellence in broadcasting.

  • Brett Franklin of West Lebanon took first place in the radio Play-by-Play category for his broadcast on WTSL/WTSV of the New Hampshire D-2 Boys Basketball Semifinal featuring Lebanon v. Manchester
  • Jane Eno of Springfield, Vermont and Stevens Blanchard of West Lebanon received a Radio Merit award on WHDQ FM for their collaboration on a radio commercial for Halladay’s in Bellows Falls entitled ‘Julia Child’
  • Lori Richardson, Great Eastern Traffic Director from Plainfield, took the Above and Beyond Radio Award in radio

Bob Sherman, Great Eastern Senior Account Executive, also was recently honored with a Distinguished Service Award from the Vermont Association of Broadcasters at their 22nd Annual Hall of Fame Banquet in Burlington.

Great Easter Radio supports Local First Alliance and Vital Communities in many ways beyond their Green Circle Sponsorship. Bob Sherman produces and/or records all of the LFA radio PSAs and member spotlights. Nichole Romano, National Sales Manager at Great Eastern, is a valuable member of the LFA Steering Committee. Both Bob and Nichole are active participants in the LFA High School Communications Contest as mentors to the senior Media Arts students at Hartford Area Career & Technical Center. And, look for the Great Eastern table at Flavors of the Valley this year as they live stream from the premier local food & farm expo.

Upper Valley businesses choose to be members of Local First Alliance because they want to strengthen our region’s economy, and they believe that a strong economy starts with ensuring a vibrant, engaged community.

 

Great Eastern Radio, based in West Lebanon, owns 16 stations spanning Central Vermont, New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, and the Upper Valley. Whether you’re looking for oldies, talk radio, sports, or the best hits of today, Great Eastern has it all. Q 106, KIXX 100.5, Kool 93.9/96.3, GXL 92.3, ESPN Radio 94.5 (1230AM-1400AM),  and The River 106.7.

Member Spotlight: Farm-Way

When I visited Farm-Way last week to chat with owner Carol Metayer, the small office where all the “business” happens that keeps the store rolling along was full of family. Carol’s father, Paul Gallerani was fielding phone calls, Carol’s daughter squeezed past me to get to her desk, and there are family photos dotting the walls and desks.

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Shelby Metayer, 3rd generation working in the family business.

Carol and her husband Skip started Farm-Way in 1983 when they bought (with some seed capital from Carol’s father) the small farm supply store that was part of Oakes Brothers. Realizing that the store couldn’t support the family on just grain sales alone, the Metayer’s responded to customer suggestions and started adding things like rubber boots, outerwear, etc. Thirty-four years later the store is now a destination location with the apt motto, “Complete Outfitters for Man and Beast”. Metayer credit’s the store’s success to a focus on  knowledgable customer service and quality products.

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The story of Farm-Way’s slow and steady growth is a lesson in hard-work, persistence, vision, and community commitment. The original store purchase didn’t include any land, but today the Farm-Way complex sits on 18 acres, some of which included a brown-field. Carol relayed some of the hurdles and regulations that the family had to maneuver over the years, and it was not for the faint of heart. But, today the store is an anchor for the community by bringing tourists, creating jobs, and supporting area nonprofits, like Vital Communities.

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In addition to running an amazing 51,000 square foot store with more than $4 million in inventory, the value this locally owned business brings to our community is truly impressive. Consider these few amazing facts about Farm-Way when you are deciding where to buy new boots or a bird-feeder, and support the locally owned businesses that strengthen our communities:

  • Employs 42, mostly full-time, year-round staff.
  • Emphasis on work-life balance – Closed Sundays (unheard of in the retail world since Sunday is the second busiest shopping day), and strong benefits including health insurance and 401K.
  • 100% solar-powered
  • Customers enjoy free home-made donuts and coffee on Saturday mornings and afternoon cookies and lemonade in the summer
  • Donates proceeds from Father’s Day tent sale to support local nonprofit, Safeline
  • Local First Alliance Sustaining member

And, look for a brand new Farm-Way Valley Quest in 2017, that will be one more reason to make a trip to Bradford and visit Farm-Way.

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Carol Metayer loves riding her Morgan horses in her free time.

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Skip Metayer with grandson.

Member Spotlight – Jake’s Market & Deli and Jake’s Coffee Company

Member Spotlight- Jake’s Market & Deli and Jake’s Coffee Company

As you travel around the Upper Valley it is likely that you have filled your belly or fueled your vehicle at one of the many Jake’s locations around the region. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the first Jake’s Market & Deli in Lebanon and the business has grown to include eight stores on both sides of the river including Georges Mills, Walpole, and Springfield, Vermont. In addition to convenience stores, the business has grown to include Jake’s Coffee Company, Jake’s Quechee Market & Café, and a catering menu for corporate and social events.

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Local First Alliance members strengthen our communities in multiple ways including creating jobs, purchasing supplies and services from other local businesses, and supporting local charities.  Jake’s is a family run business that strongly believes in giving back by supporting dozens of Upper Valley organizations including West Central Services, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, 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, Upper Valley Trails Alliance, area schools, and many more.

On average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses stays in our community, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at national chain stores. So, when you are looking for a convenience store, a grab-and-go meal, a quick made-to-order sandwich, or a great cup of coffee, look for the Local First Alliance logo and stop at a Jake’s Deli & Market & Deli and  Jake’s Coffee Company.

 

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