Keeping Your Dollars Multiplying in the UV!

When you spend money at locally owned businesses, it is pretty easy to understand that those dollars directly impact the local economy as they keep local businesses in business. The local multiplier effect is less obvious, but key to keeping our economy strong.

The multiplier effect is the amount of local economic activity that is triggered by the purchase of any one item. Community economics tells us that the more a dollar circulates in a defined region, and the faster it circulates, the more income, wealth and jobs it creates.

Keeping dollars local is an act of reinvestment in your community. Buying local products and services and banking locally keeps money circulating closer to where you spend it. This creates a ripple effect as those businesses and their employees in turn spend your money locally. Corporate chains send most of your money out of town. E-commerce sends dollars directly out of our community weakening our Upper Valley economy. Studies have determined that three times more money stays in the Upper Valley when you Think Local First!

Follow the money and read about how many times your $20 circulates around the Upper Valley creating economic activity by clicking on the image below.

 

The Benefit of B Corps

Certified Benefit Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. Society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and nonprofits alone. The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good and three Local First members are proud B Corps –  King Arthur Flour, Mascoma Bank, and Gardener’s Supply.

King Arthur Flour- B Corp & ESOP
King Arthur Flour is America’s oldest flour company and a founding member of B Corporations. King Arthur Flour’s success can be attributed to the fact that the company is one hundred percent employee-owned  which was accomplished through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) in 1996. Employee ownership ensures that King Arthur Flour is committed to producing the best bag of flour available and keeps the company accountable for its practices everyday.

 “King Arthur Flour’s corporate culture has always been about long-term value and never about the next quarter’s profits” Suzanne McDowell, King Arthur Flour co-CEO

King Arthur Flour’s core values of quality, community, employee ownership, passion, and stewardship are displayed in its practices of community education and service, and environmental stewardship. Founded in 1790,  the company has more than 300 employees today and over $100 million in revenue. In 2012, King Arthur Flour took additional steps to protect its mission and legacy: the employee-owners voted to become a Vermont benefit corporation, a form of legal incorporation in state law, which more deeply embeds the same principles as the nonprofit certification process of being a B Corp. As a Vermont benefit corporation, grounded in employee ownership, the company will be able to continue to carry out its mission — “to inspire connections and community by spreading the joy of baking” — and its values, caring for its people and the planet, for many years to come.

Certified B Corps are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. They are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

The B Economy is built by everyone who works for, buys from, invests in, learns or teaches about, or supports businesses striving to create a shared and durable prosperity for all. Vote with your dollars everyday and spend and invest in the businesses that match your values.

                

Becoming a B Corp
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) is hosting a workshop series this spring for businesses interested in learning more about becoming a B Corp. VBSR’s Measure What Matters workshop series is your opportunity to learn from some of the best companies in New England, see how you measure up against industry leaders, and find new ways to improve your business operations. Workshop attendees will leave with ready-to-use tools for change and an expanded network of professionals who believe in business as a power for good! Modeled after the B-Corp Impact Assessment, this new series will help members to better support their communities, reduce the impact of their operations on the environment and to create the best workplace for their employees. Workshops are available for VBSR and NHBSR members only. Registration is transferable within your organization.

Workshop Schedule:

 

Thinking Local First

Shop or Buy Local First is a common call to action. The threat to local businesses with competition from online commerce is real and growing, so it is important to patronize local businesses if we want our downtowns to continue to be vibrant and a place to connect with our community. The Upper Valley has hundreds of locally owned businesses that create jobs, pay taxes, donate time and money to local charities, and provide expert services so it is important to keep your dollars local when shopping or eating out.

Looking for that perfect gift or cozy piece of clothing? Visit Fat Hat Clothing Co. in Quechee and White River Junction. Need a cup of joe in Hanover? Stop in at the Dirt Cowboy Cafe. Love to knit? Check out the amazing selection of yarns at Scratch Supply in Lebanon and while you’re in Lebanon – enjoy a wood-fired pizza at Three Tomatoes Trattoria, a cappuccino at Lucky’s Coffee Garage, or a lunch special at Marsh Brothers Deli at the Little Store. Search the Local First Alliance members directory for the dozens of other retail and restaurant members.

Shopping local first only gets us part way there. Banking local, supporting local professional services, and getting your news from local sources are also important things to do to support our Upper Valley community. Ledyard National Bank and Mascoma Bank invest in our communities by providing mortgages, business loans, and investment opportunities that  build our economy.  Using local professional services are also an important way to support our economy. A.B. Gile, Woodstock Insurance, Janson & Colgan, PLLC, and John Ring, CPA are just a few Local First Alliance members to consider for your professional services. Find more professional services in the Local First Alliance member directory.

Supporting local news sources not only helps our economy but also ensures that we continue to have news organizations that are rooted in our communities and focus on issues that matter to the Upper Valley. Subscribe to or advertise in the Valley News and the papers from Greater Good Media– the Lebanon, Quechee and Norwich Times. Support VT Digger, VPR and NHPR and visit DailyUV to get a truly Upper Valley perspective.

Think Local First! You can find all Local First members in the member directory.
Remember to Keep it Local & Look for the Logo. Local First Alliance!