Join to Work Together for a Vital Economy!

Tangible benefits of membership include:

  • FREE listings in the Vital Communities Guide — the newly re-tooled searchable resource for finding locally owned and independent businesses in the Upper Valley–highlights businesses open during the pandemic!
  • Be part of a small business community with regular virtual networking opportunities 
  • Member decals to identify your business as a proud locally-owned business
  • Regular Local First news and updates
  • Use of the Local First logo and messaging in your business or organization marketing
  • Community Discussion List subscription to vitaleconomyuv
  • Opportunities to highlight your business or organization’s commitment to community and environment
  • Collaborative marketing impact with radio, print, and online outreach media member partners
  • Free or reduced admission to networking, business advising, events, and special projects like TLC Upper Valley
  • Help support a Vital Upper Valley economy

Member
Levels

Starting July 1, 2020

Sponsorship Levels-coming soon
  • Business Member < 10 employees (FTE): $75 auto-renew credit card donation encouraged, OR $1 with pledge to annually update Guide listing, display sticker/use logo in promo materials, and engage with Local First. 
  • Enterprise Member 10+ employees (FTE): $250/year auto-renew credit card donation. 
  • Sustaining Member: $500/year auto-renew credit card donation. Thanks for helping to support this work to strengthen our regional economy!
  • Sponsorships: $1000-$5000. See sponsorship levels for details.
  • Associate Sponsor: $1000. Businesses that do not meet the membership criteria, but want to support Upper Valley economy efforts.
  • Localist Sustainer: $10/month, for individuals, automatic monthly credit card donation.
  • Localist: $25/year, for individuals, auto-renew credit card donation.
Join or Renew with Donation

FREE membership in Local First!
Join by June 30, 2020!

Local First membership is FREE if you join by June 30, 2020. A special “Economic Recovery Membership” will get you the benefits of Local First membership, including TLC 4WARD crowdfunding, promotion in the Vital Communities Guide, and free networking with other local businesses.

Join by 6/30/20 for the remainder of 2020 for free (donations still appreciated if you have the ability to support our work!). These special memberships will end December 31, 2020. 
The importance of a more localized economy has never been more clear. The pandemic has shown the fragility of supply chains, the value of local banks that are rooted in the Upper Valley, and the importance of community resilience through local control and a vital regional economy. To support the economic recovery, Local First will be transitioning to Vital Economy effective July 1, 2020.
Vital Economy
The new Vital Economy intiative will continue the same Local First message, and we’ll expand our efforts to include supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, convening economic development partners to increase regional collaboration, and supporting businesses with technical assistance, capital access, and marketing. We are in this together and we are stronger together!
On July 1, 2020 Local First/Vital Economy membership highlights include:
  • Lower threshold to participate and benefit
  • Expanded networking opportunities
  • More vital, local, and resilient economy
Join Today with Economic Recovery Membership!

Membership Criteria

Local First membership is open to businesses and organizations in the 69-town service area of Vital Communities that meet the following criteria:

For Businesses:

  • Registered in the state of New Hampshire or Vermont with no corporate or national headquarters outside the respective state
  • All marketing, rent, and other business expenses paid without the assistance from, or payment to, a corporate headquarters
  • Able to make independent decisions regarding name and appearance, as well as all purchasing, supply, and distribution practices
  • The owner (or majority of owners) live within Vermont and New Hampshire for more than half the year
  • If the business has multiple outlets/branches, the majority shall be located in New Hampshire and Vermont
  • Locally owned franchises are eligible if franchisee has exercised independent decisions regarding name and appearance of business.

For Nonprofit Organizations:

  • Interested in and able to buy materials, products, and services from other locally owned businesses in the area or broader region
  • Incorporated or fiscally sponsored in the state of New Hampshire or Vermont
  • Leadership (advisory body, board, staff) has autonomous authority over all operational decisions
  • At least 50% of leadership (advisory body, board, staff) lives within Vital Communities’ 69 town service area

Join

Join Local First

Join Now  >

Renew

Renew your annual membership.

Renew now  >

Update

Update your Guide listing.

Update Now  >

Join

Join Local First Alliance.

Join Now  >

Renew

Renew your annual membership.

Renew now  >

Member Login

Download member materials.

Learn More  >

Local First Alliance Members

Calendar

September 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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4
  • First Friday in White River Junction!
5
6
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17
18
19
20
21
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Our program is underwritten by these community partners

Vital Communities Program News

Staff

Erika Hoffman-Kiess

Vital Economy

Local First

 

Local First

— Erika Hoffman-Kiess, Vital Economy

Erika Hoffman-Kiess joined Vital Communities in 2020 – first as a Workforce Development consultant, facilitating a workforce discussion for the Corporate Council, and subsequently joining staff to support Covid-19 economic response activities. Erika brings years of experience in program design, management, and consulting for United States Agency for International Development and other donor funded international workforce and economic development. Most recently she facilitated a statewide series of Workforce Summits for the Regional Development Corporations of Vermont, developing policy guidance for the legislature and the executive branch. Erika grew up in Thetford, graduating from Thetford Academy, and moved back to the area in 2011 after many years spent living and working across the US and abroad. She holds a BA in Political Science from Goucher College and an MPA (Master of Public Administration) from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Erika lives in Thetford with her husband, Mike Kiess (also on VC staff) and enjoys spending time with extended family, exploring the natural environment and volunteering on two Boards serving international community development organizations, Tabitha USA (Cambodia) and Friends of Pakistan USA.



Nancy LaRowe

Food & Farm and Local First Coordinator

Local First, Food & Farm

 802-291-9100 x106

Local First, Food & Farm

— Nancy LaRowe, Food & Farm and Local First Coordinator

Nancy joined Vital Communities as the Food & Farm Coordinator in 2014. She works to support and grow our local food system and economy. Nancy has lived, worked, and farmed in the Upper Valley for more than 25 years and believes our community is healthier and stronger when our connections to food and the farms that produce it stay vital.

Nancy's informal job title is Farmer-in-Residence: she also runs a pasture-based cattle farm in Norwich. Nancy is on the Board of the Norwich Farmers' Market and a retired Norwich volunteer firefighter and EMT. She loves puttering in the garden, hiking with her dog, and visiting farmers' markets.



Join Local First!

Tangible benefits of membership include:

  • FREE listings in the Vital Communities Guide — the newly re-tooled searchable resource for finding locally owned and independent businesses in the Upper Valley that highlights businesses open during the pandemic!
  • Be part of a small business community with regular virtual networking opportunities 
  • Member decals, to identify your business as a proud locally-owned business
  • Regular Local First news and updates
  • Use of the Local First logo and messaging in your business or organization marketing
  • Community Discussion List subscription to vitaleconomyuv
  • Opportunities to highlight your business or organization\’s commitment to community and environment
  • Collaborative marketing impact with radio, print, and online outreach media member partners
  • Free or reduced admission to networking, business advising, events, and special projects like TLC Upper Valley
  • Help support a vital Upper Valley economy

Member
Levels

Starting July 1, 2020

Join by June 30, and get a free membership for the rest of 2020

Sponsorship Levels
  • Business Member < 10 employees (FTE): $75 auto-renew credit card donation encouraged, OR $0 with pledge to annually update Guide listing, display sticker/use logo in promo materials, and engage with Local First. 
  • Enterprise Member 10+ employees (FTE): $250/year auto-renew credit card donation. 
  • Sustaining Member: $500/year auto-renew credit card donation. Thanks for helping to support this work to strengthen our regional economy!
  • Sponsorships: $1000-$5000. See sponsorship levels for details.
  • Associate Sponsor: $1000. Businesses that do not meet the membership criteria, but want to support Upper Valley economy efforts.
  • Localist Sustainer: $10/month, for individuals, automatic monthly credit card donation.
  • Localist: $25/year, for individuals, auto-renew credit card donation.

Membership Criteria

Local First membership is open to businesses and organizations in the 69-town service area of Vital Communities that meet the following criteria:

For Businesses:

  • Registered in the state of New Hampshire or Vermont, with no corporate or national headquarters outside the respective state
  • All marketing, rent, and other business expenses paid without the assistance from, or payment to a corporate headquarters
  • Able to make independent decisions regarding name and appearance, as well as all purchasing, supply and distribution practices
  • The owner is (or majority of owners) a local resident who lives within Vermont and New Hampshire for more than half the year
  • If the business has multiple outlets/branches, the majority shall be located in New Hampshire and Vermont
  • Locally owned franchises are eligible if franchisee has exercised independent decisions regarding name and appearance of business.

For Nonprofit Organizations:

  • Interested in and able to buy materials, products and services from other locally owned businesses in the area or broader region
  • Incorporated or fiscally sponsored in the state of New Hampshire or Vermont
  • Leadership (advisory body, board, staff) has autonomous authority over all operational decisions
  • At least 50% of leadership (advisory body, board, staff) lives within Local First Alliance\’s 69-town service area

Join

Join Local First Alliance.

Join Now  >

Renew

Renew your annual membership.

Renew now  >

Update

Update your Guide listing.

Update Now  >

Join

Join Local First Alliance.

Join Now  >

Renew

Renew your annual membership.

Renew now  >

Member Login

Download member materials.

Learn More  >

Local First Alliance Members

Calendar

September 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
4
  • First Friday in White River Junction!
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30

Our program is underwritten by these community partners

Vital Communities Program News

Staff

Erika Hoffman-Kiess

Vital Economy

Local First

 

Local First

— Erika Hoffman-Kiess, Vital Economy

Erika Hoffman-Kiess joined Vital Communities in 2020 – first as a Workforce Development consultant, facilitating a workforce discussion for the Corporate Council, and subsequently joining staff to support Covid-19 economic response activities. Erika brings years of experience in program design, management, and consulting for United States Agency for International Development and other donor funded international workforce and economic development. Most recently she facilitated a statewide series of Workforce Summits for the Regional Development Corporations of Vermont, developing policy guidance for the legislature and the executive branch. Erika grew up in Thetford, graduating from Thetford Academy, and moved back to the area in 2011 after many years spent living and working across the US and abroad. She holds a BA in Political Science from Goucher College and an MPA (Master of Public Administration) from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Erika lives in Thetford with her husband, Mike Kiess (also on VC staff) and enjoys spending time with extended family, exploring the natural environment and volunteering on two Boards serving international community development organizations, Tabitha USA (Cambodia) and Friends of Pakistan USA.



Nancy LaRowe

Food & Farm and Local First Coordinator

Local First, Food & Farm

 802-291-9100 x106

Local First, Food & Farm

— Nancy LaRowe, Food & Farm and Local First Coordinator

Nancy joined Vital Communities as the Food & Farm Coordinator in 2014. She works to support and grow our local food system and economy. Nancy has lived, worked, and farmed in the Upper Valley for more than 25 years and believes our community is healthier and stronger when our connections to food and the farms that produce it stay vital.

Nancy's informal job title is Farmer-in-Residence: she also runs a pasture-based cattle farm in Norwich. Nancy is on the Board of the Norwich Farmers' Market and a retired Norwich volunteer firefighter and EMT. She loves puttering in the garden, hiking with her dog, and visiting farmers' markets.