The local multiplier effect (sometimes called the local premium) is the additional economic benefit accrued to an area from money being spent in the local economy.

Keep Your Dollars Where Your Heart Is!

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Shift Your Shopping and
Gift Thoughtfully This Season!

The mission of the  Shift Your Shopping campaign is to “build a tradition that strengthens local economies, expands local employment, nurtures a sense of community, and provides a more relaxed, fun and rewarding holiday shopping experience.”

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 $1007 for holiday shopping this year, according to a 2018 National Retail Federation survey, a shift to local purchases represents a significant contribution to local jobs and taxes. Sustained “buy local” campaigns have demonstrated their capacity to shift sizable portions of that spending from chains and remote businesses to local entrepreneurs, according to the Institute for Local Self Reliance. ILSR indexes key local economy studies at

Local First Alliance is a proud partner in Shift Your Shopping NH!

Because Community Matters

Gift certificates to locally owned businesses are a perfect way to give a thoughtful gift while strengthening our community!

KAF display 9.1.17

Find LFA Businesses

Real Upper Valley Example of Why Keeping It Local Matters

Locally-owned, independent businesses play a crucial role in creating jobs, strengthening our community cohesion & enhancing local character!

Keep the Upper Valley a great place to live, work, and play and think local first when dining out, banking, hiring professional services, or shopping for anything.


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March 2021

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15 Things
You Can Do To
Think Local First

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1. Move your banking to a community bank or credit union, and invest your money in tangible assets like land, or with organizations like the Cooperative Fund of New England that invest in community control.

2. Rent out a room in your home, or swap space for gardening, child or elder care, or carpentry

Advisory Council

Nichole Romano, Great Eastern Radio

Ken Wells, Chair, Mascoma Savings Bank

John Tunnicliffe,  King Arthur Flour

Nancy LaRowe, Manager, Vital Communities

Cathy Maloney, Co-op Food Stores

Ira Richards, West Lebanon Feed & Supply


Co-op Food Stores
Mascoma Savings Bank





Green Circle
King Arthur Flour
LaValley Building Supply
Great Eastern Radio
Valley News
Vital Communities

Chippers, Inc.
West Lebanon Feed & Supply
Ledyard National Bank

A.B. Gile Inc.
Fat Hat Clothing
Jake’s Market & Deli / Jake’s Coffee Co.
John Ring CPA
Lyme Green Heat
Nomad Communications
Simple Energy
The Skinny Pancake
Village Green Publishing

Our program is underwritten by these community partners

Co-op Full Color logo 


La Valley   King Arthur Flour



Vital Communites News


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.

See a complete listing of all Local First Alliance members!