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  • April 05, 2019 7:04 PM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)
    • Do you have an incredible project just waiting to happen -- one that would strengthen your business, our community and the local economy -- if only you had the funds to make it happen?
    • Is your business a "social enterprise" that addresses social and/or environmental issues?
    • Will your project support community goals, while keeping to a budget of $15,000 or less?

    If you said yes to these questions...THANK YOU!  You are part of the emerging Fourth Sector economy -- a sector that uses the power of business to do good things for people and the planet.

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock believes in people like you.  That's why we're participating in a new research project in conjunction with the National Science Foundation and The Local Crowd designed to uncover the best ways to support Fourth Sector enterprises. We are pleased to invite you to participate in this project.

    Learn more and download our Request for Proposals

    We will accept proposals until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2019.  TLC Monadnock will select up to six local businesses to participate in this pilot study -- and the top proposal will receive a free crowdfunding video from 710 Main Films to support their campaign.
     
    Have questions? Please contact Jen Risley at marketing@monadnockfood.coop or 603-283-5401.

    TLC Monadnock is hosted by the Monadnock Food Co-op and supported by our community partners: Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation. 


  • April 05, 2019 7:52 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock, a community-based crowdfunding program serving the entire Monadnock region, has been selected to become one of four pilot study sites for a National Science Foundation (NSF) research project.

    This NSF project is designed to identify and support the needs of fourth sector enterprises, also known as social enterprises, which are mission-driven organizations that use business principles to make the world a better place.

    TLC Monadnock will test and evaluate a new educational/crowdfunding platform developed by The Local Crowd, LLC (TLC) a Laramie, Wyoming based firm. TLC received a $225,000 NSF grant to conduct this research, which has the ultimate goal of increasing community awareness and support for social enterprises.

    "The National Science Foundation supports startups and small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts," said Graciela Narcho, Acting Director of Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. "We hope that seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology."

    "This project will support existing triple bottom line businesses in our region while encouraging new enterprises to explore this sector of our economy," said Jen Risley, TLC Monadnock Program Manager.  "We couldn't be more thrilled to take TLC Monadnock to this next level."

    For more information, visit tlcmonadnock.com or contact Jen Risley at marketing@monadnockfood.coop or 603-283-5401.

    In addition to TLC Monadnock, the communities of Goshen, Indiana; Laramie, Wyoming; and Omniworks™ Business Incubator, Los Angeles, CA, will also serve as pilot sites. This research project will be conducted through 2019.

    About The Local Crowd

    The Local Crowd's crowdfunding/education platform is designed to solve social problems and make the world a better place by catalyzing community support for social enterprises.

    About The Local Crowd Monadnock

    The Local Crowd Monadnock is a community-based crowdfunding program helping start-up ventures, early-growth stage companies, and community-focused projects find access to capital.  Since TLC Monadnock launched in March 2017, fourteen crowdfunding campaigns have collectively raised over $90,000 from 700 individuals.
        

    About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs 

    America's Seed Fund, powered by NSF, awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.5 million in non-dilutive funds to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America's Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7.8 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.  

  • March 24, 2019 8:00 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News

    Help The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock, a community-based crowdfunding program, decide which Local Living Economy building blocks to focus on in 2019.  We will focus on recruiting projects working on innovations in these building blocks and will also provide these projects with extra support to run successful crowdfunding campaigns.  Help us decide which Local Living Economy building blocks by taking this short online poll.

    Take Our Poll!


    What is a Local Living Economy?

    In November 2009, a group of 70 local entrepreneurs, community leaders, students, and engaged citizens gathered at Keene State College’s Seventh Biennial Symposium “From Local to Global” to answer this question. The consensus: A Local Living Economy is a resilient system that improves our quality of life, meets everyone’s basic needs and creates an engaged citizenry.

    What are the building blocks?

    With that definition agreed upon, we moved on to the next question: How do we cultivate a stronger Local Living Economy?  Judy Wicks, co-founder of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and key participant in the November 2009 discussion, shared, “In order to build a Local Living Economy, we must first determine what one looks like -- what are the components, or building blocks -- what’s our vision for a Local Living Economy that we can work toward achieving?”

    We identified a number of those building blocks including: Affordable Housing, Arts & Culture, Climate Adaptation & Resilience, Community Health, Community Capital, Cooperatives & Community Ownership, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Conservation & Stewardship, Farms & Food, Green Manufacturing, Green Building & Design, Living Wage Jobs & Equity, Renewable Energy, and Sustainable Transportation.

    We then compiled examples of regional businesses and organizations currently contributing to these building blocks.  We wanted to understand how we’re already building a stronger Local Living Economy and where the gaps in the system are.

    Building Block Builders

    Keene State College’s Architecture Program serves as one prime example of a Building Block Builder in our region. Their work focuses on multiple building blocks such as Affordable Housing, Climate Resilience, and Green Building.  Students designed tiny houses as part of their senior capstone project. Three of their models were displayed at the Tiny House Fest Vermont in Brattleboro last year. 

    The Architecture Program is also working with the Resilient Design Institute (RDI) to design a tiny house village suited for our climate.  In addition to providing housing for the homeless, they want to design a village that will offer emergency housing following natural disasters.  Typically, tiny house villages include small private living structures clustered around shared buildings with bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry facilities. One of their biggest challenges with this model is finding a way to keep the private structures livable during the winter and during power outages. This group will meet again this spring to tackle this and other design challenges.


    Building on TLC Monadnock’s Success

    In 2018, TLC Monadnock attracted ten teams to develop and launch diverse crowdfunding campaigns on our platform.  These campaigns collectively raised $58,256 from 500 supporters -- up from $35,146 from 227 supporters in 2017.  Seventy percent of TLC Monadnock campaigns met or surpassed their crowdfunding goals -- while Kickstarter has a 31% success rate.  We also successfully raised funds to cover a portion of this year’s platform fees.  These funds also empowered us to expand our platform to serve the entire region.

    We’d love for TLC Monadnock to drive positive change in our Local Living Economy one building block at a time.  Help us focus on what part of the system we’ll tackle this year and take our short poll.

    TLC Monadnock is hosted by the Monadnock Food Co-op and supported by our community partners: Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation.

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock is a community-based crowdfunding platform that empowers individuals to support the businesses, organizations, and initiatives that grow wealthier and healthier communities in our region.
  • March 09, 2019 7:41 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Help TLC Monadnock decide which Local Living Economy building block to focus on in 2019.  We will focus on recruiting projects working on innovations in this building block and provide them with extra support to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.  Help us decide by taking this poll.

    Take our poll

    Our current options are:

    • Affordable Housing
    • Arts & Culture
    • Climate Adaptation & Resilience
    • Community Health
    • Community Capital
    • Cooperatives & Community Ownership
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Environmental Conservation & Stewardship
    • Farms & Food
    • Green Manufacturing
    • Green Building & Design
    • Living Wage Jobs & Equity
    • Renewable Energy
    • Sustainable Transportation

    What is a Local Living Economy? In November 2009, a group of 70 local entrepreneurs, community leaders, students and engaged citizens gathered at Keene State College’s Seventh Biennial Symposium “From Local to Global” to answer this question. The consensus: A Local Living Economy is a resilient system that improves our quality of life, meets everyone’s basic needs and creates an engaged citizenry.

    With that definition agreed upon, we now move on to the next question: How do we cultivate a stronger Local Living Economy?  Judy Wicks, co-founder of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and key participant in the November 2009 discussion, shared, “In order to build a local living economy, we must first determine what one looks like—what are the components, or building blocks, a vision of a local living economy that we can work toward achieving?” 

    Together, we are looking at the system that drives our Local Living Economy. This type of holistic thinking takes work, but it can result in better problem solving leading to more positive and lasting changes in our community.

    As scientist and systems thinker Peter Senge states, “Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static snapshots.  Fragmentation, competition, and reactiveness are not problems to be solved -- they are frozen patterns of thought to be dissolved.”

  • February 27, 2019 6:01 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Whether a pop-up shop, pop-up event or pop-up planning process – the Pop-Up Economy means that whatever pops up is temporary.  This temporary status makes pop-ups less risky than setting up something permanent and typically requires less investment of time and money.

    “The pop-up provides business owners the opportunity to test a new product, concept, brand or market before making any long-term investments,” notes the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s brochure on the Pop-Up Economy. “The owners of vacant properties can also economically benefit from the Pop-Up Economy. Traditional leases are long-term; when viable tenants cannot be found, the extended vacancies that result can be a financial burden to landlords.”

    Some examples of the Pop-Up Economy in our region include the “Pop Up Holiday Shop” at Central Square in Keene and multiple Complete Streets demos hosted by Southwest Region Planning Commission in Keene and surrounding towns (see Keene’s Complete Street Demo video here: bit.ly/pop-upkeene).  Our Pop-Up Economy also includes food trucks like Street & Savory and Salt & Lime.  These mobile businesses aren’t temporary, but the locations where they set up their business can change.

    Beyond our region, two Pop-Up Economy examples serve as inspiration for building upon our own pop-up efforts: Night Market Philadelphia in PA and Western Market in Muskegon, MI. 

    Night Market Philadelphia

    The Food Trust, a nonprofit focused on access to healthy food, started Night Market Philadelphia in 2010. It’s a roving festival that pops up in different neighborhoods and brings communities together to celebrate the joy of food with food trucks, musicians, street performers and art installations. Each event is co-hosted by a community partner and supports existing businesses in each neighborhood by helping merchants secure permits to set up outside their storefront and attract more foot traffic during the event.

    Through a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Healthy Food Truck Initiative, The Food Trust promotes food truck vendors who offer fresh, healthy menu offerings.  They also work with Kiva Zip to bring 0% interest loans of up to $10,000 to local food entrepreneurs.  These activities mean the community and economic impacts of Night Market Philadelphia ripple well beyond each one-night event.  

    “Today, Night Market isn’t just a busy night for food truck vendors -- it’s an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and build a lasting customer base,” states The Food Trust’s Night Market Philadelphia Five Year Report.   “It isn’t just one evening of celebrating a neighborhood -- it’s a catalyst for sustained community engagement. It isn’t just a popular event -- it’s a creator of jobs, tax revenue and real economic growth.”

    Muskegon’s Western Market

    In 2017, the city of Muskegon built twelve small “chalets” on an empty lot and called it Western Market (in reference to their nearby farmers’ market).  The chalets each cost about $5,000 to build and the city rents them to businesses for the season, from May to December.  Last season’s businesses included a bakery, fair trade boutique and a variety of other retailers.  While the initial funding for these structures came from donations from the local chamber of commerce, a community foundation and other area organizations, the success of Western Market (demonstrated by a waiting list of 25 businesses) convinced the city to use municipal funds to build five more chalets in 2018, locating them at different downtown locations. 

    In addition to helping new businesses get a start, seven existing businesses from nearby communities used the chalets to grow their customer base. The success of Western Market motivated a number of downtown landlords to build smaller retail areas on their first floors to accommodate these growing businesses in the future.

    “We’ve taken very small spaces, like here at the Western Market, and much larger areas, like the farmers market, and turned them into vibrant places that draw people from miles around and provide an economic boost to our entire community,” said Muskegon Mayor Stephen Gawron.

    Have ideas to make your community pop with the Pop-Up Economy?  Explore the opportunity to secure start-up funds for your idea through The Local Crowd Monadnock and email us at marketing@monadnockfood.coop.

  • February 16, 2019 9:01 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock is a locally based crowdfunding platform that empowers individuals to support the businesses, organizations and initiatives that grow wealthier and healthier communities in our region. We recently wrapped up the pilot phase of our program. 

    In 2018, TLC Monadnock:

    Attracted a diversity of campaign teams to develop and launch crowdfunding campaigns on our platform

    • Launched 10 crowdfunding campaigns based in 6 towns in the Monadnock region: Alstead, Chesterfield, Hinsdale, Keene, Peterborough, Winchester
    • Collectively raised $58,256 from 500 supporters (up from $35,146 from 227 supporters in 2017)
    • Seventy percent of TLC Monadnock campaigns met or surpassed their crowdfunding goals (Kickstarter has a 31% success rate)

    Successfully raised funds to cover portion of 2019 platform fees and continue past the pilot phase of this project

    • Leveraged TLC Monadnock to raise $2,500 -- allowing us to expand our platform to serve the entire region in 2019
    • The Local Crowd secured a grant from the National Science Foundation to support the Fourth Sector Economy (stay tuned for details in March 2019)

    Download our 2018 Annual Report.

    Discover more details and updates at tlcmonadnock.com or contact Jen Risley at marketing@monadnockfood.coop or 603-283-5401. 

    TLC Monadnock is hosted by the Monadnock Food Co-op and supported by our community partners: Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation. 


  • February 06, 2019 6:38 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Originally Published in the Monadnock Shopper News

    This Valentine’s Day show your “local love” — love for your sweetie and your whole community — by purchasing gifts (or gift-making supplies) and meals (or ingredients) at locally owned businesses.   Last year, Americans spent $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day.  Imagine if we shifted some of that spending to locally owned businesses!

    “Talk about a sweetheart gift! If every family in the country shifted $100 of their Valentine’s Day shopping budget to locally owned, independent businesses over $7.8 billion would be directly returned to local communities,” shared our friends at Independent We Stand.

    Locally owned businesses offer us much to love.  They strengthen our local economy, culture and wellbeing. Independent businesses re-circulate four times more money in our community than chain stores.  Moreover, studies show that most new jobs are created by small businesses — meaning today’s local Valentines are tomorrow’s jobs.

    Here are eight extra special ways to show your local love this Valentine’s Day:

    • On February 7, join the Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene for our Local Love Sample Night from 4-6 p.m. Enjoy free tastings and samples of local and regional goodies perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift or to complement a Valentine’s Day meal.
    • SOLD OUT!  Head up to the Common Man Inn in Claremont on February 9 from 7-11 p.m. for an adults-only prom to benefit the Claremont Learning Partnership. The night includes DJ entertainment, photo booth, hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.  Tickets are $25 per person.
    • Mudita Massage & Wellness in Keene offers an Introduction to Partner Massage on February 12 from 6-8 p.m.  Learn basic massage techniques (your partner doesn’t need to be a romantic relationship, just whoever you want to give a little extra TLC to).  Also receive a small bottle of doTERRA’s massage blend essential oil, local cheese and chocolate, all for $60 per couple: facebook.com/muditamassageandwellness.
    • Frogg Brewing in Marlborough and Burn Em Down BBQ present “I Love You Beerly – A Valentine’s Day Dinner” on February 14 with two seatings — one at 5:30 p.m. and the other at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy BBQ ribs, smoked mac & cheese, a choice of one beer on tap, dessert and a rose for $60 per couple.  Contact Stephanie at Froggbrewing@gmail.com to reserve your seats.
    • On February 14, the Valentine’s Day Special at Terrapin Glassblowing Studio in Jaffrey includes a 20-minute glassblowing session with a loved one to make an everlasting flower for $30.  After your private class, you can choose to head over to Cafe 532 for a candlelit dinner for two. Dinner includes a bottle of wine or champagne, two entrees, dessert and a rose for $105 per couple.  Reservations and pre-payment required.  Call 603-532-7777 for more dinner information and reservations.
    • Experience a romantic dinner at The Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy on February 14 at 6:00 p.m. Dinner includes appetizers, entrees and desserts for $70 a couple.  Add roses from Coll’s Garden Center and Florist in Peterborough to complete your evening. This is a BYOB event and reservations are required.
    • The Redfern Arts Center in Keene presents the Be My Valentine Concert on February 14 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. and will include love songs performed by an orchestra of Keene State College students and faculty. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, $10 for adults.
    • Send a Singing Valentine from the Keene Cheshiremen Chorus.  A 4-part a cappella will sing live (and by surprise) your sweetie on February 14, plus they will receive a red rose, chocolates, and a digital photo capturing the special moment.

    So, show lots of local love this Valentine’s Day, and the love will circle back to you, your loved ones and — best of all — your entire community.

  • December 08, 2018 8:08 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    The Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund program, a partnership with the Cheshire County Conservation District, is now accepting applications from local farmers. Currently, in its third year, the fund has supported seven farms in our region.

    This year, the Farm Fund will award up to $18,000 to help farms in Cheshire County and abutting New Hampshire towns develop or expand their production for wholesale markets, including selling to the Monadnock Food Co-op and Food Connects. Funds can be used to support a range of projects including the purchase of equipment and infrastructure, packaging and labeling design needs, and technical assistance.

    The Request for Proposals and application are available here. Applications are due February 1, 2019.

    "The Farm Fund empowers local farmers to grow their businesses to help them become more financially sustainable," said Michael Faber, Monadnock Food Co-op General Manager. "It also helps the co-op broaden its offerings of locally grown, raised, and made foods — that means more local food for you, your family, and our community."

    Tax-deductible donations to this fund can be made to the Cheshire County Conservation District. Additional fundraising activities will occur at the Monadnock Food Co-op, including a Round It Up Donation Drive in early 2019.

    The Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund's mission is to support local farmers in increasing sustainable food production and wholesale sales to contribute to a thriving local farm economy. This grant supports several of the co-op's goals, including building a healthy, sustainable food system, supporting local farmers and producers, and contributing to a strong, sustainable and improving local economy.

    For more information on eligibility, to apply for a grant, or make a donation to the fund, please visit https://monadnockfood.coop/farmfund or call Amanda Littleton at the Conservation District at 603-756-2988 ext 116.


  • November 28, 2018 6:25 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News

    Great news!  The Local Crowd Monadnock (TLC Monadnock), a locally based crowdfunding platform, will extend beyond its pilot phase.  While TLC Monadnock will continue to host crowdfunding campaigns based in Keene and seven other towns in the region, the question that we’re asking our community right now is: Should it expand to serve the entire region? So far, thirty-one of you voted “Yes!” by contributing $5 - $500 to our TLC Monadnock crowdfunding campaign.

    VOTE YES!

    Our goal is to raise at least $2,500 by Monday, December 10.  The more support our community contributes, the more towns we’ll include in the program next year. We will use this funding to cover the platform fees for 2019 and jumpstart our efforts to transform TLC Monadnock into a pollinator enterprise, a self-funding enterprise committed to supporting local businesses.

    Past campaign leaders expressed support for continuing TLC Monadnock. Marty Castriotta of Village Roots Permaculture Farm in Alstead raised over $11,000 through TLC Monadnock for a barn raising at his family’s CSA farm.  The barn will house animals in the winter and provide space to host educational workshops during other parts of the year.

    "TLC Monadnock made it possible for us to embrace the idea of asking our community to support our cause and our project," said Marty.  "Within two weeks of launching our campaign, with the tremendous support of TLC, we raised the funds needed to complete our barn."

    Locally owned businesses have also demonstrated their support by donating awesome rewards to thank community members for their support.  Thank you to Walpole Mountain View Winery, MB Massage Studio, Monadnock Food Co-op, The Works Café, New England Everyday Goods, Cheshire Garden, New Dawn Farm, Yoga with Josephine and Stonewall Farm for contributing rewards to our campaign.  See all the rewards on the right side of our campaign page

    Please join with others in our community to continue to leverage the power of crowdfunding to cultivate a stronger ecosystem of investors, service providers and local economy champions investing in a local, green and fair economy in the Monadnock region. You can contribute to our crowdfunding campaign regardless of where you live.  

    Contribute to this campaign online today

    Checks can be made out to Monadnock Buy Local and mailed to The Local Crowd Monadnock, c/o Monadnock Buy Local, 63 Emerald Street PMB #114, Keene, NH 03431.

    More about TLC Monadnock

    TLC Monadnock is a locally based crowdfunding platform that empowers individuals to support the businesses, organizations and initiatives that grow wealthier and healthier communities in our region.  Crowdfunding, or the practice of raising funds to support a project from a large number of people, is a viable alternative to recruiting businesses from outside the region to boost economic activity.

    This project is part of a two-year research study funded by a USDA Small Business Innovation Research grant to gauge this platform's effectiveness in rural areas.  During its pilot phase (that ends January 1, 2019), TLC Monadnock will only accept campaign proposals from businesses, organizations or community initiatives based in Alstead, Jaffrey, Keene, Chesterfield, Hinsdale, Peterborough, Swanzey or Winchester.  TLC Monadnock gives preference to campaigns that align with their respective city or town's master plan and contribute to a local, green and fair economy.

    Discover more details and updates at monadnocklocal.org/tlc or contact Jen Risley at monadnockbuylocal@gmail.com or 603-499-7950. 

    TLC Monadnock is currently hosted by Monadnock Buy Local and supported by the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, Monadnock Food Co-op and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation. 

  • November 26, 2018 5:42 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    Photo credit: Prime Roast Coffee


    With Thanksgiving and Plaid Friday this week, things were a bit slow for our TLC Monadnock Campaign. However, we'll be out in full force promoting our crowdfunding campaign next week -- watch for an article about TLC Monadnock in next week's Monadnock Shopper News.

    On another note -- If you're looking for some Shift Your Shopping ideas, take a look at our rewards on the right side of our campaign page. They were all donated by locally owned business owners who wanted to show their support for expanding TLC Monadnock.

    Is there someone on your gift-giving list that would appreciate a gift from ...

    Go ahead, shift your shopping and lend more support to our campaign today!

    View Campaign

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The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431

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