VBSR Vermont Businesses for
Social Responsibility
 Vermont Businesses...Vermont Values
October 2011 
In This Issue
New Members
VBSR Marketplace
VBSR Bookshelf
Welcome Becky!
VBSR Events
VBSR Public Policy
VBSR Membership
Buy Local Coupon Book
VBSR Local Matters
Health Insurance Exchanges
VBSR Member News
E-News Sponsor
Interrobang Design Collaborative


or call 802/862-8347 to secure a space today.
Welcome New VBSR Members!

Please visit the full list on our web site.
VBSR Marketplace
an online business-to-business marketplace using trade dollars valued the same as cash


Member Offer
 Yestermorrow Design/Build School
2-Day Workshop - The Healthy Home
100% Trade
This workshop is a comprehensive and holistic exercise that prepares participants to site, design, build and operate a healthy home, or to inspect and remediate problem situations in already existing homes. Two days starting Nov. 5Yestermorrow Design/Build School
Member Request

Speeder & Earl's
Two screen doors
100% Trade
We need two new screen doors for our Pine St location. Our old ones got so much use that they broke! Must be heavy duty/commercial.
 Speeder and Earl's
To Activate Your Marketplace Account and start buying & selling with VBSR members, click here
VBSR Bookshelf

 Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era 



Amory Lovins
Reinventing Fire
VBSR Bookshelf
brought to you by
 Chelsea Green Publishing
Andrea CohenFall Greetings!  
We are so excited about the upcoming Nov. 16 VBSR conference at Mt. Snow. The agenda is just fantastic and bringing commerce to our friends in Dover/Wilmington post-Irene will be very satisfying. When you come to the conference please make an effort to support those local businesses!

Fall also brings a great new addition to our team! Welcome to Becky Cohen who is running our Internship Program and working on special projects. Becky is living proof of the value of the internship program, having been a VBSR intern herself! Please contact Becky at beckyc@vbsr.org to discuss how an intern can be an asset to your business.  

Occupy is on our minds...I have had many interesting conversations with VBSR members about Occupy Wall Street. (See the article this week in the Free Press.)
Overall, there is a feeling that socially responsible businesses are being left out of the conversation, not all corporations are "bad," and businesses that subscribe to the multiple bottom line contribute tremendously to our society. Innovation and entrepreneurship emanate from our capitalist system--the system is generally good, but government and lawmakers need to be doing a heck of a better job ensuring that the system doesn't run amuck and that our policies are adequately protective. Economic justice needs to be ensured, companies should not get to be "too big to fail," polluters should not be subsidized, money should not have such a large influence in politics, and vulnerable populations need support. We need to be doing better, and much respect goes out to those who are raising the important issues and forcing the conversation.

See you in West Dover on Nov. 16th so the conversation can continue.

Sincerely, Andrea Cohen
VBSR Executive Director
Welcome Becky Cohen!
Becky CohenVBSR welcomes Becky Cohen as the Internship Program & Special Projects Manager. Becky was previously employed by AllEarth Renewables where she handled their customer support and assisted all departments of the company in a variety of tasks. Becky graduated from the University of Vermont in the Spring of 2010 with a Sociology major and a Business minor. After graduating, she spent the summer interning with VBSR to promote the "Buy Local Resource Guide and Coupon Book," and working at HRSentry to learn the basics of internet-based marketing. Becky currently lives in Burlington. beckyc@vbsr.org
VBSR Educational and Networking Events
VBSR 2011 Fall Conference
"Resiliency in Uncertain Times: Socially Responsible Businesses Working Collaboratively"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011; 7:30 am - 5:00 pm

The Grand Summit at Mount Snow, West Dover, VT

Don't miss VBSR's largest southern VT event of the year! The conference is your opportunity to learn about the innovative practices of your business peers and to share your own. Conference features include a full lineup of practical workshops, a morning plenary panel, "A Conversation On Resiliency-Adapting to Uncertain Times," led by author Bill Schubart with panelists Louise Calderwood of the Vermont Food Venture Center, journalist and author Amy Cortese, Representative Ann Manwaring, and Vermont Secretary of Commerce, Lawrence Miller. Vermont's Lieutenant Governor, Phil Scott, will deliver the afternoon keynote address - "Buying Local is for Everyone." Online registration is now available. Visit www.vbsr.org for the full program and to register. 


VBSR December Networking Get-Together hosted by

Yestermorrow Design/Build School
Thursday, December 8, 2011; 5:30 - 7:30 pm  
Yestermorrow, 7865 Main Street (Rte 100), Waitsfield, VT   

Join us to learn more about one of the only design/build schools in the country teaching both design and construction skills, including a variety of courses concentrating in sustainable design and green building.
Sponsor this get-together! For sponsorship information, please visit the event page or contact Rita at ritab@vbsr.org.   


For more information on VBSR's and VBSR members' events, please visit our events pages... 

VBSR Public Policy Update
Nearly two years have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Citizens United decision, giving corporations the same rights as human beings. That decision allowed millions of dollars in unrestricted and unaccountable corporate spending to flood into our national elections.

Citizens United is not about free speech--before this decision, there was no law stopping any company CEO or executive from speaking out about a politician or political issue.

But what they couldn't do - and what this decision now allows them to do - is spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns and advertisements aimed at influencing an election or policy decision. Read more...  __________________________________________________________
VBSR Membership Update
VBSR Wellness Partner Program
VBSR is pleased to introduce a program where members can access group discounts for services and programs that contribute to their employee wellness initiatives. To view details for the available offerings you can click HERE.

VBSR Chapter Program
The newly launched VBSR Chapter Program makes it possible for our members to organize with peers in their community, share experiences, and establish opportunities for mutual learning. If interested in starting a VBSR Chapter in your area, contact Owen Milne at owenm@vbsr.org.

Group Health Benefits
A friendly reminder that the time to evaluate health insurance options will soon arrive. Through our continued partnership with VT Health Services Group, VBSR will continue to offer insurance plans with Blue Cross & Blue Shield. We'll be in touch with you as soon as we hear the details for the 2012 plans.

For questions about any of these programs, contact Owen Milne at owenm@vbsr.org.
2010/2011 Buy Local Coupon Book and Resource Guide Wins Design Award!
Local First Vermont Coupon Book and Resource Guide The inaugural copy of the Buy Local Resource Guide and Coupon Book, designed by Interrobang Design Collaborative, Inc., received a Silver Award from Creativity 41 in the print and packaging competition.
Interrobang Design Collaborative award    First launched in 1970, the Creativity Awards is one the most esteemed graphic design competitions. The annual competition receives thousands of international entries each year, so congratulations to Mark and Lisa Sylvester at Interrobang for their amazing work on this project!

If you haven't yet seen the 2011/2012 edition, you can find a copy here.
Local First Vermont Local Matters

New Study Finds Thriving Small Businesses Lift Real Estate Values

A new study prepared for American Express OPEN by Civic Economics has found that in neighborhoods with thriving independent businesses home values outperformed citywide markets by 50 percent over the last 14 years. The American Express OPEN Independent Retail Index also notes that those same neighborhoods benefited from strong hiring at small, independently owned businesses.
   The study, released on October 18, looked at 27 neighborhoods where small businesses have thrived in 15 major U.S. cities and found that home values in these neighborhoods outperformed their broader markets by four percent per year and 50 percent cumulatively over the past 14 years. Additionally, "indie hotspots" in those neighborhoods support an average of more than 1,800 jobs. Read more...


VT Health Reform and Your Business
Explaining Health Insurance Exchanges
All states are required to set up Health Insurance Exchanges as part of the new federal health care law. But what are these Exchanges and how will they affect the way your business delivers health insurance to employees?

The Exchanges - on-line marketplaces where businesses and individuals can shop for and buy health insurance - are important in Vermont because the state plans to use this system as the foundation of its health care reform plans, including setting up the single-payer system. Read more...
VBSR Member News

VSJF Flexible Capital Fund offers one more choice! 

VSJF The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) Flexible Capital Fund (the "Flex Fund") is open for business! The Flex Fund is the first business-lending program in Vermont focused on royalty financing for small, growth stage businesses - and one of only two such investment-lending programs of its scale in New England. Targeted to support companies in Vermont's value-added agricultural, forest products, renewable energy and waste management sectors, the Flex Fund uses investment tools such as royalty financing and subordinated debt to provide borrowers with access to the flexible risk capital they need to grow - without having to give up an ownership stake in their company. If you're looking for capital to grow, or just want to learn more, visit the web site or contact Janice St. Onge, President, at 828-0398 or janice@vsjf.org.

VCLF Executive Director Honored by Housing Vermont

Vermont Community Loan Fund Housing Vermont, a statewide affordable housing developer and tax credit syndicator, honored Neil Mickenberg, Burlington, and Will Belongia, Executive Director of the Vermont Community Loan Fund, for their outstanding contributions to the provision of affordable housing in Vermont.
   The awards were presented at Housing Vermont's annual meeting on September 8 in Burlington. "It's our pleasure to publicly recognize the work of these two talented and committed individuals," said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens. "In different ways, Neil and Will have demonstrated the deep and lasting impact that individuals can make."  Read more...


VBSR Mission
Our mission is to foster a business ethic in Vermont that recognizes the opportunity and responsibility of the business community to set a high standard for protecting the natural, human, and economic environments of our citizens.

We are committed to a multiple bottom line approach to business that values people, planet and profit.
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Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
60 Lake Street, Suite 3G
Burlington, Vermont 05401
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