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Local Dollars, Local Sense
by Michael Shuman July VBSR Bookshelf
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| |Keeping it Positive
Realism about Vermont's challenges and opportunities is essential for smart policy-making and economic development prioritization. Unfortunately, all too often we latch onto the negatives, which distracts from the full picture. Vermont offers great opportunity to those who realize and capitalize on our strengths. The Kauffman Index that came out last month listed Vermont as one of the top ten states in the country for entrepreneurial start-ups and the number one state for start-ups east of the Mississippi*. This is no surprise to VBSR since our members consistently report that Vermont is a good place to do business. Last year, post Irene, just under 90% of VBSR businesses reported that Vermont is a good place to do business. They ranked the great quality of life, the benefit of the Vermont brand, networking and peer support, a skilled and quality workforce and government accessibility as the top contributors. Yes, of course we have challenges; the forever increasing cost of health care. the need for affordable housing and childcare. and the need to get the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure done right. So we can choose to be "for" positive change or we can go negative--VBSR chooses the former.
Now that we are in election season, it is a great time to re-engage in policy and prioritization. Even in races that seem to be a "done deal" it is important to get your concerns into the dialogue. In fact, it might even be more important to hold long time elected officials accountable with a positive intention. When you engage, make sure to mention that you are a member of VBSR, a community of businesses 1,100 strong that subscribe to a business ethic that values multiple bottom lines. Thanks for your support, we continue to be inspired and energized by our fantastic business members.
Andrea Cohen, VBSR Executive Director
*Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity as reported in Vermont Business Magazine.
|VBSR and SR Businesses in D.C.
VBSR's partner, the American Sustainable Business Council recently brought VBSR and other SR businesses to the White House to meet with members of the Obama Administration. One message was clear--SR businesses need to get more involved in politics and policy-making. Read more.
Jennifer Chiodo of Cx Associates and VBSR's Dan Barlow
| VT Intern Program on the :30|
If you missed the show you can view the video here.
Joining Becky was Vermont Energy Investment Corp that has hired twelve students for paid summer internships in their Burlington offices. The internship positions range from market research and accounting, to transportation efficiency research, to engineering. Read more here. Thinking about hiring an intern this fall or want to learn more about the program? Please email Becky for more info!
|Independent Booksellers Report Good News |
Despite a difficult economy and the onslaught of chain stores and online booksellers, independent booksellers have stabilized and the American Booksellers Association membership is rising. The "Buy Local" movement appears to be a contributing factor in the success of many independent booksellers who report an almost 15% increase in number of books sold over last year. Buy books local and support your friends neighbors! Read more here.
| Upcoming Events |
July 31: Burlington Circle Group
4:30 - 5:45 PM @ Seventh Generation
Experiences of a Young Entrepreneur with Benjy Adler of Skinny Pancake. More Information here
August 16: VBSR Networking Get Together Hosted by the Intervale Center, Burlington
4:00 - 6:00 PM. Family friendly event... stay on for the Intervale's weekly Summervale series! More information here
Save the Date:
September 5: Burlington Public Policy Forum.
November 14: VBSR Fall Conference, Mt. Snow
Contact Scott Buckingham
, VBSR Membership and Communications Manager, if you are interested in hosting a 2013 VBSR Get-Together in 2013.
|Free Electronics Recycling For Small Businesses & Charities |
Vermont's electronic waste law bans the disposal of certain electronic devices and Vermont's E-Cycles Program provides for convenient and FREE collection of electronic waste for businesses, charities, households, and school districts. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees can recycle their computers, monitors, printers, computer peripherals, or televisions for FREE at any of the 90 plus collection locations across the state. Find a site here. Larger businesses should contact NRRA for disposal options.
| Member News |
AllEarth Renewables' REWIRE program has been highlighted by Fast Company magazine as an innovative approach to incenting and engaging employees to conserve energy. Read more here.
Chelsea Green Publishing has b ecome employee owned. This move makes Chelsea Green unique among book publishers in an industry dominated by investor-driven, multinational corporations. Only a handful of independent book publishers can claim employee-ownership status, and of those Chelsea Green will be near the top in terms of the percentage of stock controlled by its employees (80%). Read more here.
Draker Laboratories CEO Chach Curtis has been named 2012 Vermont State Small Business Person of the Year. The selection criterion for this prestigious award includes leadership and delivery of sustained sales and employment growth, strong financial performance, innovation of products and services, and contributions to community. Read more here.
Seven Days, Vermont's free, independent weekly newspaper, recently won four national awards from the annual Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) and six awards from the Vermont Press Association. Read more here.
The Vermont Retail Association announced its Retailer
of the Year Awards. Two of the three recipients are VBSR Members. Green Life of Burlington received the "Greentailer of the Year" distinction and Brown Dog Books of Hinesburg was recgonzed as Community Gem of the Year.