Dear SBN Members and Friends,
Thanks to everyone who helped make 2011 a fantastic year for SBN.
- The Second Boston Local Food Festival was another huge success with over 30,000 people enjoying the delicious local food and fun festivities.
- The nation's leader in environmental certification of local businesses, the Sustainable Business Leader Program, expanded to include Worcester, and has graduated close to 100 local independent businesses in greater Boston.
- Local First networks in Cambridge, Somerville, and Worcester have continued to grow and thrive.
- New Local First Networks are emerging in Watertown and Brookline.
A special thanks to everyone who participated in the annual SBN Holiday Party which helped SBN raise much needed funds.
This year is looking to be another exciting year of growth and impact. We're particularly excited about two new programs explained in this newsletter--the Local Green Guide and the SBN Sustainability Leadership Summit. We encourage you to participate in all of SBN's activities in 2012 and together we can help build a strong local economy that is green and fair.
Thank you for your support.
Executive Director, SBN
2011 Survey Results: A Decent Year for Independent Businesses -- a Great Year for Local Business Networks!
The fifth annual post-holiday survey of independent businesses by Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self Reliance yielded powerful evidence that pro-local attitudes are growing and local business networks and similarly-modeled community organizations are yielding greater benefit than ever for their members.
The survey tallied responses from 1768 businesses, all independent and locally-owned, across 49 states. About half were retailers. Among the notable results:
- A larger share (61%) of respondents reported revenue growth in 2011 compared to 2010.
- Independent retailers enjoyed stronger holiday sales than the retail sector as a whole. While overall holiday sales were up 4.1% in 2011, respondents reported an average increase of 6.7%.
- More than three-quarters of businesses surveyed said that public awareness of the beneﬁts of supporting local independent had increased in the last year.
- Independent businesses in communities with an active "buy indie/buy local" campaign run by a local business/citizen alliance saw revenues grow 7.2% in 2011, compared to 2.6% for those in areas without an alliance.
Congratulations to all alliance leaders for this reinforcement of your great work! Read the full ILSR report here
. To learn more about the local first networks that SBN helped launch and supports, visit our website
Local Fun at SBN's Tenth Holiday Party at WBUR!
Over seventy people had a wonderful evening on December 6th at the Tenth Annual SBN Holiday Party and Auction at WBUR. Called a celebration of ALL Things Local, SBN Members had a great sampling of local food, local drinks, local radio, local businesses and local auction items. Once again former SBN Board member, Karen Masterson, treated guests to some delectable local fare from nourish.
|SBN Members were treated to an interview of Radio Boston Co-hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks by WBUR's Robin Young|
Guests were privy to an interview by Robin Young from WBUR of Radio Boston Co-hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks. The co-hosts recounted their history in the industry and also discussed the focus of their show, Radio Boston. They spoke to the challenges of the economic downturn and the observations that they had made in the city. It was a fun and informational interview. The interview was followed by an exciting live auction led by expert auctioneer, Robin Young. A Tuscany bike tour and Celtics tickets were among some of the exciting items that were auctioned off.
|Meghna Chakrabarthy of Radio Boston with Robin Young of WBUR and Susan Labandibar and Laury Hammel of SBN|
Many participants left this wonderful evening with some great gifts won at the live and silent auction. A big thank you to all of the local businesses who donated products and services to make this event a wonderful time that raised over $5,000 in support of SBN. A special thanks to Lauren Hefferen of Ciclismo Classico for donating the bike trip, and Robin Young and Johnny Miller for the Celtics tickets. Most importantly, thanks to all who attended and showed their support for SBN.
SBN's 12th ALLocal Dinner: A Conversation about Localizing Food
On January 23, 2012, SBN hosted its 12th ALLocal Dinner at former SBN Board member Karen Masterson's restaurant, nourish in Lexington center. Over fifty attendees were engaged in "A Conversation about Localizing Food" with inspiring speakers including nourish's Karen Masterson, Kip Kumler, founder of Turtle Creek Winery, and JD Kemp, founder of Crop Circle Kitchen and Organic Renaissance/Food Ex.
The evening began with pita bread and a perfectly spiced lentil dip, while guests ordered local beer and wine from the bar. Following a splendid squash soup, Karen talked to guests about the hard work that is involved and the importance of bringing local and healthy food to the table.
Guests were then treated to nourish's Famous Meatloaf, Local fresh caught Pollack, or the Local Vegan Tempeh all cooked to melt in your mouth perfection and accompanied by fresh local beets and a crispy winter slaw, most of which was sourced from Tangerini's farm, whose owners were both present at the dinner!
|Karen and her fabulous staff at nourish who keep it ALLocal everyday! |
Kip Kumler, founder of Turtle Creek Winery located in Lincoln MA, captivated diners with the story of how he set up his winery and had to overcome some pretty tough challenges, including one of the worst winters in recent history!
|JD Kemp, founder of Crop Circle kitchen and Organic Renaissance|
JD Kemp (left), a living legend in the local food movement in New England, took attendees on an inspiring journey through the inception of the Organic Renaissance/Food Ex describing the many obstacles that were overcome to make it a sustainable venture today. He also got the audience to think about the future of food and its distribution.
The meal was concluded with a delicious warm apple crisp on a scrumptious oatmeal cookie, a perfect end to a wonderful and inspiring evening.
Save the date for SBN's 13th ALLocal Dinner at Local 149 to be held on March 26th, 2012. Details to follow shortly!
We're Close to a 100 Sustainable Business Leaders!
We're happy to announce that the Sustainable Business Leader Program is three businesses away from certifying its 100th business. Additionally the first round of re-certifications have begun and so far 10 businesses certified in the first cohort have signed up to undergo an abridged SBLP. We will be working with these businesses to find ways that they can take their commitment to sustainability to the next level.
The SBLP is currently recruiting businesses in Worcester and the Greater Boston area. If you know of a local business that you would like to see become 'greener', or a green business that should be formally recognized for their sustainability efforts , please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We wouldn't be able to do the work that we do everyday without the help of our awesome interns. For a list of internship opportunities at SBLP please visit:
For more information on the SBLP please visit: www.sustainablebusinessleader.org
Small Business Sustainability
"Consumers Want to Know: How Sustainable are Their Local Small Businesses?"
Rich Grogan, core faculty member in the Department of Management at Antioch University New England studies the expectations that consumers have of their local small businesses. Through his study Grogan indicates that "consumers think of employees at local businesses as their neighbors, friends and family, and they expect a "sustainable" business to take care of those employees."
Business owners in the Keene, NH area who Gorgan interviewed indicated that market differentiation was the main reason for implementing social and environmental initiatives and measuring and communicating these efforts. He also found that lack of resources- time and money, as well as knowledge and difficult landlords were some of the obstacles that businesses face in being more sustainable.
Based on his findings Grogan calls for a system that assists these small and medium sized businesses in making educated sustainability decisions and communicating them to their consumers. SBN's Sustainable Business Leader Program (SBLP) is a program that does just that! Through the SBLP's hands on technical assistance business owners are empowered to explore sustainability initiatives. Through the certification piece of the program they are then recognized for their efforts.
To read the complete article about Rich Grogan's findings please visit: http://www.antiochne.edu/news/newsreleases/small_business.cfm
To learn more about SBN's Sustainable Business Leader Program please visit http://www.sustainablebusinessleader.org
SBN Launches Local Green Guide
SBN is excited to announce the soft launch of its new Local Green Guide, Massachusetts' premier Green Business Directory!
To view the directory please visit: http://www.localgreenguide.org
To find out how how your business can be listed on the website or for sponsorship opportunities please contact Adritha at email@example.com
Thanks to Andy Pyman of Truly Good Design for all his hard work in making this a reality!
|SBN Sustainability Leadership Summit|
8:30am - 5:00pm, Thursday, June 7th, 2012, Ryan Hall, UMass Boston
This year SBN's 23rd annual conference on Sustainable Business will be transformed in to the SBN Sustainability Leadership Summit.
New England's most successful entrepreneurs, community organizers, local funders, nonprofit leaders, and academics will come together to Create new innovations and solutions, weave networks, and build partnerships that build strong local economies!
The SBN Sustainability Leadership Summit is by invitation only, SBN members will receive an email invitation shortly. To see a list of entrepreneurs already signed up to be there and for more event details please visit:
For sponsorship opportunities please contact Adritha at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Call for Small Businesses to Support the Updated Bottle Bill|
An estimated 3.3 billion beverages are consumed annually in Massachusetts, of which 1.3 billion are "new-age" (e.g. water, sports drinks, flavored teas), and this number is only expected to increase. As consumers purchase more of these beverages, an increasing number of containers are finding their way to landfills and by the sides of our roads.
An Updated Bottle Bill would expand our container deposit system to include "new age" drinks such as non-carbonated beverages, water, iced tea, juice, and sports drinks. It would decrease litter and increase recycling.
On Tuesday, Feb. 14, a press event to launch "Businesses for the Updated Bottle Bill" will be held at 11 a.m. in Room 437 of the Statehouse. Business owners and signatures from hundreds more businesses will be brought to Beacon Hill.
For more information & to show your support for the updated bill please visit: http://www.massbottlebill.org/ubb/index.htm
|Cambridge Local First Business Improvement Seminar:|
Harassment Prevention in the Workplace
Thursday, March 1, 2012, 9am to 11am
SBN Members are invited to Cambridge Local First's Business Improvement Seminar on Harassment Prevention in the workplace. CLF will be bringing back Amy Carlin, of Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP. as a presenter for the next business improvement seminar sponsored by Cambridge Trust Company.
Harassment in the workplace poses serious risk to businesses. Both corporate and personal liability can result from unlawful harassment. Learn how to prevent sexual harassment and other illegal harassment in the workplace, and what all of your managers and employees should know about keeping your business free of unlawful harassment.
Attendees will learn:
* How to implement a harassment prevention policy
* What conduct and behaviors can be construed as workplace harassment
* What the legal consequences are of harassment in the workplace
* How to develop internal procedures for reporting and investigating
conduct that is or is perceived as harassment
When: Thursday, March 1, 2012 from 9 am to 11 am.
Where: CCTV's community board room -- Central Square on 438 Mass Ave.
Cost: $25 and includes breakfast from Veggie Galaxy!
|Landlord Profitability Workshop
Saturday March 3rd, 2012, 9:15am to 12pm
HEET MA and Cambridge Energy Alliance are conducting a free workshop for residential landlords to help them find ways to increase building efficiency and save money.
The workshop will feature the following topics and speakers:
9:15am to 12pm, Saturday, March 3rd, 2012
- Reducing Water Bills, Sam Corda, Cambridge Water Dept. Director
- Common-Area Energy Bills, Dan Teague, WegoWise Business Development
- Reducing Tenant Turnover, Eli Herman, Sustainability Director, Winn Management
- Vermin, Mold and Smoke, Mike Geneires, Cambridge Health Alliance
MIT Student Center
Lunch will be provided. There is limited seating, please register at http://www.HEETMA.com
|SBN Roundtable: Register Now!
SBN Roundtables are run as a part of the SBN Leadership Exchange program. They offer a unique opportunity for business owners to connect and support each others' professional and personal growth. Typically these groups consist of 8-10 SBN Members who meet on a periodic basis.
Currently SBN is seeking interested participants for its fourth cohort of roundtable businesses. This is a great opportunity for business owners to come together with their peers and address issues ranging from sustainability to growth in a safe and trusting environment.
For more information and details on how to participate please click here.
|Upcoming Events that Build a Sustainable Economy
Save the dates for the following SBN and SBN Supported events, and find out more information by visiting our website www.sbnboston.org
|Like SBN? Then 'Like' us on Facebook
In an effort to stay connected with its members and friends, SBN and its programs all have an active social media presence.
If you haven't done so already we encourage you to connect with us to stay abreast of all the exciting things happening in the new year:
SBN: facebook, twitter & LinkedIn
Sustainable Business Leader Program:
facebook & twitter
Boston Local Food Festival: facebook & twitter
Cambridge Local First: facebook & twitter
Somerville Local First: facebook & twitter
Worcester Local First: facebook
|SBN's Green Tip of the Month:
What's a great way to save on energy in the new year? LED's of course!
LED's are twice as efficient at CFL's, last up to 10 times longer and do not contain mercury. They can be a great way to cut down energy bills and be more environmentally friendly. LED's are available at your local hardware store.
If you have a commercial energy bill, Energy Federation Incorporated is selling LED's for as little as $5! The bulbs normally cost $50 to $100 each. Order through EFI and they range in cost from $13 down to $5 plus the cost of shipping.
To order contact Steve Lavelle
Energy Federation Incorporated
(800) 876-0660 ext. 4437
Cell: (508) 439-0208