Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
Vermont Businesses...Vermont Values. 

Spring Greetings

It looks like we may break some attendance records for next week's Get-Together hosted by Truex Cullins Architecture + Interior Design at Topnotch Resort. Please don't wait to register for the March 26 event so our gracious hosts can plan adequately. This will be a fantastic evening and we hope you can join us and enjoy the terrific company and the sensational space.

Please also plan to join us for VBSR's 24th Annual Spring Conference on May 14. We are planning a fantastic day of education and networking opportunities. We're excited to announce our conference keynoters next week, and registration will open in early April.

Our Southern VT Chapter has been meeting regularly, so if you're a southern member, please plan on attending the next meeting on April 8th.

Spring brings another new addition to the VBSR staff team. Baby Thaddeus has joined Russ Elek's family and back in the fall Mitchell joined Calen King's family. These new additions to the VBSR family are bringing much joy to us all!

Thank you for your membership and support of our mission and actions. We appreciate and encourage your involvement and your opinions as we continue to work to ensure Vermont is a great place to work and grow businesses.

Andrea Cohen, Executive Director
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!
VBSR 24th Annual Spring Conference!
SAVE THE DATE: May 14, 2014, at UVM's Davis Center
Call for Workshop Proposals - Proposals Due Today!: Conference workshop proposals now being accepted! Click here to visit the Spring Conference webpage for proposal submission information and to download the workshop proposal submission form. 


Call for Conference Sponsors: Conference sponsorship opportunities now available! We have added some new categories (Localvore Lunch Sponsor, for example) and benefits.... With more ~350 attendees, don't miss this opportunity to underscore your organization's commitment to developing a robust SR business sector in Vermont and help VBSR maintain its educational presence and offerings. Learn more here!




     This Edition of E-news Sponsored by:  

 Click here to learn more about the  Vermont Health Connect!

Interested in sponsoring E-news? Contact us today.
VBSR Expands Member-to-Member Discounts 
70+ Member Discounts Available!

The VBSR team recently relaunched our Member-to-Member Discounts program. Many VBSR members strive to support like-minded businesses, and several offer discounts to fellow VBSR members. Currently there are more than 70+ discounts offered by member businesses.
To see the complete list of discounts available to VBSR members click 
Want to offer a member-to-member discount, but don't currently? Contact Chris today! 


Capital Dome in Spring March Public Policy Update
Mid-Session Update on VBSR Legislative Priorities

Vermont lawmakers returned to Montpelier this month after the week-long Town Meeting break, signifying the half-way point of the session. The week following town meeting is known as crossover - bills need to be approved by their committee of jurisdiction by that Friday if they stand a chance of becoming law this year. It was the week that some bills died and others advanced through the committee and floor process.


Following is an update on legislative priorities VBSR has been working on this year and where they stand with about six weeks of the legislative session left:


Clean Energy - Both the House and Senate have approved legislation expanding the state's net metering program, lifting the cap from 4% to 15% of peak load (several utilities had already hit the cap, slowing deployment of solar in some parts of the state). Meanwhile, the Senate is working has worked on bills aimed at bringing more regulation to the siting of energy projects, including small-scale solar. There have also been attempts to scale back the state's long-term dedication to energy efficiency.


To read about the other bills VBSR has worked on this year click here to go to the VBSR policy blog.  


Upcoming VBSR Events
VBSR has some great events coming up next month! We look forward to seeing you soon! 


March 26: March Networking Get-Together Hosted by TruexCullins Architiceture + Interior Desing at Topnotch Resort in Stowe 


Mark your calendars and join VBSR members and friends for our first Get-Together of 2014! TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design is pulling out all the stops and working with us to plan an amazing Get-Together at Topnotch Resort and Spa in Stowe. Register today and join us for an evening to be remembered: 

  • Food and drink! Delicious appetizers and a cash bar!
  • Live music! Take a listen to some great jazz by Audrey Bernstein!
  • Tours! Get a firsthand look at the new facility with tours by project designers.
  • Door prizes! Any VBSR member that pre-registers by midnight on 2/25 is eligable to win great door prizes, including a $250 gift certificate to Von Bargen's


When: Wednesday, March 26, 2014; 5:30 - 

8:00 PM.

Where: Topnotch Resort, 4000 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT 05672


5:30 - Registration and Networking

6:00 - Program Begins

6:45 - Networking, Tours and Music


Full details here  






April 8: Southern Vermont VBSR Chapter Meeting  

Join us in Brattleboro for our second Southern Vermont Chapter meeting! Learn about B Lab and how the B Impact Assessment tool can help you understand and manage your businesses' sustainability impacts.

Full details here AND RSVP by contacting CS Wurzberger at cs@thegreenupgirl.com or (802) 258-8046. 



May 1:  May Networking Get-Together Co-Hosted by Small Dog and Green Mountain Power's Energy Innovation Center 

Small Dog Electronics and Green Mountain Power are combining forces for a terrific event in Rutland. We'll help Small Dog celebrate its one-year anniversary of their Rutland location and explore GMP's new Energy Innovation Center. Don't miss it!  Full details here AND register here


Interested in sponsoring or hosting an event? Email Scott.    


Vermont Health Connect 
Health Insurance: Important end of the month Deadline!
If you were one of the small businesses that opted to extend your 2013 health insurance plan through the first quarter of 2014, you must make sure to contact your insurance provider to enroll in a Vermont Health Connect plan prior to April 1.  Please contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to make sure your new Vermont Health Connect coverage is in place.  Businesses must purchase through the insurance company. Individuals who do not get health insurance through work can obtain Vermont Health Connect Insurance either online, through a Navigator, a broker, or the call center.  As always, the VBSR Navigators are also available to you and your employees to answer questions and to help you enroll on the Exchange. Contact one of them today to schedule an appointment.  For more information and updates please link here.

This Edition of E-News Sponsored by:      


The Vermont Conversation on WDEV
Wednesdays, 1 PM -- AM550 FM96.1

If you've missed any of  "The Vermont Conversation" broadcasts, you can stream them at your convenience: 


March 6: Fixing Vermont's Education System 

February 26: The ACLU of Vermont 

February 19: Bill McKibben, Author, Activist and Co-Foundeer of the Global Grassroots Climate Change Organization 350.org Part 1 AND Part 2  


Have an idea for a show or want to be on "The Vermont Conversation"? Email us today.



Marketplace Sets 2014 Goals
How you can help! 


Last month, we gave an overview of our Marketplace goals for 2014. This month, we will explain how you can help to accomplish these goals.  



  • Marketplace Goal 1: Gain 100 new members.

    How You Can Help:

    1. Referral: Share your success stories with your colleagues and encourage them to join the Marketplace. Share them with us also so we can spread the word.
    2. Make Trades: When you are negotiating quotes or contracts, suggest a portion of the cost as a Marketplace Trade Dollars. Make it a standard part of the process for all your vendors and clients.
    3. Request Products and Services: List your company needs and call our support staff to find what you're looking for. Help us to show potential members the demand for their services.
  • Marketplace Goal 2: Add three more support team members.

    How You Can Help:

    1. Referral: Do you or someone you know fit the bill? Let us know!
    2. Spread the Word: Post a notice on our behalf on your Facebook, email, or Twitter outlets. Link to our Opportunities page is HERE.
    3. Offer Your Time: We're also looking for coders and other administrative help this year, so if you think you can help make the Marketplace stronger, we'd like to hear from you.
  • Marketplace Goal 3: Meet member goals.

    How You Can Help:

    1. Set a target for your Marketplace trades for 2014, and let our support team know
    2. Make "dates" with our support team for check-ins to follow up on those targets.  
Click here to read the full overview of 2014 Marketplace goals.

Don't have a VBSR Marketplace account? Get started today! 


Log-on to VBSR's website to post an event. Forgot your password? Send us an email! 

Member Jobs
Recently Posted Member Jobs 
Log-on to VBSR's website to post a job. Forgot your password? Send us an email!

Looking for an internship? Click here for our most recent listings. 
Member News  
We want your news and press releases!! Submit or post a story on our Facebook page or send Russ an email...
News items will be posted in the "Member News" section of our website and will be considered for inclusion in VBSR's monthly E-News.

Vermont Wins
Cellars at Jasper Hill Five Gold Medals at International Cheese Competition

Vermont cheesemakers won five gold medals at the 2014 World Championship Cheese Contest, which concluded Wednesday in Madison, WI. VBSR Members Jasper Hill Farm of Greensboro and Cabot C Cabot Barn 2012 reamery both won multiple awards. Jasper Hill also placed two cheeses, their Bayley Hazen Blue and Harbison, among the overall Top 16. Click here to see the full article from vermontbiz.com.  

Gardener's Supply
Gardener's Supply Certified by B Corp as Socially and Environmentally Responsible Business
B Corp, the premier entity that measures the social and environmental practices of businesses nationwide and internationally, has certified Gardener's Supply of Burlington, Vermont, a leading online and catalog garden products retailer and wholesaler, as a Certified B Corporation. B Lab is the national non-profit that certifies and supports B Corporations. B Lab conducted a rigorous evaluation of Gardener's Supply and determined that the company met the comprehensive performance standards required to qualify for certification. Gardener's Supply will join other Certified B Corporations that are legally empowered to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, consumers and environment. Click here for the full CSR Press Release.

Renewable NRG 8/2013
Renewable NRG Systems Honored with Worksite Wellness Award

Renewable NRG Systems, a designer and manufacturer of decision support tools for the global renewable energy industry, has been recognized with a Worksite Wellness Silver Level Award by the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports and the Vermont Department of Health. This award acknowledges the company's fitness facilities and initiatives that encourage employee health and wellbeing. "Worksites that promote healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco use cessation, and breastfeeding contribute to the overall health and wellness of all Vermonters, and they are one of the key reasons we are routinely rated the nation's healthiest state," said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD.  Click here for the full story from Renewable NRG Systems.


B Lab Receives Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship

 The Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship is given each year to organizations that "are disrupting the status quo, driving large-scale change, and are poised to make an even greater impact on the world." Skoll has been closely following the growth of the global movement of Certified B Corps, and believes in its ability to affect social change on a wide scale by redefining success in business. This award belongs to us all. The entire community of B Corporations and their supporters is what make this movement worthy of recognition. Click here to read the original story. 


  City Market

City Market Onion River Co-op Members Donate to Non-Profits

City Market, a Member-owned cooperative, declared a Patronage Dividend for fiscal year 2013 of $1,588,814, based on net income from sales to its Members. The City Market Board of Directors voted to return 55% of this dividend to Members in the form of a Patronage Refund. On November 8, the Co-op mailed over 9,000 checks to its Members, with an average check of $96. Click here to read the original press release from City Market.     




BCorp Names SunCommon Among "Best for the World"

 Today, 92 companies worldwide were recognized for creating the most positive overall social and environmental impact by the nonprofit B Lab with the release of the third annual B Corp Best for the World list.  The B Corp Best for the World list honors businesses that earned an overall score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a company's impact on its workers, community, and the environment.  Honorees were recognized among micro, small, and mid-sized businesses. Click here to read the remainder of the press release. 




Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!


   Ben and Jerry'sGardener's Supply
as of 12/17/12Green Mountain Coffee
Main Street Landing LogoNew Chapter newRenewable NRG 8/2013

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
255 South Champlain Street, Suite 11
Burlington, Vermont 05401
(802) 862-8347