Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
Vermont Businesses...Vermont Values. 
Warm Greetings!

We had such a wonderful fall conference last week at Mt. Snow. Special thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors, and especially to Allison Hooper from Vermont Creamery for delivering an inspiring keynote address. It was great to catch up with longstanding professional colleagues and make new connections. If you missed Allison's keynote you can view it here.

A special welcome this month to members that we will joining the Board in 2015. Rebecca Towne, Green Mountain Power; Jed Davis, Cabot Creamery Cooperative; and Duane Peterson, SunCommon. Existing Board members that were elected for another term include Larz Barber, Merrill Lynch; Leslie Nulty, Focal Point Advisory Services; and Jacob Park, Green Mountain College. We are so pleased to have such capable and engaged board members that will help to ensure a great year ahead for VBSR. We also wish a warm "thank you" to board members departing the Board at the end of the year: Julie Lineberger, Linesync Architecture; Stephen Morris, Green Living Journal; and John Norton, Renewable NRG. Thank you for your service to VBSR, you each shared your unique talents and time to help us meet our mission and it is very appreciated.

On a different note, as you do your budget and operations planning for 2015, we wanted to remind you about the varied sponsorship and marketing opportunities that come with your VBSR membership. Please take a minute to review VBSR's Marketing Guide and be in touch if you would like to secure a spot for any of the offerings.
Finally, please support your colleagues by Buying Local and Buying VBSR this holiday season. We succeed when we support each other, so please use your dollars to support other socially responsible businesses! Click here for a directory of VBSR businesses that you can sort by region or category of business. You can also sort for "Local First Vermont" businesses. Also, Buy Local Books make a great holiday present for your employees, colleagues, and vendors. See here for where you can purchase them at retail, or contact us to inquire about bulk purchase discounts. 

We appreciate your membership all year long but are especially reminded this holiday season.

Sincerely yours,
Andrea Cohen, Executive Director 
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!
    This Edition of E-news Sponsored by:  
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VBSR Policy Updates
VBSR Releases Legislative Scorecard, Plans Legislative Breakfast, Releases Health Care Statement

Legislative Breakfast December 4 

The start of the Vermont Legislature's 2015 session is just around the corner. VBSR invites members and friends to participate in a conversation about 2015 legislative priorities under the Golden Dome. Join us for a Legislative Breakfast on December 4, where we'll honor our Legislators of the Year, engage in discussion about the top political issues of the day with VBSR staff and members of the Public Policy Committee, and hear from Shap Smith. This breakfast is free for VBSR members and $20 for nonmembers; registration is limited so reserve your spot today   


VBSR Legislative Scorecard Released

Earlier this year, VBSR released our Third Annual Legislative Scorecard. See how your legislators voted on a number of important business issues during the 2013-14 biennium. VBSR considered votes on raising the minimum wage, GMO labeling, universal pre-kindergarten, equal pay, expanding net metering, updates to Act 250, and toxic chemical regulation and reform. Click here to view the scorecard.


VBSR Releases Statement to Policy Makers

"This year's election was not a referendum on the policy and advantages of affordable and universal access to health care," said Andrea Cohen in a statement released following the November elections. "Vermonters and Vermont businesses are still in need of quality care and comprehensive reform." The statement, which can be read here, noted several positive economic outcomes that stem from comprehensive health care reform and called on the administration to to adopt a comprehensive financing plan for universal health care this biennium

Local First VT
Buy Local Book Makes Excellent Employee Gift
Bulk Rates Available

As the season of giving approaches, Local First Vermont reminds you that the Buy Local Coupon Book and Resource Guide can be a great, low-cost gift to show your employees how much you've appreciated their efforts this past year.

While books normally retail for $15, the value of the coupons can be worth thousands. Plus, Local First offers bulk pricing to companies and organizations looking to use the book as a gift. If you're interested in purchasing a large quantity of books, please contact Calen King today! 


VBSR Fall Conference in the Books 
150+ Gather at Mount Snow
Thank you to everyone who joined us on November 19th! On a chilly November morning, Mount Snow was alive with CSR passion, as over 150 business professionals descended on the resort to take part in VBSR's 22nd Annual Fall Conference.

Throughout the day, attendees learned key ideas to implement into their business practices, shared knowledge (and laughs!) with each other, and networked with like-minded business leaders. Attendees witnessed the new face of business, as VBSR Board Chair Sara Newmark opened the conference with her 6 month daughter helping give remarks at the podium. Guests were also enthralled by the transparency given by Allison Hooper in her Keynote Address which focused on the good times and bad times in business and how to outlast the competition. In all, attendees of the event left feeling re-charged about the CSR mission and excited to do business in the great state of Vermont!

If you attended the conference, we'd love your input and feedback. Please take a moment to help us with our future planning efforts by completing this short conference evaluation. (The survey should only take about 5 minutes to complete.)

We also invite you to stay engaged with the conference in a number of different ways:

Check out the photos of the conference here! (Tag yourself and your friends and let others know about the day!)

Ask questions and start discussions on our LinkedIn group.

Several attendees live-tweeted their experience. Check out this tagboard of #vbsrfall social media interaction!

Check out these two short videos from Third Generation Design: Breakfast and Networking and The Fall Conference.

Finally, click here to listen to Wednesday's edition of "The Vermont Conversation." Our host David Goodman was joined by VBSR's Board Chair Sara Newmark (from New Chapter) and by our Keynote Speaker, Vermont Creamery's Allison Hooper.

Thanks again to everyone who helped make this a successful day of education and networking! See you in Burlington this May! 
Local First Vermont Teams-up to Spread "Buy Local" Message   
Helps Hold Two Press Conferences; Encourages People to Buy Local During the Holiday Season 

Local First Vermont had a busy November! On Saturday the 22nd, LFVT teamed-up with VBSR member Montpelier Alive to hold a press conference on the importance of shopping local, the Buy Local Coupon Book, and the ever-popular Montpelier "Flannel Friday." (Check out the coverage on

Then on Monday the 24th, LFVT kept the local message alive by partnering with New England SBA and the Vermont Retailers and Grocers Association for another press conference. In addition to the partners, attendees heard from Governor Peter Shumlin, Congressman Peter Welch, and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. Longtime VBSR  members Lake Champlain Chocolates and Danforth Pewter also participated in the event. Special thanks to The Outdoor Gear Exchange for accommodating the large crowd! Click here for pictures of the event or check out NECN's coverage of VBSR E.D. Andrea Cohen and partners addressing the press!
Education and Action
Green-up Your Next Event!  
For the past few years, the VBSR staff has faced a dilemma. How do we provide quality content to our conference attendees without generating an enormous amount of waste? In order to address these concerns, and better 'walk the walk', we began working with a conference greening specialist, The Green Up Girl. By measuring our consumption, we've been able to reduce our food waste over the past two conferences and have seen a significant increase in attendees participating in "greening" activities.

For the Fall Conference this month, VBSR was also able to eliminate paper packets for the first time. Thanks to our intern Kristina, VBSR utilized Sched as an online packet, where we were able to upload the conference schedule (hence the name), attendee list, speaker bios, exhibitor info and much more. By going this route, VBSR was able to reduce our impact AND save money.

If you're planning an event next year, we encourage you to go green!  
Vermont Health Connect

Click here to talk to VBSR's Navigator today.

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Women and Sustainable Business 
VBSR's The Vermont Conversation Airs Wednesday's at 1 PM on WDEV 
Business leaders look differently today than 30 years ago. On November 19th, VBSR's 22nd Annual Fall Conference kicked off with opening remarks from VBSR Board Chair and New Chapter's Director of Sustainability Sara Newmark who brought her six month old daughter to the podium to help get attendees ready for a day of education and networking. Later in the morning, the Keynote Address was delivered by Allison Hooper, Co-founder of Vermont Creamery. Vermont Conversation host David Goodman was able to catch up with both business leaders at the Fall Conference and talk about about the challenges faced by women in business and the unique voice that they bring. Check out the full interview here.

Over the past month, Goodman has also hosted shows on Vermont's renewable energy efforts and outlook, alternative economies taking root in the state, and the most expensive mid-term election in history. Click here for a list of shows to catch up on or listen to again!

If you have an idea for a show or want to join us on The Vermont Conversation, email us today! 


Using the Marketplace as a Secondary Market
Bolstering your Bottom Line with the VBSR Marketplace       


Beyond the basic selling of your normal goods and services, there are a number of other innovative ways you can use the Marketplace, like using the Marketplace as a secondary market.


A secondary market is a place where you can resell items and services you have acquired from the primary seller. A well-known example of this on the consumer-side is Craigslist.

What are some examples of using the Marketplace as a Secondary Market?

  • Common Good Vermont put down a non-refundable deposit on an event space but had to change the event. With permission of the event space, they are reselling the deposit for Trade Dollars. (You can buy now here .)
  • Studio360 is a new VBSR member with an innovative service: setting up Google Business View for you. The founder, Tim Eakle, primarily works with restaurants and retails. For businesses who have a tight cash budget, they can give Tim partial payment for his services in gift certificates, which he can resell on the Marketplace to buy what he needs. Gift certificates to retail and restaurants are in high demand in the Marketplace, so he can get a new customer he would not have acquired if only accepting cash AND still get the full value of his services without discounting. (If you're in the Marketplace, you can find Tim's Google Business View Offer here.)
  • Got a gift card to a retailer you can't use? You can list it on the Marketplace and turn that into the purchasing power at a local business.

Don't have a VBSR Marketplace account? Get started today; use what you have to buy what you need!  


Want more great tips like this on how to use the Marketplace? Follow the Marketplace blog! 


VBSR Events
Upcoming VBSR Hosted and Sponsored Events

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

Member Events

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.

VB SBA Accepting Award Nominations
The SBA Vermont District Office is accepting nominations for its annual small business awards. Previous Vermont winners include Ben and Jerry's and many other VBSR members. This year there are 8 eight categories. Click here to learn more or nominate a business (even yours!) today. 

Magic Hat Nominated for Best Brewery Tour in America

The Magic Hat Brewery and Artifactory, located in South Burlington, VT, has been nominated as one of the top twenty best brewery tours in America by USA Today.
From now until December 1st, readers can cast a vote for their favorite brewery tour once a day at http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-brewery-tour/.
The top ten breweries will be named a USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice winner.
Magic Hat encourages everyone who has enjoyed the tour over the past twenty years to cast his or her vote in support of the Vermont brewery.


Fletcher Allen Partners Changes Name   

New names for the four-hospital affiliation known as Fletcher Allen Partners, and its individual members, were made official recently in recognition that the partnership has become one organization focused on delivering academic medicine to the people of Vermont and northern New York more efficiently and as close to home as possible. Fletcher Allen Partners will now be known as The University of Vermont Health Network, and three of the Partner hospitals - Central Vermont Medical Center, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and Elizabethtown Community Hospital - will add that title to their existing names. Fletcher Allen Health Care has become The University of Vermont Medical Center. Click here to read more.


Vermont Farm to Plate Releases Land Use Planning Guide

 A series of agricultural land use planning modules are now available as a resource for land use planners on such topics as farmland conservation, farm and property taxes, commercial composting, agritourism, and food system planning. The planning guide is a project of the Vermont Farm to Plate Initiative's Agricultural Land Use Planning Task Force. Municipal officials, local and regional planning commissions, and agriculture advocates will be able to use the modules to guide land use planning for farmland, including ways to update zoning regulations that can sustain and spark more agricultural economic activity in Vermont communities. Learn more here, including how to download the guide. 


Danforth Pewter and Gardener's Supply Harvest the Sun  Gardener's Supply Company 

Danforth Pewter and Gardener's Supply Company, two nationally recognized Vermont-based companies, have turned to the sun for emission-free power. The two companies will share the output of the newly installed solar array. The 144kW (ac) system, constructed on the Pulling Farm in Addison, Vt., features dual axis AllSun Trackers, manufactured in Williston, Vt. by AllEarth Renewables, SunPower 345-watt solar panels, and a Power Purchase Agreement by SolarSense, LLC, a provider of clean, reliable and affordable power.   


The Snelling Center for Government to Launch Early Childhood Leadership Institute
The Snelling Center Launches a new program aimed at building greater knowledge, engagement, and leadership in early childhood issues across a broad spectrum of Vermonters. The Snelling Center for Government is a sub-recipient of a statewide Early Learning Challenge -- Race to the Top Grant (ELC-RTT) and early next year will launch the state's first and only Early Childhood Leadership Institute. The Early Childhood Leadership Institute (ECLI) is envisioned as a means to equip a broad coalition of families, policymakers, and professionals from diverse sectors with the knowledge, motivation, and interpersonal skills to collaborate toward realizing a shared vision for young children and their families in every Vermont community. Congrats! Read more here. 

Governors Awards for Environmental Excellence Now Open

The Vermont Governor's Awards were established in 1993 to recognize the actions taken by Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution, and promote environmental sustainability. To date, more than 200 award-winning efforts of Vermont individuals, organizations, institutions, public agencies, and businesses have been recognized. These projects contribute significantly to protecting the environment, conserving energy and reducing the production of greenhouse gases. Together they have created a green and sustainable business culture, and advanced environmental education on all fronts. Last year, a significant portion of award winners were from VBSR... let's see if we can sweep the ceremony this year!
Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!


   Ben and Jerry'sGardener's Supply
as of 12/17/12
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