July 2016
Vermont Businesses for 
Social Responsibility
Just Good Business.
Dear Members and Friends:

Big bucks....

The State of Vermont awards hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts each year. We were proud to have VBSR stand with Governor Shumlin when he announced his executive order last month, in which State contract awards will give preference to companies fighting climate change. This approach recognizes the broader impact business practices have on our economy, communities and environment.

VBSR has long believed that the State can maximize the economic development potential of its contracts by closely looking at the types of companies it contracts with, including if the business pays a living wage, offers employer-sponsored health insurance, and has a history of combating climate change through its business practices. 

Last week's executive order addresses the green aspect of this, and we're working with the administration to make the case for further reforms to ensure that the State is not supporting companies that pay so little that their employees need social services to make ends meet.

We are grateful for member support, helping us change the broader view to recognize that businesses' practices impact us all, and that good tax dollars should not be awarded to companies with bad business practices. Rewarding good businesses for good business practices just makes sense.

And speaking of rewarding good business practices, we hope you will join us at (and consider sponsoring!) our 15th Annual Terry Ehrich Award Ceremony and Dinner, scheduled to honor and celebrate Paul Millman of Chroma Technology on September 21st.

Thank you,
Jane Campbell
Executive Director

P.S. We are looking forward to mingling with (and learning from!) the 190 folks who have preregistered for tonight's Networking Get-Together Hosted by SunCommon! See you soon!
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members! 
Individual Members:
Zachary Bechhoefer (Cornwall)
Greer Cowan (Burlington)
Jonathan DeLaBruere (Newport)
Rose Friedlander (Williston) 
Cary Gaunt (Keene, NH)
Leo Sprinzen (Burlington)
 *Also joined Local First Vermont! 
This Edition of E-news Sponsored By:
Let's Grow Kids   

15th Annual Terry Ehrich Awards Ceremony and Dinner
Save the Date, September 21st; Sponsorships Available

VBSR is pleased to announce the 2016 awardee of our Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business. Please join us on September 21st as we honor Paul Millman, Co-Founder of Chroma Technology in Bellows Falls.

In a nod to Paul's dedication to employee-ownership and community, this year's 15th Annual Terry Ehrich Awards Ceremony and Dinner will be held at Barre's Old Labor Hall, a National Historical Landmark with a rich history of supporting workers' rights and community-supported businesses. Don't miss this unique gathering of entrepreneurial, mission-driven business professionals!

Save the date; registration opens soon! Sponsorships now available, click here to see how you can be involved in this great event!

Special thanks to our early sponsors: Chroma Technology, TruexCullins, Vermont Rural Ventures, and the Vermont Employee Ownership Center.
Policy Work Continues Through Summer
Independent Contractors, Net Metering, and More 
It can be hard to get things done during Vermont summers, but VBSR's policy team has been very busy since legislators went home for the break several months ago. Here are a few of the issues that VBSR is working on:
* VBSR's Public Policy Committee has launched a series of summer study meetings on the definition of independent contractor. The group, which also involves members from the Women Business Owners Network and the Vermont Legislature, has held two meetings with the goal of releasing a white paper on the issue late this fall. The topic is expected to be a big one under the Golden Dome when the new Legislature convenes in January 2017.

* The organization also signed onto a letter to the Vermont Public Service Board calling for a reconsideration of the recent draft net-metering rules. Although state utilities raise many good points about the sustainability of the program, these proposed rules would make it harder for Vermonters and Vermont businesses to go solar. VBSR believes there is a better way of making net-metering work for Vermont utilities and customers.

* Meanwhile, one of VBSR's top policy achievements over the last several years may soon be overturned by the U.S. Congress. The Senate and the House have both passed GMO labeling bills that preempt Vermont's much stronger law, which took effect on July 1 this year. The federal bill, which President Obama is expected to sign into law, allows companies to use a QR code or have a link to a website on their packaging that explains if the product contains genetically engineered ingredients. That's not the transparency that Vermont was looking for when we passed our own law two years ago.

* As you can see in Jane's intro above, VBSR also participated in a press conference with Gov. Shumlin last month to announce a new executive order giving companies with strong environmental records "bonus points" in state contracting. The executive order, which will be implemented over the next several weeks, calls on state government to consider whether a company uses renewable energy, has conducted energy and thermal efficiency upgrades, tracks or reduces carbon emissions, and offers investment accounts to employees that are free from fossil fuel stocks. You can click here to read the whole executive order
As we continue planning for the 2017-18 legislative session, let us know what issues you would like VBSR to focus on over the next two years. Health care reform? A tax on carbon pollution? Economic development? Please drop VBSR Public Policy Manager Daniel Barlow an email at danielb@vbsr.org with your thoughts and suggestions.
Networking Get-Together Comes to Nathaniel Group Sept. 7
Join us in Addison County!  
VBSR members and friends are invited to join us for an evening of networking and education at long-time VBSR member Nathaniel Group in Vergennes!

Save the date and join us on September 7 as we "Get-Together" to talk employee engagement, energy reduction, and long-term commitment to social responsibility.

Registration opens Monday, August 1st. Learn more here.

Interested in sponsoring this event for $175? Click here to sponsor the event alongside our early sponsors Let's Grow Kids, Merritt and Merritt, and Vermont Community Loan Fund.
Local First Campaigns Make a Difference
Support Your Local Businesses 

A recent study from The Institute for Local Self-Reliance proves what we've all thought for years, i.e., that Local First campaigns do indeed have an impact over time. Local First Vermont's Buy Local Coupon Book and Resource Guide is one important way that VBSR and Local First Vermont promote the benefits of supporting locally owned businesses.
Print versions of the Buy Local Book are distributed in two ways:

RETAIL SALES - Merchants who have a coupon in the book often offer to sell them. The books sell for $20 each, and retailers keep $4 per book sold.

SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS - School groups can sell the books for $20 each and keep $10 per book. Last year, Vermont school groups raised more than $25,000 selling the Buy Local Book.

If you're interested in selling the Buy Local Book this year, or you know of a school that would benefit from using the book as a fundraiser, please email Wendy Wilson today.
VBSR Partners with Upper Valley Nighthawks
Join us at the Ball Park on Sunday, July 31 
Play ball! Summer is here and in full swing... pun intended!

If you're looking for something fun to do this weekend, how about taking a trip to the ballpark?! VBSR has teamed up with Vermont's newest minor league ball club, the Upper Valley Nighthawks.

Join us at 5:00 PM on Sunday, July 31st for an evening of baseball and education around the triple-bottom-line approach to business.
VBSR will be on-hand to talk about either subject (the latter with more expertise than the former!) and take donations for our Research and Education Foundation. Plus, during the game proceeds from a 50/50 raffle will benefit the organization.

Tickets for the game are only $5 for adults and are free for anyone under 18 years old.

Click here to learn more about this partnership and event. 
VBSR Marketplace Moves Offline
Live In-person Trading Bolsters Online Presence  
The VBSR Marketplace is now OFFLINE! Well, we're still online, but now we'll be set up for you to Buy and Sell at VBSR Events! We've rolled out a new LIVE (in person!) feature to help you Save, Grow, Plan & Learn!
Staring with the Get-Together Hosted by SunCommon on July 28th, the Marketplace will now have a table at events where you can:
  • Get new VBSR customers
  • Find new VBSR vendors
  • Plan your next event
  • Sign up for VBSR member conferences and seminars
How? At VBSR Marketplace LIVE, we will be able to offer one-on-one assistance to to help you:
  • Sell onsite (YES! Bring product to sell onsite!)
  • Buy gift cards to VBSR member businesses
  • Post listings in the Marketplace
  • Activate your account on the spot!
  • Plus, we'll use a Marketplace Sticker on name tags to see who is writing business at our events.

  • Next Steps:
    • Bring your product and business cards along 
    Doing (triple-Bottom Line) business with your fellow VBSR members just got a little easier!

    The Fine Print: VBSR Marketplace LIVE events help VBSR members who have an activated account in the VBSR Marketplace increase their transactions with other VBSR members. All transactions are logged in the online Marketplace and are subject to all taxes and fees as usual. All sales need to be 100% or partial VBSR Trade Dollars payable. Questions? Contact Us.
    Last Chance To Round Up!
    VBSR To Participate in City Market's Rally for Change Program 

    With City Market's Rally for Change program, any time you check out, you can choose to "round up" your total to the nearest dollar. Each month, that spare change is donated to three great non-profits that align with the Co-op's mission. VBSR is pleased to announce that in July, our Research and Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, will receive 10% of those donations! If you're shopping in Burlington this final weekend of July, please support both a fellow VBSR member and VBSR at the same time!

    Member Events
    Upcoming Member Events
    August 5: 7th Annual Hank Schaefer Memorial Golf Tournament (Turning Point Center of Chittenden County)

    September 15: Women's Leadership Circle of Windham County (Malboro College Graduate Center)

    September 21:  Rock Paper Scissors Tournament Fundraiser (ANEW Place)

    September 25: Island Vines 10k (RunVermont)

    October 5: Professional Certificate in Healthcare Administration (University of Vermont)

    October 7: UVM Project Management Certificate (University of  Vermont)

    October 14: UVM Leadership and Management Certificate (University of Vermont)

    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 us 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.
    New Renewable Energy Business Listing Aims to Help Vermonters Save Money & Reduce Pollution
    Renewable Energy Vermont in partnership with the Renewable Energy Resource Center, a project of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, have launched a new resource for Vermonters looking to install solar photovoltaic panels (PV), solar hot water systems, or modern wood pellet boilers. The project was made possible due to funding from the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF). The Vermont Renewable Energy Business Listing (VREBL) located online at www.revermont.org/vrebl/ offers a detailed, one-stop listing of experts ready to help homeowners, farmers, and businesses affordably reduce climate pollution and save money with clean energy solutions. Learn More
    Do Good Fest Raises $30,000 for Branches of Hope Cancer Patient Fund
    National Life Group's Do Good Fest raised $30,000 for Central Vermont Medical Center's Branches of Hope cancer patient fund over the weekend. Branches of Hope is a fund that helps cancer patients pay extraordinary expenses while they're undergoing treatment and may be out of work. Among the things it has helped pay in the past are heating bills, transportation expenses, lodging near out-of-town treatment centers, or even dental care before treatment can begin. Learn More  

    VEIC Founder Beth Sachs Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

    Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) co-founder Beth Sachs has received a lifetime achievement award honoring 40 years of pioneering leadership in the energy efficiency field. The 2016 Leadership & Achievement Award was given by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), a nonprofit whose mission is to serve the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to accelerate energy efficiency as an essential part of solutions that enable a sustainable regional energy system. Learn More

    Socially Responsible Investment Made in Burlington, VT Clean Energy Development Company
    Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund's Flexible Capital Fund announces the addition of Encore Renewable Energy to their socially responsible investment portfolio. The $400,000 of permanent working capital will enable Encore to hire new staff to support business development, engineering, and project management as they expand geographically, strengthen strategic environmental partnerships, and further develop financing partnerships at a critical growth juncture. We love to see members working together! Learn More 
    State Treasurer Beth Pearce and Vermont Community Loan Fund Partner to Increase Local Investment
    Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce today announced a new initiative to double the capacity of an agreement between the Vermont Office of the State Treasurer and the Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) that will increase investments in local foods, farm, forestry, and affordable housing programs.

    "Investing in Vermont is a good deal for taxpayers. By stimulating local economic development, we create jobs and vibrant communities," said Treasurer Pearce. "VCLF has a proven track record of helping support our farm and forest product sectors. By doubling our lending capacity agreement, we strengthen our state's commitment to food, farm and forest product entrepreneurs." Learn More

    Magic Hat Brewing Seeks VT Artists to Design Beer Label Annual Labels for Libations Kicks Off July 1
    Magic Hat Brewing Company has teamed up with the South End Arts and Business Association (SEABA) for a fifth year for the Labels for Libations design contest. Vermont artists are encouraged to submit their original label designs, one of which will be chosen by popular vote to grace a limited run of 16-ounce cans and tap handles of the 2017 edition of Art Hop Ale. Proceeds from sales of Art Hop Ale will benefit SEABA. Learn More
    Vermont Community Foundation Hires Dan Smith as President and CEO 
    The board of the Vermont Community Foundation announced that it has hired Dan Smith as its next President & CEO. Smith brings to the Community Foundation experience in public service, organizational planning and development, as well as a strong legal background.

    Smith began his career as a law clerk in the Vermont Supreme Court and then practiced law at Downs Rachlin Martin before taking a position with the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, where he led economic development efforts while crafting state and regional strategies to make key industry sectors more successful. Learn More 

    This Edition of E-news Sponsored By:
    The VBSR Marketplace 
    Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!


       Ben and Jerry'sGardener's Supply
    as of 12/17/12
     New Chapter newRenewable NRG 8/2013S

    At VBSR,
    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