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Local First Vermont letter

localfirst_web_125_125 Dear Fellow Local First Members,

Thank you for your commitment to creating vibrant, resilient communities through promoting the value of locally owned and independent.  I am writing today with some exciting news – Local First Vermont is merging with Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR).  This is a partnership that makes sense on many levels and which, I am confident, will benefit both organizations.  Local First Vermont will no longer exist as a legal entity, but the name, logo and message will live on as a program of VBSR.  The LFVT board will become a committee continuing to guide the efforts of Local First.

Local First will benefit from VBSR’s administrative capacity, its dynamic staff and being associated with the VBSR mission.  Instead of spending much time and effort fundraising to support staff, we can now focus our energies on marketing the message and supporting members’ local activities.  We have accomplished a lot in a few short years.  The tide is turning and together we can harness the current momentum and strengthen our communities by strengthening our local businesses.

We are looking forward to helping to spur more local clusters where there is a critical mass of members to work together – this has worked well in Manchester and in other areas.  We are also looking into enhancing the web site so it drives more traffic to your business.  Independents Week (July 1-7) is right around the corner, so please join us in making a special effort to communicate to your customers the importance of shopping locally first for goods and services – for help, look at our website or BALLE’s (http://www.livingeconomies.org) or AMIBA’s (http://www.amiba.net).  You will be hearing the Local First message on VPR and The Point in the weeks to come.

For those of you who are not familiar with VBSR, it is a great organization that was founded in 1990.  I have been a member for over a decade and I look forward to their conferences and other activities.  VBSR’s 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.  Their members are businesses and organizations who recognize that the need to make a profit and the need to make a difference are not in conflict, and who use the power of business to change the world.

With the missions of VBSR & LFVT closely aligned, it was natural to move LFVT under the VBSR umbrella.  The member benefits are substantial, including a group health insurance plan.  Please see the enclosed information for more about VBSR.

Thank you for your help in making Local First Vermont successful and for contributing to this great state of ours.

Locally yours,
Chris Morrow

 

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