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Local-first economics are gaining traction: 

Stacy Mitchell reckons that some 30,000 local independents have joined about 130 independent business alliances around the nation, according to a story in the recent print edition of The Economist, which includes a mention of the 10% Shift.

The people's stimulus: 

Grassroots stimulus campaigns boost local business, reports, in a story on the acceleration of the local first movement, noting that projects like 10% Shift are motivating people to have an impact on their local economy.

"NH Seafood Fresh and Local" arriving in markets and restaurants: 

A new brand supports local fishermen and highlights more direct access to locally landed fish, meaning fresher food and a stronger community for us all. Read all about it in The Wire ( Fighting for Fish ), Foster's Daily Democrat (Seafood Industry Joins the Buy Local Concept) and The Portsmouth Herald (Group working to keep seaf:ood local meets at Jumpin' Jays). 

When big box stores and malls go vacant, what's a community to do? 

"America’s retail infrastructure — its malls, supercenters, big boxes and other styles of store-clumping — has come to be characterized by rampant abundance. This has been a decades-long trend. But it has taken the economic downturn, with chain stores liquidating, mall tenancy slipping and car dealerships scheduled for closure, to focus popular attention on the problem with our retail infrastructure: there is too much of it," writes Rob Walker in the New York Times.

10% Shift grows across America: 

Check out Joe Grafton's nationwide road trip, condensed, on NPR's Here and Now.

Large businesses get too much of a share of corporate welfare: 

It's frequently (and accurately) said that small business will be pivotal for our economic recovery. Revoking the power of large corporations to rig competition in their favor is one key to unshackling the potential of America's entrepreneurs, writes Randy Bullerwell of Belknap Independent Business Alliance in The Boston Globe.

Does Local Food Cost More? 

Based on one family's food expenses during one week last September, the common-sense assumption that local food has a higher price tag may actually be wrong. Read about it in Vermont's Local Banquet. 

NH Commercial Fishermen go local: 

Seacoast Local and Seacoast Eat Local are supporting the New Hampshire Commercial Fishermen's Association effort to advertise their catch as locally caught. Correspondent Sheryl Rich-Kern reports on the program for NH Public Radio.  This story was also picked up by National Public Radio!

How the Locals Are Trying to Save Small Business: 

Wall Street Journal blogger Raymund Flandez takes note of how small businesses are taking economic matters into their own hands, with shining examples from around the country, including Seacoast Local.

The Local Stimulus: 

A new study in West Michigan suggests spending at local independents buoys local economies, under any circumstances. Dan Houston, who conducted the study, puts it this way: “If you could create something with 1600 jobs and a $50 million payroll, every public official in Michigan would show up to cut the ribbon. That’s a new car plant.” John Tozzi blogs about it at

The Recovery Will Be Local: 

The comeback will be from the ground up and will start with innovation. No one trusts big anymore. In the future everything will be local. That's where the magic will be. And no amount of pessimism will stop it once it starts, writes Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal.

Durham institutions buck national banking trend:

For once, the little guy is benefiting when the big guy isn't. Small, local banks, including those in the Durham area, actually have an advantage in the current recession. "Your smaller banks-your local, your community banks-are probably doing better [than the national chains]," says Brian Bolton, UNH assistant professor of finance, in The New Hampshire. 

Celebrating a new president while helping neighbors in need: 

Le Club Boutique and Choozy Shooz throw an inaugural ball to remember, while raising an estimated $3,000 for Seacoast Local's (H)EAT campaign, with the help of donations from local friends. Read more in Foster's Daily Democrat.

Holiday shoppers support local: 

Despite challenging economic conditions, independent retailers outperformed many chain stores during the holiday season, reports Chloe Johnson in The Wire. The survey also found that independent retailers in communities with active Buy Local campaigns—like the Seacoast—reported much stronger holiday sales than those in communities without such campaigns.

The Local Engine that Could: 

When I was young, I loved hearing the story of the "Little Engine that Could," writes Sue Bullerwell in Foster's Daily Democrat. "We're doing the same thing here today in our own neighborhoods. The only difference is that it's not just one individual doing it. Our local independent businesses are creating a stronger local economy. When you choose to support them you are part of building this economy."   

Why to shop locally this holiday season: 

"You can make a list and you can check it twice, but it's still good to get out there and pound the pavement in search of the serendipitous. Portsmouth is a most awesome place to do that. I scored so big I had to make three bag-laden trips back to the car," writes a Seacoast blogger, reminding us of something we take for granted, but shouldn't. Read all about it in this Portsmouth Herald editorial urging all of us to get downtown without further delay!

Fashion's Latest Trend: Buy Local: 

Although plenty of models in funky T-shirts and jeans, slinky lingerie and glamorous evening wear sashayed down the runway, the real star of the third annual Fashion Up! show was the "buy local" philosophy behind the event,  writes Nancy Cicco for SeacoastOnline.

Local businesses boost our outlook: 

Stacy Mitchell spoke to a crowd of 120 people at South Berwick Town Hall about the economic logic of fostering a diversity of small businesses in our business districts. Hosted by Smart Growth South Berwick, Seacoast Local and Kennebunk Savings Bank, the researcher contends the growth of small businesses is essential to all communities interested in cutting fuel costs and carbon emissions and creating meaningful jobs. Listen to the audio archive on Portsmouth Community Radio (starts about 10 min. along), or read Jason Claffey's article about this "Making the Connection" event in the Oct. 25, 2008 issue of Foster's.  

It's All About Connections: 

A business, an organization and a church have made the connection between what each is doing individually and how, if they work together, it could benefit the entire Seacoast community. Read more about this alliance between RiverRun Bookstore, Seacoast Local and the South Church Green Sanctuary program in Deborah McDermott's Earth Matters column in the Portsmouth Herald.


Seacoast Farmers Help the Hungry: 

Rising food costs prompted Seacoast Local, Seacoast Eat Local and Slow Food Seacoast to work with Seacoast Growers' Association Farmers to collect weekly donations at the farmers market that will help provide healthy, fresh food for Cross Roads House, the state's largest emergency and transitional shelter. The story has been covered in the Portsmouth Herald, The Wire and at Donations mainly come from local farmers, but the public is encouraged to share a bit of each week's produce purchases, too.

McKibben urges climate action now: 

More than 350 people filled South Church in Portsmouth on a recent Sunday afternoon to hear pioneering environmental author Bill McKibben give a charged talk about the role community action can take in steering the course of global climate change. The event was part of Seacoast Local's "Making the Connection" speaker series. The author of "The End of Nature," first published in 1989, is working with others globally to call all elected officials to action at Read more about it in the the July 21 issue of Foster's Daily Democrat or the Portsmouth Herald. A full interview with McKibben appears in the July 16 issue of The Wire.

An Emphasis on Community: 

In 2006, a group of citizens in the coastal region of New Hampshire and southern Maine came together to confront an array of interrelated pressures, including skyrocketing property prices, that threatened to drive out local businesses, artists, and musicians, and, in the process, destroy the area's unique atmosphere and rich community life. While the campaign shares much in common with similar initiatives around the country, Seacoast Local stands out as an exceptional model in its efforts to highlight the support that local businesses provide nonprofit organizations and to encourage businesses to contribute even more to the community. Read more about it in the June 2008 issue of Hometown Advantage.


Celebrating in the street: 

Were you in Market Square for the Seacoast Local festival? Area residents and visitors were treated to live music, dance and comedy, while in the center of the street was an interactive sculpture titled the "Morphing Localasaurus," created by festival committee members and local teacher Anna Nuttall, writes Gretyl Macalaster in the July 8, 2008, issue of Foster's Daily Democrat. "It is a good way for people to hear about us," said Hilary O'Neil, a Families First community outreach worker. "It is just a super opportunity to get information out." Read the article.

Message to holiday shoppers: 

Locally owned businesses support the communities that support them—that's the message Seacoast Buy Local participants are trying to get across during the busiest shopping season of the year, writes Shir Haberman in the Dec. 2, 2007, issue of the Portsmouth Herald. The difference is due to four factors: local payroll, local procurement, owners' profits and charitable giving—and the list of nonprofits supported by this business sector encompasses virtually every helping agency in the region. Read the article.

An all-local Christmas? Yes, you can! 

Three years ago, inspired by the quality and dedication she found at area farmers’ markets, Seacoast resident Karen Lawrence decided to buy “local only” for Christmas. Seeking unique gifts, she found that changing her habits changed her. Learn how she did it in her interview with The Wire on Nov. 28, 2007. Read the article.

It's your town, you decide: 

Big-box developers are lining up to tap into the regional draw of places like Rochester, Greenland and Seabrook. While these stores generate tax revenue, jobs and shopping options, many residents are beginning to question the true cost of retail chains. How do these chains affect the local economy, environment, public services and other factors essential to the health of Seacoast communities? Pat Law interviews community activists, town officials and big-box economics expert Stacy Mitchell in the Oct. 31, 2007 issue of The Wire. Read the article.

It's the LOCAL economy:  

How about think globally and buy locally? This variation is being taken seriously by Seacoast Buy Local, a growing, grassroots organization of local, independent business people who are determined to produce a dynamic economic impact, writes Michael McCord in the September 2007 issue of Seacoast Ventures. Read the article.


Seacoast Local Festival raises non-profit awareness: 

Five-year-old Emily Carleton of Kittery can get a rubber band around a lobster claw, so long as the lobster is made of rubber, too. She learned that trick of the trade from naturalist Beth Moore, who works at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. Moore sat behind one of about 20 booths along Pleasant Street in Portsmouth at the Seacoast Local Festival on Saturday. Reporter Chloe Johnson describes the scene in the Sept. 10, 2007 edition of Foster's Daily Democrat. Read the article.


New members invited: 

Seacoast Local has launched a membership drive for the "Buy Local" program, writes Jeremiah Turner in Foster's Daily Democrat. Read the article.

Go native: 

One Seacoast resident challenges us all to eat locally during the month of August, reports Karen Marzloff in The Wire on August 9, 2006. That's hardly a hardship in a region where farmers work to bring seasonal produce to an array of weekly farmers’ markets, and craft producers make ciders, cheeses, ice creams, and wines. But tracking down these resources adds to the challenge and doubles the fun.  Read the article.