All interested presenters are asked to complete this simple online form.
We are looking to use a more local resource for our physical award that we will present for the May 2022 event and future President’s Awards Ceremonies. We are also open to ideas for an updated design and concept to more closely align with our mission and location. Potential design ideas could include but are not limited to the representation of the Claremont City Hall clocktower, ties to our past as the precision valley/manufacturing excellence, and/or an homage to our location along the Sugar River. We are open to any materials although glass, metal, and/or finished and polished wood are preferable.
Member News & Notices
Claremont Middle School Seeks Donations for Student Winter Carnival
A Winter Carnival will be held for CMS students where they will be doing various problem-solving activities and outdoor activities with an underlying theme of the Winter Olympics. They are currently seeking donations to make this week-long event a success.
Items Needed Include:
spoons, aluminum foil containers, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, straws, bottle caps, tinfoil, sleds, tissue paper, paper plates, clay, ribbon, paint, q-tips, string, glitter, plastic figurines, hot chocolate, marshmallows, cups, snacks
Donations can be brought to the CMS main office during school hours. Questions can be directed to Kaitlin Wallace at or 603-543-4250 ext 3115.
Community Conversations with Candidates for Claremont School Board
Wednesday, March 2nd
CSB Community Center 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Everyone Welcome! Remember to VOTE on March 8th
Walk-ins welcome ~ Please register to assist us with planning Registration link:
The goals of the Local Candidate community conversation are to:
• Provide an opportunity for voters to identify and discuss their priorities;
• Gather input from Claremont residents and give candidates an opportunity to listen to voters.
• Create an opportunity for voters to hear from candidates. About the process: This conversation is…
• Designed to focus on what is important to you.
• About a constructive focus and a respectful conversation.
• Respectful of your time. We will keep time and respect yours by ending on time.
“Listens” Candidate Conversations, based on the fundamental principles of open dialogue, put voters at the heart of the candidate forum process by creating opportunities for voters to designate the issues and ask the questions. At a “Listens” Candidate Conversation, all participants are invited to join in small groups and are given the opportunity to talk about what matters most to them. In this way, voters have a chance to hear all candidates respond to their questions and measure the candidates on their own standards.

School District Candidates CLAREMONT, NH—The Claremont School District announced the following candidates for the upcoming school district election: School Board Clerk: Mary Woodman Moderator: Tracy Pope Treasurer: Jane Hunter School Board: Penny Gallow, Bonnie Miles, Nicholas Stone Also running as a school board write-in candidate is Whitney Skillen.
Merrimack Valley SCORE
Online Workshops
Top 20 Online Mistakes Hurting a New Small Business
March 4th at 2pm
Find out what the top 20 mistakes (plus a few more) a brand-new business just starting out with a website and social media makes online mostly because you can't know what you don't know. All these easy tips are correctable, and most are free to fix yourself.

Register online for this free virtual event today!
Non-Traditional Investments
March 8th at 10am
Come spend some time with us and learn about non-traditional investments to include Gold, Silver and Cryptocurrency. Some people don't know of any investment strategy other than a typical IRA, 401k, or other traditional investment because their parents and friends took this approach. What does it look like when you don't want to take the traditional path to investing for the future and you want to have a better financial education.

Register online for this Free Online Workshop
Building a Media Kit
March 11th at 2pm
Media kits are an essential for marketing your business properly because you never know in advance when you may be approached by a news outlet or other online (or offline) publicity source and you need to have information, photos and details of your business available at your finger tips. Learn how to put together a media kit and what to include, as well as learn how to have your media kit available to news outlets online and offline. 

Register online for this Free Online Workshop
SCORE offers FREE business mentoring from experienced business leaders and business owners - sign up for a mentor today!
Did you know Vital Communities has an e-newsletter?
Check out the most recent issues online here!
Sullivan County Community Grant Program
The Sullivan County Board of Commissioners are accepting grant applications for Fiscal Year 2023 from charitable non-profit organizations that provide services to the entire county, who are seeking public funding to support the delivery of those services to County residents. 
You may view previous year grant recipients; the updated County Grant Policy; and, attain the current grant application at the County’s website on the “County Community Grants” page by following this link:
Completed grant applications are due no later than 12:00NOON Friday, March 18, 2022. 
If your non-profit is interested in applying and would like to attain a Microsoft Word version of the application (and Excel workbook to use for your proposed budget) or if you have questions, please contact the Sullivan County Commissioners’ Office, 14 Main Street, Newport, NH, 03773 at (603) 863-2560 or e-mail  
Claremont Prepares to Celebrate 125 Years of Arts and Entertainment
In June, the Claremont City Hall and Opera House building will celebrate its 125th Anniversary since the dedication in 1897. A collaboration between the COH, City of Claremont (Business Development and the Fiske Free Library), Claremont Historical Society (CHS) and the Off Broad Street Players (OBSP) resulted in the formation of an anniversary committee to plan celebrations for the occasion. 

As part of their efforts, the committee is bringing the Claremont Oral History Project back to life. The oral history was originally published in 1981 as a collection of 41 interviews with former residents that was only available on cassette/CD, with a published index of summaries. This project was funded by New Hampshire Humanities. “The recordings are an amazing treasure about the history of Claremont, and in particular how the evolution of music and entertainment impacted the COH,” said Felicia Brych Dalke, COH Board President. In November, Colin Sanborn of the Fiske Free Library told Dalke and Christine Hawkins from the COH about the oral history, and they all agreed to expand access to this content as part of the 125th celebrations, resulting in the formation of the committee. 

A community grant application was submitted in January to New Hampshire Humanities to fund the writing of stories about some of the interviews, focusing on the history of arts and entertainment in Claremont. The grant was awarded on Thursday. The stories will cover events at the COH, the dance pavilions, and the movie theaters that were described in the interviews. “These stories will build on the work by the CHS and OBSP to create additional living history presentations in the manner of the Spirits of Claremont Series,” said Sharon Wood, a member of both organizations. “There is more planning to do but the content will be prepared for us to use,” said Wood. 

The stories will be published in June in both print and eBook format. Wayne McElreavy, CHS President, brings his knowledge of Claremont history and the CHS resources to support the project. “The publication will be a great way to increase interest in Claremont’s social and cultural history within the community,” said McElreavy. 

Other local organizations getting involved in the project include Laurel Elite Books that will author and publish the stories, Claremont Custom Framing and David Putnam Photography that will restore documents and pictures, and Claremont Community Television that will record a video history since 1980. “This is truly a Claremont focused effort that will bring the city together this summer to celebrate our rich history,” said Nancy Meyer, Business Development Specialist, City of Claremont, “and this is just the first of many outstanding projects and events to come!”  

More will be announced about planned events in the coming months, including a re-enactment of the building dedication in June. For more information about the 125th Anniversary or to help sponsor the effort, please contact
CO.STARTERS at River Valley Community College is a fast-paced, hands-on program focused on helping you go from business idea to action. The next 12-week session of CO.STARTERS starts March 11 and goes through the end of May.

Here’s what you get when you sign up for CO.STARTERS at RVCC:

  *  Weekly Workshops: You will attend 12 fast-paced, hands-on workshops on Thursdays from 6.30-9.30p on Zoom. Conducted by Alison Chisolm, Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at RVCC. Between sessions, you'll work on your own business using what you've learned and the resources available to you.
  *  1:1 Business Advising: You will be matched with a business advisor from the SBDC.
  *  Co-working space: You will have access to THEbusinessLAB, the co-working space at RVCC's Lebanon Academic Center.

The cost of the program is $325. Thanks to the generous support of the CDBG-Micro program administered by the NH CDFA, scholarships for low-moderate income starters are available.

Apply to the program now! Space is limited. Additional Info

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Celebrates 135th Anniversary
Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is celebrating its 135th anniversary as a leader in banking, financial services, and wealth management in Northern New England. The Bank was incorporated on March 4, 1887, in Bar Harbor, Maine, where it is still headquartered.
“We are excited to celebrate this milestone and incredibly proud of the success that has been achieved over the course of 135 years,” said Curtis C. Simard, President and CEO of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. “It’s humbling to consider that the Bank has not only persevered through world wars, pandemics, and significant economic events but has flourished and grown into one of the largest community banks in Northern New England. We are honored that generations of Northern New Englanders have chosen us as their trusted advisor and provider of financial services, and we look forward to serving the many generations to come.”
The Bar Harbor Banking and Trust Company was formed in 1887. It was the first formal banking institution located on Mount Desert Island. The Bank’s success in Bar Harbor led to the opening of a second location in Northeast Harbor, Maine, in 1914. As it grew, the Bank continued to expand its operations, adding two more locations on Mount Desert Island and several locations along the Maine coast. Today, the Bank offers more than 50 branches and 90 ATMs across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
In addition to its professional success, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust has made a tremendous social and economic impact on the communities it serves. The Bank has donated millions of dollars to local nonprofit organizations over its 135-year history, and thousands of Bank employees have served as leaders and volunteers for various organizations championing civic and social causes.
To celebrate its 135th anniversary, the Bank is hosting a drawing to give away $135 gift cards to winners of a raffle that can be entered at all of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust branches during the week of February 28 through March 4. Visit to see the full contest rules.
Companies interested in participating can email Nika Oakes at
Business Resources
Community Information
Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaches: Tuesday, March 22nd & Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022 from 9am - 6pm BOTH DAYS via ZOOM
Suicide Prevention for Recovery Coaches: Tuesday, April 5th 2022 from 8:30am - 4pm via ZOOM
HIV/AIDS/HCV Prevention for Recovery Coaches: Tuesday, March 29th, 2022 from 8:30am - 4pm via ZOOM
Youth Mentoring is Coming to Sullivan County!
Windsor County Mentors (WCM) is officially offering youth mentoring programs in Sullivan County! Local community groups from Sullivan County reached out at the end of 2021 to encourage WCM to consider offering its services in New Hampshire as there are currently very limited options for children to benefit from mentoring in Sullivan County. WCM has accepted that challenge!
WCM will be offering both community- and school-based mentoring options in Sullivan County. In both programs, after mentors complete a comprehensive background check and several hours of initial training, they are matched with a local child. In WCM’s community program mentors and mentees meet for two hours a week out in the community and engage in whatever activities they find fun or useful – from learning a new skill to just playing games. In the school program, mentors and mentees meet for an hour a week at the child’s school during the school day.
The benefits of mentoring are many, said WCM’s executive director Matthew Garcia. Strong social science research has shown that youth with mentors have:
-          Increased high school graduation rates
-          Higher college enrollment rates
-          Higher educational aspirations
-          Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
-          Improved behavior, both at home and at school
-          Stronger relationships with parents, teachers, and peers
-          Decreased likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use
Any parent, teacher, or community member can refer a child to WCM for a mentor, through a quick and easy referral form. Any adult over 18 can apply to become a mentor. WCM can be contacted at for more information. You can reach out to Deryn Smith with the Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network, and the Youth CAN Coalition with anything as well at
About Windsor County Mentors: Windsor County Mentors was founded in 1974 and has been creating and supporting mentoring relationships between caring adults and youth ever since. WCM has traditionally served all 24 towns in Windsor County, Vermont, the state’s largest county.
BIA Small Business Day
Friday, March 11th 9am-12pm
Small Business Day, presented by Bangor Savings Bank includes three panel sessions designed to help small businesses grow and prosper.

Panels include:
Financing for Small Business 9:10 - 10:00 am
Learn about traditional and alternative (non-traditional) options for financing your small business from a panel of experts.
  • Amy Bassett – U.S. SBA 
  • Betsy Segal – Community Loan Fund
  • Brigid Murray – Community Loan Fund
  • Julie Glosner – NH SBDC
  • Mary Mattson – Bangor Savings Bank
  • Moderator: Mike O’Reilly – Bangor Savings Bank

Human Resources 101 10:10 - 11:00 am
From hiring to termination and everything in between there are a hundred different ways employers could unintentionally run afoul of federal or state employment laws and regulations. This panel is designed to familiarize you with common pitfalls relating to employment and allow you to get your HR questions answered.

The Bottom Line: Taxes and the Small Business Owner 11:10 am - noon
Federal and state business tax law is constantly changing. How does the small business owner keep up with important changes affecting their bottom line? This panel is designed to update you on recent tax changes, including recent state legislation designed to ease the tax burden for New Hampshire’s smallest businesses.
  • Alyssa Hodges – Mason + Rich P.A.
  • Matt Foley – Bigelow & Company
  • Steve Lawlor – Nathan Wechsler
  • Moderator: David Juvet – BIA of NH

The three panel sessions are included in the free webinar registration.
Pathway to Micro
Create your own pathway to success with NH SBDC’s new Pathway to Micro program!

Entrepreneurship is an alternative to fulltime employment that can offer you independence and flexibility. Starting a small business may sound daunting, but SBDC has a team of business advisors and educational resources to help you get started.

Who can participate in Pathway to Micro?

The Pathway to Micro program offers unemployed or under-employed individuals* the opportunity to launch a micro business (1-5 employees) of their own. Participants get confidential, highly individualized business assistance at no cost. Specialized education offerings for participants will be rolled out this year.

*People who are working part-time but want full-time employment or those with a job that does not fully use their existing skills, experience and education.

Newsletter Content
If you'd like to have an item appear in the newsletter please email it by noon on Monday to appear in that week's regular issue.