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January 2016 - In This Issue:
Upcoming Events

January 28 . 10:00-11:00am
Solar Energy in Mass at Risk!
Discussion with State Rep Marjorie Decker 
@ Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, 2nd Floor Conference Room

February 4 . 6:30-8:30pm
Know Your Customer
Customizing Sales & Marketing to Meet Customer Needs
@ SBN Boardroom

February 7 . 10:00am-3:00pm
Local is for Lovers Valentine's Day Market
@ Arts at the Armory

March 8 . 8:30am-2:00pm
Local Specialty Crop & Local Food Trade Shows
@ Northeastern University

Check out our Event Calendar for more information and tickets!
Dear Members and Friends,

The year 2015 was SBN's best year ever! Below are SBN's Top Ten Accomplishments for 2015:
  1. Created Inspirational Vision Statement (see below)
  2. Began process to develop a Strategic Plan--Developed number one objective and a comprehensive plan for growing SBN membership
  3. Produced the biggest and best Boston Local Food Festival ever
  4. Managed five highly successful events that helped build a strong economy that is Local, Green, and Fair
  5. Created Massachusetts Sustainable Business of the Year Award
  6. Supported the campaign for a Fair Minimum Wage
  7. Strengthened the Massachusetts Local Food and Farm Coalition
  8. Engaged in partnerships with seventeen allied nonprofits
  9. Developed partnership with Eastern Bank (the largest local and independent bank in Massachusetts) to green their bank branches
  10. Strengthened the SBN network and our various stakeholders--Members, Staff, Board, and Advisory Council
SBN's Number One Objective for 2016 is to grow SBN membership, strengthen our network, and build the local economy network. We encourage you to see if you can find ways to increase your engagement with SBN programs and make an effort to introduce SBN to entrepreneurs and business leaders who might be interested in building an economy that is local, green, and fair. 

SBN is in the middle of a three-month membership drive. By growing the SBN membership we will increase the influence our movement can have in a variety of ways--programs, connections, public policy, media relations, and more. By working together we can all do more good work and have a larger positive impact.

With your support we can make 2016 an even better year than 2015!

Sustainably yours,

Laury Hammel
SBN Executive Director

In today's world, every business is selling products or services to a diverse customer base. Successful selling in the marketplace requires a more refined understanding of the various types of needs different customers might have - the day of one size fits all is gone. Learn how to connect and develop relationships with customers and prospects that will enable your business to grow and thrive!

This workshop will help you develop a useful customer persona which is akin to a comprehensive how-to guide on reaching your ideal customers. Trying to sell products and services without understanding your ideal customer is like driving with your eyes closed.

Joe Grafton -
Partner & Director of Business Education at the Delta Group, SBN Board Treasurer
Laury Hammel -
President of the Longfellow Clubs, Executive Director of SBN

Light refreshments will be served, Register Now and put your business on track to exceed your customers expectations!
Save the Date for Local Specialty Crop & 
Local Food Trade Shows!
The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN) is offering our 5th Local Food Trade Shows. The 2016 Local Food Trade Shows are designed to facilitate connections and stimulate business relationships between producers and wholesale buyers of local food, with a focus on specialty crop food products in Massachusetts.

This event is ideal for restaurants and institutional buyers interested in trading with local food suppliers and who desire to buy more locally produced products from growers, fishermen, and value added producers from Massachusetts and New England.

Registration is Now Open!
Specialty Crop Vendors --> Register Here
Local Food Vendors --> Register Here
Buyers & Attendees --> Register Here

Local Specialty Crop Trade Show
Exhibitors will include New England based farmers, produce distributors and local specialty crop producers (products made with 50% or more specialty crops also qualify). Please view the USDA definition of specialty crops here. This Trade Show is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Exhibition booths are free for specialty crop farmers and other specialty crop producers.
Registration is free for Specialty Crop vendors.

Local Food Trade Show
This trade show is open to all non-specialty crop food producers including meat and dairy farms, fisheries, baked goods and other added value producers. Exhibition booths are $125.00.
*$25 Discount for SBN Members

Click HERE for a list of 2015 Trade Show Exhibitors and Attendees!

Who should attend?
Any wholesale buyers, who are interested in purchasing Massachusetts or New England-produced food items. These buyers can be supermarkets, co-ops, restaurants, hotels, institutions, schools, food processors in search of ingredients, distributors, or anyone else interested in local purchasing options.*This event is intended for commercial buyers, not individual consumers.*
SBN Launches Membership Drive!
Do you want to expand the positive impact your business has on our community? Do you want to learn from like-minded business leaders on how to do well and do good?  We invite you to join the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN). For 28 years, SBN has been raising the bar for how caring and passionate entrepreneurs can contribute to our economy.

SBN is embarking on a major campaign to bring all of the terrific sustainable businesses in Massachusetts together so we can enhance and expand our network and our impact!  Now is the time to build a thriving network of businesses dedicated to growing a local, green & fair economy!

You can join online right now by clicking this link.

Together we can make a more just and sustainable planet and we invite you to join our sustainable business movement and have some fun doing it!

New Member Benefits:
  • Join a network that is transforming the world
  • Learn from business leaders & share Best Practices
  • Discounted Rates for SBN Events including:
    • Vendor Fees for the Boston Local Food Festival
    • Vendor Fees & Admission to the Local Food Trade Shows
    • Admission to the Sustainability Leadership Summit
    • B2B Networking Events & more!
  • Visibility on SBN Website, Social Media & Newsletters
  • Listing on DoneGood App
  • Discover Best Practices for Sustainable Business
  • One Complimentary B2B Upon Joining
  • Help SBN Grow and Help Change our World - a Special Bonus!
  • When you refer a business who becomes a new SBN member, you will receive a $100 SBN Program Credit.
Act now and don't delay!

Welcome to the Newest Members of our Growing Network! 

SBN is happy to welcome TimePays to the Network. Based in Randolph, TimePays specializes in Time & Attendance, payroll, worker's comp and other HR Solutions. With their solutions, businesses receive individual attention and can expect significant savings. TimePays is proud of their industry-leading client satisfaction/retention rate of over 99% vs. the industry average of 75% to 81%. 
TimePays is offering new & existing SBN members a promotion. Sign up for payroll service for one year and TimePays will waive two months fees for payroll services.
Check out their website to learn more about the discounts offered to SBN members. 

is a farm-to-plate food truck and catering business with a mission to improve access to food that is good to you and good for you. They serve the Greater Boston Area with a focus on underserved neighborhoods that have limited access to quality foods. Their delicious menu is influenced by Latin American & Caribbean cuisine and is bound to awaken your taste buds. The are working to inspire a generation of young leaders who are excited to eat well and work toward creating a better food system. Find their food trucks and learn more here. 

is New England's only B Corp-certified public relations firm. Teak Media + Communication has a singular goal: to help socially responsible companies and nonprofit organizations achieve widespread recognition and increase their revenue. They work closely with each client to develop campaigns that intrigue the media, draw attention to good work, and inspire others for over 18 years. 

Renewing Members

Basil Tree Catering & Cafe  has been one of SBN's biggest supporters over the years! Working with SBN and many other charitable organizations, Basil Tree donates at least 10% of their profits each year. They are a graduate of our Sustainable Business Leader Program and recycle and compost over 90% of their waste. Beyond that, they offer delicious food for people of all diets including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. Consider Basil Tree for your next catering order!

EBI Consulting  provides environmental risk and compliance management, due diligence , energy efficiency and engineering services to organizations seeking to improve operations, lower cost, manage risk, and exceed stakeholder expectations. Combining broad technical expertise with deep industry knowledge and a business perspective based on more than 20 years of experience. Learn more at their  website !

Forklift Catering  is a chef-owned and operated catering company based in Somerville. For chefs Jamie and Dennis, the food comes first. They consider your tastes and desires along with the best that local farms offer during the season of your event. Their exciting and distinctive menus are sure to please! Visit their website to see menu samples and learn more about the company. 

NitWits  is committed to improving environmental awareness and education for their customers and community at large. They fulfill this mission by using pesticide-free, toxin-free, and environmentally friendly products in our treatment process, providing education on the dangers of pesticide use in common lice removal treatments, directing income back into other local businesses and more! Find their environmental mission here.
SBN Board Approves Vision Statement

SBN Logo png After much thought and dialogue, the SBN Board approved an inspirational and aspirational vision statement that makes it clear what SBN is working to accomplish and what success would look like.   

We'd love to hear from you as to what you think about our Vision Statement.    

Our Vision:

SBN was founded in 1988 as the nation's first business trade association with a mission of making business a vehicle for social, environmental, and economic change. Since then, SBN and our allies have raised the bar for what's expected from the business community. During this time, we've witnessed the immense potential that local entrepreneurs have for doing good.

SBN envisions a resilient world economy composed of thousands of inter-connected local economies that benefit the lives of all people and all living things. SBN endeavors to build a successful model in Massachusetts and New England that inspires others to join with SBN in growing the sustainable economy movement.

Successful local entrepreneurs are influential thought-leaders and the primary job creators. When acting together, visionary and values-driven business leaders can have an extraordinary influence on our communities and local economies. By building a movement of small and mid-sized businesses and allies who share our mission to grow an economy that is local, green, and fair, we're creating a vibrant, caring community and a sustainable future.

We do this by:
* Supporting the long-term growth of thousands of small and mid-sized local and independent businesses.
* Building the sustainable economy movement led by diverse business and community leaders and creating a network of allied organizations.
* Championing initiatives and business practices that mitigate climate change.
* Working to transform the local food system so that by the year 2060, 50% of all food eaten by New Englanders is sourced from New England.
* Advocating for public policy and legislation that positively impacts the growth of a strong, sustainable economy.
* Promoting a heart-centered and healthy culture that is grounded in our core values of love, collaboration, and compassion.

Belmont-Watertown Local First celebrated their 4th anniversary at the Mount Auburn Club in Watertown on January 21 from 6:30pm - 9:00pm featuring delicious food from their members. Watertown Councilor Aaron Dushku spoke about his support for our independent businesses and a discussion followed about how locals can survive in a high-rent development boom. SBN's Executive Director, Laury Hammel, made an appearance and spoke about how the  movement has succeeded in Cambridge and elsewhere.

Somerville Local First is hosting a Local is for Lovers Valentine's Day Market on February 7 at Arts at the Armory in Somerville from 10:00am until 3:00pm. Featuring over 30 designers, artists and makers, you will be able to find the perfect, local gifts for your Valentine here!
 Last Chance: 2016  Independent Business Survey closes Tonight!

As you may know, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, in partnership with the Advocates for Independent Business and dozens of Local First groups across the country, has been conducting an annual survey of independent business since 2008. The survey has several goals: to see how local businesses are faring, to gauge the impact of "buy local first" initiatives, and to learn more about the key challenges and policy issues facing local businesses.  Last year, over 3,000 locally owned businesses responded, yielding  invaluable data  for all of us to use, and lots of media coverage on our issues. (All of the past survey results can be found  here .)

Take the Survey Here  before it closes at midnight!

Invest in your Organization by Investing in your Employees' Health & Well-Being!
We are excited to share an opportunity for Massachusetts employers to participate in Working on Wellness, a new comprehensive statewide worksite wellness initiative.  The goal of Working on Wellness is to support Massachusetts employers in creating healthy workplaces that encourages and facilitates healthy behaviors.
By developing worksite wellness programs, your organization can promote a culture of health that allows employees to focus on wellness and reduce their risk for chronic health conditions. Your organization can also benefit from worksite wellness programs through lower insurance and workers compensation costs, increased employee productivity, and decreased employee absenteeism. 
Working on Wellness provides financial support to offset the cost of launching a wellness program, while also offering expert training, technical assistance and an online learning community that allows you to collaborate with similar organizations.
Working on Wellness will start accepting applications for their 2nd cohort on January 4th. Visit  for more information on this exciting new initiative and how to apply!
Free E-Book For Mission-Driven Entrepreneurs that Want to Raise Capital!
Are you a heart-centered entrepreneur who is ready to take your business to the next level? Jenny Kassan's new book, How to Get a Yes! from Investors, will help take the stress out of talking to investors. This e-book is for you if:
  • You want to raise money to take your business to the next level but you don't know how to talk to investors.
  • You're struggling to find investors that support your vision.
  • Just the thought of raising money stresses you out so you procrastinate about approaching investors.
Download the free e-book here!

Green Tip of the Month:
Give Eco-Friendly Chocolate. Not only does the Rainforest Alliance certify chocolate that's better for the environment, "shopping the frog" ensures that cocoa farmers have good living and working conditions.  Find Rainforest Alliance Certified chocolate (and other products) here. The Arbor Day Foundation also sells  a line of shade grown organic chocolates in their online shop. ( Try Taza or Equal Exchange or check out a giftbox from Glenwood Garden )
Send an eCard. Love wildlife? Check out these free Valentine e-cards from World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International.
Buy Local Flowers. If flowers are your style, swing by your local farmers' market for a fresh bouquet of your favorites. It beats buying imported flowers that have often been doused in pesticides. Check out Local Harvest to find a sustainable florist near you. (Check out Stow Greenhouses or Soluna Garden Farm)
Ditch Dirty Gold. Did you know that the manufacture of an average gold ring creates more than 20 tons of mining waste? Yikes! Be sure to buy your jewelry from one of the 90 retailers who have committed to ending destructive gold mining through Earthworks. Then sign the pledge yourself.
Love Your Honey (Bees). Bees are in trouble. In the U.S., they've been dying off at alarming rates which spells trouble not just for honey, but for our whole food supply. Download this toolkit from Beyond Pesticides and Pesticide Action Network to help protect bees from harmful pesticides.
Let Nature Inspire Your Valentines. Remember how much fun Valentine's Day was as a kid? For some special V-day kid's craft projects, check out these nature-inspired ideas from National Wildlife Federation.
Love Your Local Bank & Community. Every Valentine's Day, Green America encourages people to break up with their mega-bank and shift their money to the community by opening accounts with small banks and credit unions. Click here for tips. (Check your options at Eastern Bank)
Rethink GenerosityThis February 14, you can also share the love through simple acts of kindness, consideration, compassion, and sharing. Click here for "Random Acts of Kindness" ideas.
      Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts
      99 Bishop Allen Dr Suite 100 Cambridge, MA 02139 . . 617-395-0250