Originally Published in the Monadnock Shopper News
This Valentine’s Day show your “local love” — love for your sweetie and your whole community — by purchasing gifts (or gift-making supplies) and meals (or ingredients) at locally owned businesses. Last year, Americans spent $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day. Imagine if we shifted some of that spending to locally owned businesses!
“Talk about a sweetheart gift! If every family in the country shifted $100 of their Valentine’s Day shopping budget to locally owned, independent businesses over $7.8 billion would be directly returned to local communities,” shared our friends at Independent We Stand.
Locally owned businesses offer us much to love. They strengthen our local economy, culture and wellbeing. Independent businesses re-circulate four times more money in our community than chain stores. Moreover, studies show that most new jobs are created by small businesses — meaning today’s local Valentines are tomorrow’s jobs.
Here are eight extra special ways to show your local love this Valentine’s Day:
- On February 7, join the Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene for our Local Love Sample Night from 4-6 p.m. Enjoy free tastings and samples of local and regional goodies perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift or to complement a Valentine’s Day meal.
- SOLD OUT! Head up to the Common Man Inn in Claremont on February 9 from 7-11 p.m. for an adults-only prom to benefit the Claremont Learning Partnership. The night includes DJ entertainment, photo booth, hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. Tickets are $25 per person.
- Mudita Massage & Wellness in Keene offers an Introduction to Partner Massage on February 12 from 6-8 p.m. Learn basic massage techniques (your partner doesn’t need to be a romantic relationship, just whoever you want to give a little extra TLC to). Also receive a small bottle of doTERRA’s massage blend essential oil, local cheese and chocolate, all for $60 per couple: facebook.com/muditamassageandwellness.
- Frogg Brewing in Marlborough and Burn Em Down BBQ present “I Love You Beerly – A Valentine’s Day Dinner” on February 14 with two seatings — one at 5:30 p.m. and the other at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy BBQ ribs, smoked mac & cheese, a choice of one beer on tap, dessert and a rose for $60 per couple. Contact Stephanie at Froggbrewing@gmail.com to reserve your seats.
- On February 14, the Valentine’s Day Special at Terrapin Glassblowing Studio in Jaffrey includes a 20-minute glassblowing session with a loved one to make an everlasting flower for $30. After your private class, you can choose to head over to Cafe 532 for a candlelit dinner for two. Dinner includes a bottle of wine or champagne, two entrees, dessert and a rose for $105 per couple. Reservations and pre-payment required. Call 603-532-7777 for more dinner information and reservations.
- Experience a romantic dinner at The Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy on February 14 at 6:00 p.m. Dinner includes appetizers, entrees and desserts for $70 a couple. Add roses from Coll’s Garden Center and Florist in Peterborough to complete your evening. This is a BYOB event and reservations are required.
- The Redfern Arts Center in Keene presents the Be My Valentine Concert on February 14 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. and will include love songs performed by an orchestra of Keene State College students and faculty. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, $10 for adults.
- Send a Singing Valentine from the Keene Cheshiremen Chorus. A 4-part a cappella will sing live (and by surprise) your sweetie on February 14, plus they will receive a red rose, chocolates, and a digital photo capturing the special moment.
So, show lots of local love this Valentine’s Day, and the love will circle back to you, your loved ones and — best of all — your entire community.