Burlington, Vermont, August 12, 2009--Two of Vermont’s most innovative trade associations have decided to join forces. Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) and Local First Vermont are merging their memberships. VBSR is a statewide business membership organization made up of over 600 Vermont companies representing over 30,000 employees and $4.5 billion in annual sales. Local First Vermont has been one of the leading voices in the “Buy Local” movement in Vermont.
“A new economy is taking shape in Vermont.” said VBSR board chair Julie Lineberger. “It features an old-fashioned appreciation for supporting our neighbors and communities and taking care of our land. Local First Vermont and VBSR are leaders in the creation of that new economy. We are delighted to team up with the hundreds of business members of Local First Vermont to promote strong local communities.”
“Building a resilient economy that positions us well for the coming decades is a priority,” said Local First Vermont board chair Chris Morrow. “Having a solid, foundational local economy will build strong communities and put us in a good position to interact with the national and global economies as needed. Our local, independent businesses are the backbone of our economy and the torch bearers of a way of life we want to strengthen. The Local First Vermont leadership will continue to push this agenda”
Together with VBSR’s membership, Local First Vermont will continue to work to raise awareness about the value of locally owned, independent businesses by working with companies around the state and through special marketing efforts such as Independents Week and their holiday campaign. LFVT is also part of a larger effort called the 10% Shift (10percentshift.org) which encourages people to shift just 10% of their purchases to local vendors. The impact of purchasing decisions is large.
VBSR member companies are committed to VBSR’s mission 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. Businesses interested in joining VBSR or learning more about Local First Vermont can find information at www.vbsr.org or call the VBSR office at 802-862-8347.