Newfound Independence Brings Local Businesses TogetherMarch 8, 2022 9:25 am
The Bristol and wider Newfound Lake business community is a tight-knit group of small business owners. In 2020, many of these independent businesses came together to form a unique local organization called Newfound Independence. In just a short time, the group has accomplished a lot, including launching a local business map. The group is truly a grassroots organization aimed at supporting friends and neighbors who own area businesses. On the organization’s website, it says,
“Local business owners are truly part of the community. They support other local organizations, charities and activities and are all involved in the community effort. Newfound Independence hopes residents recognize that when you shift your shopping to locally owned, independent businesses, you support your own community, neighbors, and economy.”
If you are a small business owner in Bristol or the greater Newfound Lake area, here’s what Newfound Independence offers you.
About Newfound Independence
Newfound Independence is a network of local businesses within the four towns surrounding Newfound Lake: Bristol, Bridgewater, Hebron and Alexandria. It’s mission is to promote the positive economic benefits of shopping locally.
The group was started by Holly Kerouac of the Newfound Country Store and Garlyn Manganiello of Basic Ingredients. Both were looking for ways to bring locally-owned businesses together and to encourage support of the region’s local shops, restaurants and services. It’s first project was a local business map. For $100, any business in the Newfound Region could get its location on the illustrated map with an ad on the back. In addition, participating businesses were featured on the Newfound Independence Facebook page.
Now in its third year, the map has become a great way to highlight the many local amenities and for visitors to learn about the region. It also showcases local artists; the first map was created by artist Charles Kuizinas of Cosmic Moose Art, followed by artist Don Hundgen of Hundelrut Studio in 2021. This year, Newfound Independence has commissioned Meredith artist Richard Mundy to create the Newfound Lake Area map.
Website and Directory
To further support businesses and expand its reach, Newfound Independence launched a new website, www.ilovenewfound.com, which includes information about the area map, as well as a business directory. Visitors and locals can connect to member businesses to learn more about where to eat, where to shop, where to stay, local services and things to do while in the area.
In addition, the site offers a spot for local job postings and business resources for companies looking to grow or develop new professional skills. The site is adding new resources and business each week.
Newfound Independence is also working closely with the Town of Bristol and its business development efforts, to provide a wider range of support.
“It’s great to see so many different local businesses come together to support each other,” said Town Administrator Nicholas Coates. “When business owners feel connected and part of a strong community, they are more likely to thrive.”