Members, supporters and partners,
We're very excited to share with you about the great stuff we accomplished in 2014, including production of our very first industry-specific Local Flavor Guides (for beer and coffee, respectively), our various events to bring together local business owners, our progress in engaging in local policy efforts (including public transit, employment issues and the Colorado FAMLI Act), our local food summit and other food projects, and our successful raising of more than $30,000 in community funding for projects on Neighborhood Catalyst.
While we did accomplish an enormous amount for locally owned businesses in 2014, we also faced numerous challenges. Some of our plans didn't go the way we expected -- we moved offices three times, several staff took on other work projects, and now, our founder and executive director is running for Denver City Council. This is a huge step and we're excited for the opportunity to have someone so passionate about local businesses on City Council. However, this also means that 2015 might be the most important year yet for the business alliance in our work to build a more connected, resilient and healthy local economy. To this end, we're making sure we are appropriately staffed and preparing for what this transition could mean for our network. Most of all, we're focusing on the most important part of our network: our members.
What's in store for 2015
Whatever our programs or projects, the foundation of our work has always been our members: businesses who operate in our neighborhoods to provide the valuable goods and services we need, and also the service, commitment and vision that goes beyond simple commerce, but into weaving the very fabric of our communities. As a membership organization, we require your participation, support and engagement to ensure that we're focusing on the right things and providing the right kinds of opportunities for you to find the resources and connections you need to be successful.
In 2015, we'll be focusing on the following projects:
- Monthly networking events to help you connect with other businesses and resource providers
- Informational newsletters and blog posts about specific tools for local businesses provided by our community
- Partnering with Colfax on the Hill to strengthen our efforts to help local businesses in our neighborhoods thrive
- Hosting our 3rd Annual Local Food Summit, to build connections between local food economy stakeholders
- Facilitating our monthly Public Policy Committee meetings, helping ensure the unique voice of local companies are heard at local and State legislatures. We'll be reporting in each newsletter about the work of the policy committee, including our ongoing efforts related to public transit and food systems.
- Supporting the development of an employer-driven, place-based workforce development program in the Sun Valley neighborhood, in partnership with Mile High Connects and the Piton Foundation.
- Continuing our efforts to partner with the Denver Offices of Economic Development and Environmental Health on issues related to local businesses
- Ensuring we have a strong Board of Directors and staff to continue the work of MHBA well into the future
Stay Involved in 2015
Whether you're new to our network or have been around since the beginning, we want to connect with you. The following opportunities are the best way to ensure that our work and mission thrive in 2015 and beyond:
Attend an event, which is the most direct way to experience the value of our network of nearly 300 businesses. Our events are posted on our web site here and are promoted via our Facebook page. Our next event is our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, January 27 at Prost Brewing Co. In 2015, we'll be hosting events each month, providing a direct way to meet other local business owners.
If you're a current member, you can co-host events with us in 2015. Contact us to discuss how we can do that.
If you aren't a current member, please renew or start your membership today. Membership rates are based on size of business and start at just $25 per month.
Bring your business savvy to our public policy committee, which works each month to represent the unique voice of our members to lawmakers and policy groups
Expand your leadership as a member of the Mile High Business Alliance board of directors. You'll be able to work with us directly to ensure we're using our collective resources to further our mission. Find out more and apply here.
- Let us know what you're working on: events, promotions or other news that we can share with our networks. We love to brag about how great you are! Send these to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for all of the ways you've supported our mission in the past seven years. We look forward to finding more ways to connect and support you. Contact us any time at 303-872-5646 and we hope to see you soon!
Event: Annual Meeting, January 27
Please join us for our Annual Members meeting, where we reflect on the accomplishments of 2014 and look forward to the New Year. There's lots to share about how we are providing opportunities for our members to connect with one another, and will share more about those plans at this event.
Date & Time:
Tuesday, January 27 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Prost Brewing Co.
2540 19th St, Denver, Colorado 80211
Come enjoy a great local brew and meet our Board of Directors and other members! There will be an election to fill up to four open seats on the board; find out more about joining the board here. RSVP for this event on Facebook. NOTE: you must be a member of our MHBA Members Facebook group to view and RSVP. You can also RSVP by sending an email to email@example.com
Event: Local Food Summit, March 2 & 3Started in 2013, and taking place each winter, the Local Food Summit is Colorado's largest gathering of local food producers, manufacturers, growers, retailers, and restaurateurs. This conference-style event provides industry-specific opportunities for engagement, community-building, education, and problem-solving. Summit content is typically focused around identifying gaps in a healthy local food economy, supporting and growing food-based businesses, discussing relevant local policy initiatives, and learning from successful industry leaders to identify best practices.
Become a Local Food Summit Partner
We love our local food partners. They're the people who make this event a success every year. If you're interested in supporting this event, please consider being an exhibitor or sponsor.
Registration Open Soon!
We're opening registration for the Local Food Summit this week. Please email us if you have questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, you wanna source local food?Many of our great chefs and restaurateurs find ways to incorporate local food products into their menus. Other retailers make a special effort to put Colorado produce or value-added products on the shelf. If you've been thinking of trying this for your business, we have a new guide to help you get started!
Check out our brand-new food suppliers project on our web site at milehighbiz.org/foodsuppliers and contact us if you'd like copies of our posters to display in your place of business or to share with partners. Special thanks to the Denver Office of Economic Developmentt for their partnership in this project.
Move Your Money!Locally owned financial institutions are a key way to support a healthy local economy. They lend more to small businesses and provide the best service! We can't recommend our partners at Alpine Bank, BELLCO Credit Union, and Denver Community Credit Union enough. Find out more about the services they offer for personal and business banking, and get your new accounts set up with the help of these great partners. Find out more about Bank Local First at milehighbiz.org/banklocal
New Local Flavor Guide: East ColfaxIn partnership with Colfax on the Hill and the Bluebird business district, we've published our fourth edition of the East Colfax Local Flavor Guide. The guide features 86 retailers in the stretch of East Colfax between Gaylord St. and Colorado Blvd.
This is just one of 19 unique neighborhoods we've featured in our Local Flavor Guides. Be sure to check out our main Local Flavor Guide page for more tools to find and support locally owned businesses near you.
Featured Partner: Focal Point Business CoachingMile High Business Alliance's greatest asset is our network of local businesses who believe in the same thing: when our local business owners are successful, our whole community wins. Throughout 2015, we'll be connecting you with this network by featuring some of our resource partners and members who provide direct services to aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned business professionals. This month, we're featuring Focal Point Business Coaching. Learn more about how to work with professional coaches and why it matters here.
Get Connected: Join Now!Colorado has an amazing culture of entrepreneurs and local business leaders. Are you one of them? Want to meet others? Join us to build relationships with other businesses and find the resources you need.
Membership starts as low as $25 per month and includes access to our events, programs and network of amazing businesses. Join us!