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The Litchfield Area Business Association (LABA)
is a network of area business owners and managers
whose purpose is to support and shape
the future of the business community.
New members are always welcome!
 
Next LABA Meeting
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
12:00-1:00 p.m.
Location TBA
 
 
Litchfield.bz Advertising
Rosemary K. Cockburn is the Litchfield.bz Advertising Sales Representative. She is handling all new advertising accounts and would be glad to talk with you about advertising on Litchfield.bz. She can be contacted by phone at 860-567-4051 or via email at rosie.bzmedia@gmail.com
 

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On-Line Marketing Strategies Offered
at Entrepreneurial Center of Northwest CT
Saturday, April 29 ~ 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Northwestern CT Community College
56 Park Place East, Winsted
The Entrepreneurial Center of NW CT will offer a two-session course on online marketing strategies on Saturday, April 22 and Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Center’s location; Northwestern CT Community College, 56 Park Place East, Winsted. The course is free to small business owners.
 
Online marketing can break the bank for small business owners if outsourced. This course will teach business owners how to develop their own email lists, create landing pages that convert, prepare video marketing, maximize social media, create newsletters and blogs, and develop a side-ways sales letter without digging deep into their wallets. Small business owners will also learn how to work with easy-to-use online programs that can create a professional look, as well as, how to choose projects that will move their business forward.

The course will be taught by Nina Anderson, who regularly conducts FAA teaching safety seminars and has experience with Adobe, WordPress, and lead generation programs, video production, blogs, and more. Anderson has been in the publishing industry since 1993 writing and promoting authors of natural health books, and novels.  For more information, please contact Jane Williams at jwilliams@nwcc.edu or 860-738-6444.
 
 
Boots to Business Reboot,
an Entrepreneurship Training Program
for Veterans and their Spouses
The Entrepreneurial Center of Northwest CT and the Warner Theatre are co-sponsoring Boots to Business Reboot, a two-step training program that provides participants an overview of business ownership as a career vocation, an outline and knowledge on the components of a business plan, a practical exercise in opportunity recognitions and an introduction to available public and private sector resources.
 
Step one is the Introduction to Entrepreneurship course eligible to Veterans of all eras, Service members (including members of the National Guard and Reserves) and their spouses. This course is instructed by Small Business Administration (SBA) and its partners who are skilled business advisors.
 
Step two is an eight-week online Foundations of Entrepreneurship course instructed by a consortium of professors and practitioners led by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. For more information and Registration, please contact Lynn Gelormino, Call: 860-489-7180 Ext. 157 or email: Lgelormino@warnertheatre.org.
 
 
Litchfield Area Business Association talks shop
Litchfield.bz (04-19-17)

JoAnn Ryan, above, president and chief executive officer of the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, was a guest speaker during the Litchfield Area Business Association luncheon at the Litchfield firehouse on Tuesday. Ryan spoke about initiatives the Chamber of Commerce is undertaking this spring and summer to help local businesses promote themselves. 

Below, Jonathan Wilson of R. Derwin Clothiers talks about the new merchants promotional guide that is available and Alan Landau of the Litchfield Athletic Club and Denise Raap of the Village Restaurant, which catered the luncheon, commiserate. Landau announced that LAC will be holding a 20th anniversary celebration this summer. LAC is regarded as the premier fitness club in Litchfield County. BZ photos

 
LEF officials, task force's Post speak to LABA
Litchfield.bz (03-21-17) 
Litchfield Education representatives, from left, Kathleen Reidy, Andrea Markavich, Michele Saunders and Matt Terzian were at the Litchfield Area Business Association (LABA) meeting at St. Michael's Church on Tuesday to promote the LEF's retro dodge ball tournament at Litchfield High School on April 1.

The tournament will feature 17 six-person teams clad in retro uniforms and playing to raise money for the LEF. The event will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. and will be followed by an after-party at the Litchfield Saltwater Grill. Proceeds will help the LEF provide enrichment programs in the town's schools. Admission to the tournament is free but donations to LEF would be appreciated,

To learn more about the Litchfield Education Foundation (LEF) visit lefforstudents.org.

John Post, above, chairman of the Litchfield Energy Task Force, also spoke at the LABA gathering. Post talked about the energy-saving initiatives of the task force and opportunities for energy savings offered by Eversource Energy. Post encouraged LABA members to sign up for a $124 home energy audit offered by Eversource to identify areas of energy loss, as well as for a duct test to check for leaks. Post also encouraged the use of LED lightbulbs to save energy and a small-business energy advantage audit offered by Eversource.

More information about the Litchfield Energy Task Force is available at www.litchfieldctenergytaskforce.org.

 
Energize Connecticut Announces 13th Annual eesmarts™
 Statewide Student Contest
Contest Teaches Students of All Ages About Sustainable Energy
Energize Connecticut, in partnership with Eversource and AVANGRID, Inc. subsidiaries United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, is now accepting entries for its 13th annual eesmarts Student Contest, a competition encouraging students to create projects about energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability. The deadline for entries is April 28, 2017.
 
The contest is open to Connecticut students in Grades K-12 and college.
 
“Through this contest and the eesmarts program, we are able to educate and raise awareness among our youth about the importance of making smart energy choices and its lasting effect on our environment,” said Taren O’Connor, Chair of The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board. “Over the past 13 years, our students, with the help of our educators, have built hydroponic gardens and envisioned a society where energy-efficiency is the norm. We are excited to see how our students change the world this year!”
 
College students, enrolled in a two or four year Connecticut college or university, are invited to write a 25-30 minute play supporting the eesmarts curriculum and mission to compete in the ‘Wright the World’ category. The play should be written for a young audience, preferably Grades K-5, and explain the many ways energy is made, identify energy resources, clarify what it means to be energy-efficient and sustainable and provide examples of ways to save at home or at school. The winner will have the opportunity to produce the play for a school tour during the 2017-2018 academic calendar.
 
Students competing in the Grade 12 category will create a persuasive image that advocates for energy conservation, an alternate energy source or an environmental concern, which showcases their knowledge of this subject. Options include writing a short poem (125 words for less), drawing a cartoon strip (12 cells or less), or making a video (:30 seconds; Windows Media Player). Entries will be evaluated based on scientific accuracy and concise and convincing imagery.
 
Students in Grades 9-11 are asked to propose a community-based project to address an energy-related issue. Students may work in groups of up to five members and the winning team’s school will receive funding to make their proposed project a reality before the end of 2017. The eesmarts program provides grants for first, second and third place.
 
Students in Grades K-8 are assigned grade-specific topics and asked to submit their entries in the form of a poster (Grades K-2), narrative (Grade 3), news article (Grade 4), book review (Grade 5), essay (Grade 6), speech (Grade 7), or public service announcement (Grade 8).
 
For grade levels K-12, winners will receive Amazon® Gift Cards.
 
Finalists in all categories and grade levels will be honored at a special awards ceremony on June 2, 2017 at the State Capitol in Hartford. 
 
For more information about the contest, please visit www.eesmarts.com/contest
 
About Energize Connecticut
Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Green Bank, Eversource, UI, SCG and CNG, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at EnergizeCT.com or by calling 877.WISE.USE.
 
 
Aquarion Announces 2017 Awards for
Environmental Excellence
The Aquarion Water Company is again seeking to recognize adults, students, small and large businesses, and non-profits whose volunteer efforts have protected or improved Connecticut’s natural resources – its air, water, soils or plant and wildlife communities. 
 
For the seventh year, the company will select winners of its Aquarion Environmental Champion Awards in five categories: Adult, Youth, Small Business, Large Business and Non-Profit Organization.
 
“As Stewards of the Environment, Aquarion Water Company is proud to provide an opportunity to acknowledge the many outstanding projects that help protect and preserve our state’s environment,” said Charles V. Firlotte, President and CEO of Aquarion Water Company.  “Caring for Connecticut’s natural resources is a team effort, and we look forward to celebrating the people, companies and non-profit organizations whose accomplishments in this endeavor have gone above and beyond.”
 
Awards will include a $1,000 award for the student winner and $2,500 contributions to environmental non-profit organizations selected by the other category winners. Aquarion will honor winners on June 3, 2017 at a special event to be held at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.
 
The deadline for nominations is May 1, 2017. Self-nominations and re-nominations are welcome. More information is available at www.aquarionwater.com and www.facebook.com/aquarionwater.
 
About Aquarion Water Company:
Aquarion Water Company is the public water supply company for more than 625,000 people in 51 cities and towns throughout Connecticut, as well as customers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It is the largest investor-owned water utility in New England and among the seven largest in the U.S. Based in Bridgeport, Conn., it has been in the public water supply business since 1857. Across its operations, Aquarion strives to act as a responsible steward of the environment and to assist the communities it serves in promoting sustainable practices. 
 
For more information on Aquarion Water Company and its subsidiaries, please visit www.aquarionwater.com or www.facebook.com/aquarionwater.
 
 
Little Free Libraries
Jo Ann Jaacks and Rose Buckens were the featured speakers at the Litchfield Area Business Association (LABA) meeting on Tuesday at the Litchfield Firehouse. They talked about the Little Free Library program and how quickly it has expanded in Litchfield and Morris.
 
Rose Buckens (left) and Jo Ann Jaacks ~ BZ photo
 
The Little Free Library program is a world-wide program with over 50,000 little free libraries. Rose Buckens described how she created a Little Free Library box on her front yard in Morris until someone took it. The response from the community was overwhelming with donations of hundreds of children’s books within days. A new box was created and she was back in business.
 
The basic concept is to take a book and leave a book. Books are donated and there is no check-in or check-out system. It is all based on the honor system. The main goals are to support literacy and build a sense of community.
 
Harvey Hubbell of Litchfield and Boy Scout Troop #28 of Morris joined forces with Rose and Jo Ann to build 16 new Little Free Library boxes on July 2nd at the Hubbell Farm. Local builders donated wood and the scouts with their leaders built and painted the boxes. They were distributed to multiple locations including the Morris Town Beach and St. Michael’s in Litchfield.
 
A new Little Free Library will soon be available at American Legion Post #27 in Litchfield. To learn more please visit LittleFreeLibrary.org or contact Jo Ann.
 
The Litchfield Area Business Association (LABA) is a local network of businesses and non-profit organizations meeting the third Tuesday of each month to network and promote the local business community. More information is available at www.laba-ct.bz.
 
 
Women's Enterprise Initiative
We have been very active working with business start-ups, entrepreneurs, non-profits and older businesses, helping them define their strategies, get funding, improve their marketing and finances, and offering our counsel. We do not charge for our services. Those wishing assistance need to complete a short application HERE to see if they qualify.
 
We also have a BLOG on our website which discusses many topics of interest to businesses, including hints on business planning, how to be a successful entrepreneur, how to manage a non-profit, marketing strategies, social media and many more topics. You can see our blog HERE.
 
We encourage you to tell your friends and colleagues about us. We offer our services free of charge to individuals, businesses and non-profits located in northwestern Connecticut. For questions, please contact us HERE.
 
Best regards, Anthea Disney, Deborah Seidel, Maggie Selby, Carole St. Mark