Issue: February/March 2018

Archer Foundation Teaches Children How to Garden

With a mission “to help boys and girls learn about gardening,” the George E. Archer Foundation (GEAF) works with schools and nonprofit organizations by funding horticulture-based curriculum and activities. Formerly the Hilltop Educational Foundation, the GEAF was established in 1984 to support children’s gardening through advocacy, fundraising, and volunteer efforts.

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B-Start: Program to Help Local Tech Entrepreneurs Succeed

In March, 11 local tech founders—hoping to win cash and greater visibility for their startups—will pitch ideas ranging from long-distance ride-sharing to a personal carbon offset exchange to a panel of judges. Hyperlocal and much friendlier, Demo Day is kind of like Shark Tank—sans sharks and snark. The big day is also the culmination of Bloomington’s 22-week-long B-Start program. 

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Bloomington Hardware: Offering Services an Online Store Can’t

As the owner of Bloomington Hardware, Vickie Davison says she’s been competing with big box stores and the internet for years. “But Bloomington really celebrates local businesses,” she says. “And that’s huge, because it doesn’t matter what the business is, if people don’t shop there, then that business will close.” Still, she points out that being a brick-and-mortar hardware store carries one advantage: “If you need a plunger, you need it now.” 

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