Gifting Main Street USA

Alison Grappone has become a 31 year old entrepreneur overnight by following the philosophy that you should do what you know best. After planning her wedding four years ago, Grappone became aware of the big store bias of gift registries. As The Telegraph reports, “Grappone and her husband wanted local gifts from independent book shops and the community playhouse, or a share in a community supported agriculture program.” Grappone saw the opportunity to create a gift registry dedicated to independent retailers and nonprofits.

Gift Registry for Local Supporters Receives Support of Its Own

With the help of the Manchester Young Professional Network and its recent New Hampshire Start Up Challenge business plan competition, Grappone is now $25,000 richer to help with the creation of her business idea. The registry is to be called, Nearbyregistry.com, and will allow small businesses to access a new avenue for profit, as they have previously been prevented by most registries to participate. Focused on the greater good, Grappone says, “More dollars stay within the community when you spend locally. This increases the number of jobs, and it gets people out on the town. Really, it widens up the downtowns that have currently been hit hard from the economy.”

While the idea for the online registry was sparked four years ago, it took nearly three years of interviewing gift givers, receivers, vendors and producers, in order to help in the conceptualization of the website. Ready to launch, Grappone was missing a few important requirements for a successful business. “Legal counsel and accounting were the two most important things Nearbyregistry.com needed,” Grappone says. Luckily, the $25,000 prize money also came with the legal services of the Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green law firm, and accounting services from Howe, Riley and Howe. Brides and grooms alike will soon have the opportunity to be gifted a part of Main Street USA. This piece has been adapted from The Telegraph.

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