Nowadays, there is no better way to support your favorite locally owned small businesses than to buy their goods or services and “vote” local with your dollar… Right?
An exciting trend around the country, and the world, is an increasing interest in investing in the local community by offering financial support to small businesses in other ways than patronizing them. Did you know you could actually invest funds in local businesses? Some cool approaches to doing this—and staying within the confines of SEC regulations and other laws—are popping up around the country.
- One model is an investing “club” in which local wealthy investors meet with entrepreneurs in need at dinners and other events in which connections can blossom into investment opportunities.
- Another idea is a local stock exchange, which would function similar to NASDAQ or the NYSE but be comprised only of local companies.
- Equally compelling is a community-financed loan fund, in which investors can contribute to a pool of funding that a financial institution then uses for loans to local small businesses.
- Some businesses, like cooperatives and credit unions, allow community residents to purchase memberships that then give them annual dividends—a local example is Friendly City Food Co-op in Harrisonburg.
SCCF wants to get a conversation started about the need, opportunities, and interest in local investment as a way to keep local dollars in the community and to help local entrepreneurs flourish.
One way SCCF helps you invest your funds in the community is through Invest Local. Invest Local is a chance for local project makers to pitch their ideas to local investors.
Buy local, play local, invest local. The number one reason we’ve seen folks choose to Invest Local is to support and help build the type of community and economy we want to live in. From small businesses to our next door neighbor, there are many local voices working to build a better community who aren’t being fully served by local banks or other financial institutions. Local Investing connects local needs with local resources for a more vibrant, interconnected community.
Our next Invest Local event is Thursday, June 8, 2018, from 6pm – 8pm at the Golden Pony in Harrisonburg. Click here for more info.