Local investing is a local development tool

I just got back from 3 weeks unplugged. I’m exhausted!

This week, I wanted to talk about local investing. Small town businesses are starved for capital, at the same time as small town people bank and invest their money with corporate behemoths based on Wall Street. And we don’t notice anything wrong with that.

What if we could change investing from a gamble in the stock market into a local development tool? Local investing is the answer.

If we could redirect even a tiny percentage of funds invested outside our towns, we could change the face of our towns. And many towns already have.

Michael Shuman has written one guide, Local Dollars, Local Sense. Shuman has a long history of activism for local business. His book is an activist’s guide to remaking your town.

Amy Cortese wrote the other guide, Locavesting. She is a journalist and writer. Her book is more of the consumer version than the activist.

You want both books. In fact, Cortese and Shuman shared early manuscripts with each other to reduce overlapping examples and to make the books complement each other.

Ever since these books came out, you’ve been hearing a lot more about local investing, and both authors, at conferences and events.

Local Dollars, Local Sense and Locavesting are required reading for everyone in small town or rural economic development today. Local investing is that important.

If you’re a small business owner looking for alternatives to getting a bank loan, you will find descriptions of many different tools that can work: community ownership, cooperatives, royalty financing, CDFIs, and more.

If you’re an economic developer, you will find many exciting ideas in these books, backed up with examples and studies.

When Cortese’s book came out, I interviewed her specifically about how Locavesting works for small towns

You can purchase these books through your local book store, or learn about them online: 

Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity–A Community Resilience Guide by Michael Shuman at Chelsea Green Publishing.

Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How To Profit From It by Amy Cortese at Locavesting.com

Is your town or business doing something cool with local investing? I’d love to hear about it.