Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It
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We buy local and eat local. So why is it so hard to invest local? The truth is, our financial markets have evolved to serve big business, a fact only underscored by the recent financial crisis and bailout. Wall Street has come roaring back, but Main Street is fighting for its life. In catering to those companies deemed “too big to fail,” we’ve created a new group that could be labeled “too small to succeed.”
LOCAVESTING: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It (Wiley; 978-0-470-91138-9; June 2011) by Amy Cortese demonstrates how, by investing in locally-owned companies that create jobs and healthy communities, we can begin to repair our tattered financial system and create a more just and inclusive form of capitalism.
In LOCAVESTING Cortese takes us inside the local investing movement, where solutions to some of the nation's most pressing problems are taking shape. Just as locavores eat a diet sourced in a 100 mile or so radius, locavestors attempt to invest that way. The idea is that, by investing in local businesses, rather than faceless conglomerates, investors can earn profits while building healthy, vibrant and resilient communities.
In the book, Amy Cortese:
- Introduces you to the ideas and pioneers behind the local investing movement
- Profiles the people and communities who are putting their money to work in their own backyards and taking control of their destinies
- Explores innovative investment strategies, from community capital and crowdfunding to local stock exchanges
- Provides practical information for individuals who want to start putting some of their savings to work in their own communities
As Cortese demonstrates, locally owned businesses benefit communities in ways that big corporations do not – by creating jobs (rather than destroying them), paying local taxes (rather than employing sophisticated strategies to avoid them), and keeping money circulating locally (rather than being sucked out to a distant headquarters). Local businesses are also integral pillars of our communities and downtowns, promoting social bonds, civic engagement and diversity. Just as Buy Local campaigns have found that shifting as little as 10% of spending towards locally owned firms can generate outsized economic impacts for a community, so, too, can shifting some of our investment dollars. Locavesting is a call to invest once again in the innovative engines of job creation and growth: small business.
Across the country, an extraordinary experiment in citizen finance is underway. Amy Cortese takes you behind the scenes and shows how, rather than waiting for the government or Corporate America to ride in and save them, communities are creating their own economic stimulus. The book profiles dozens of inspiring examples, including:
- How residents of Fort Greene, Brooklyn became investors in a new independent, neighborhood bookstore that turned a profit after just one year
- How Organic Valley, the Wisconsin-based dairy cooperative, raised critical growth capital from individual investors who in turn receive an 6 percent annual dividend
- How the Internet and social media are creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and individuals investors to connect
- How grassroots groups such as Slow Money are working to rebuild local food systems and invest in sustainable agriculture and food production
- How companies from Ben & Jerry’s to Annie’s Homegrown have sold directly shares to loyal customers, bypassing Wall Street middlemen
- How communities from Lancaster, PA to Honolulu are working to bring back local stock exchanges that once again serve local companies and investors.
As this clear-eyed book makes plain, local investing is not a panacea. But it can help readers begin to rebuild their nest eggs, their communities and, just perhaps, the country.
For more information about the book, visit: www.locavesting.com
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