Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It


Praise for Locavesting

"Investing locally makes sense as long as you do it with your eyes wide open. And this book is a realistic up-to-the-minute exploration of the field. After all, it was the local community that invested in Ben & Jerry's—and it worked out pretty well for them."
BEN COHEN, cofounder of Ben & Jerry's

"An inspiring look at what local businesses can achieve."

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Praise for Locavesting

"Investing locally makes sense as long as you do it with your eyes wide open. And this book is a realistic up-to-the-minute exploration of the field. After all, it was the local community that invested in Ben & Jerry's—and it worked out pretty well for them."
BEN COHEN, cofounder of Ben & Jerry's

"An inspiring look at what local businesses can achieve."
JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ, 2001 Nobel Laureate

"Buy this book before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) bans it! Locavesting demolishes the myth that the best investment options lie in the financial-doomsday machine we call Wall Street. Fasten your belt for a mind-blowing journey where you will learn about dozens of highly profitable community investment opportunities. Amy Cortese takes you on a breathtaking ride."
MICHAEL SHUMAN, author of The Small-Mart Revolution and Going Local

We have witnessed the failings of an unfettered free market system, tallied in lost jobs, stagnant wages, rising inequality, and languishing Main Streets. Isn't it time for a backup plan?

Locavesting is a call to rethink the way we invest, so that we support the small businesses that create jobs and healthy, resilient communities. Just as "Buy Local" campaigns have found that a small shift in purchasing to locally-owned enterprises can reap outsized benefits for a local economy, so, too, can a small shift in our investment dollars. Amy Cortese explores the revolution in citizen finance taking root across the country, and shows how local investing can help rebuild our nest eggs, our communities and—just perhaps—the country.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
With the recent crash of the financial markets, many investors are looking for new places to put their money. At the same time, many small businesses are finding it ever more difficult to get credit. Cortese, a former BusinessWeek editor, covers this current confluence, providing examples of how investing in local small businesses can be beneficial to all parties. Her examples include a brewpub in Austin, TX, with a multitude of "owners," an organic dairy farm in upstate New York that found "angel" investors through a sign they posted at their farmers market stand (almost getting themselves in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission along the way), and a former Iraq War veteran struggling to get funding to open a day-care center. Various types of funding methods are discussed, including cooperatives, credit unions, local stock exchanges, community development funds, public venture capital, and raising money through social networking. VERDICT Timely and easy to read, this is a nice introduction to something many of us have never considered. A good choice for public libraries and fruitful reading for small businesses and investors.—Susan Hurst, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470911389
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/7/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 701,170
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Cortese is a journalist who has spent her career writing about business, finance, environmental issues and food, giving her a unique perspective on how these different realms are intricately linked. A former editor at BusinessWeek, her work has also appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the American, Mother Jones, Portfolio, Afar, TheDailyBeast.com, and many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Table of Contents

Preface: Starting Anew vii

Introduction: Cereal Milk for the Gods xv

Part One The Economics of Local 1

Chapter 1 Motherhood, Apple Pie, and Political Theatre 3
How We Are Failing Our Small Businesses

Chapter 2 Blue Skies, Pipe Dreams, and the Lure of Easy Money 19
Our Financial Legacy and its Unintended Consequences

Chapter 3 Buy Local, Eat Local . . . Invest Local 31
Reconnecting Investors and Businesses

Chapter 4 The Local Imperative 47
Leveling the Playing Field

Part Two Experiments in Citizen Finance 63

Chapter 5 The Last Real Banker? 65
Relationship Banking Is Not Dead – Yet

Chapter 6 The Biggest-Impact Financial Sector You’ve Never Heard Of 79
Community Development Loan Funds Reach Out to Individual Investors

Chapter 7 A Model to LIONize 95
How One Pacifi c Northwest Town Engineered a Quiet Revival

Chapter 8 Community Capital 105
It Takes a Village, or a Police Force, or Perhaps Some Farmers

Chapter 9 Pennies from Many 125
When Social Networking Met Finance

Chapter 10 Slow Money 147
Finance for Foodsheds

Chapter 11 From Brown Rice to Biofuels 159
Co-ops on the Cutting Edge

Chapter 12 The Do-It-Yourself Public Offering 181
The Allure of Public Venture Capital

Chapter 13 Back to the Future 199
The Rebirth of the Local Stock Exchange

Conclusion 221

Notes 227

Acknowledgments 243

Index 245

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