The Revolution in Local Investing



“An inspiring look at what local businesses can achieve.”

JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ, Professor of Economics, Columbia University, and 2001 Nobel Laureate


Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, generating eighty percent of jobs and half of GDP. They also create the foundation for healthy, diverse neighborhoods and strong local economies.

So why are we starving these vital enterprises?

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 from chains to locally owned enterprises can reap outsized benefits for a community, so, too, can a small shift in our investment dollars. The book explores the extraordinary experiment in citizen finance taking place across the country, from Brooklyn, NY to Honolulu, HI and dozens of towns in between, as communities take back control of their financial destinies while revitalizing the communities they call home.  These citizens are at the vanguard of a grassroots revolution that journalist Amy Cortese calls “locavesting.”


In Locavesting, you’ll meet these pioneers and learn about the new models they are creating—some new, some as old as capitalism itself—to put their money to work locally, from community ownership to crowdfunding to the rebirth of local stock exchanges. In the process, they are rebuilding their nest eggs, their communities, and, just perhaps, the country.

Forget CDOs and exotic derivatives. Isn’t this the type of financial innovation we should be encouraging?

                     Amy at TEDx Maui

    Purchase this Book Online

Praise for Locavesting

“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 H. SHUMAN, author of The Small-Mart Revolution and Going Local

“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

“Simple, brilliant and well informed. Good for what ails us as a country and a society.”

TED LEONSIS, former president and

vice chairman of America Online

“If Michael Pollan changed the way you think about food, let Amy Cortese change the way you think about finance.”

JAY LEE, founder & CEO, Smallknot

“An inspiring look at what local businesses can achieve.”

JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ, Professor of Economics, Columbia University, and 2001 Nobel Laureate


by Amy Cortese


Amy Cortese is an award-winning journalist who writes about business, food and environmental issues. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Business Week, Mother Jones, Portfolio, The Daily Beast and many other publications.

Did you know....

A dollar spent at a local independent business, on average, generates three times more local economic benefit than a dollar spent at a corporate-owned chain.

According to the GAO, a quarter of the country’s largest companies paid no federal income tax in 2005 on more than $1 trillion in revenue.

Just 1% of the money flying around the stock market goes to funding businesses through public stock offerings; the rest is trading and speculation.

Forty percent of agricultural startups are denied financing, according to the Carrot Project. And more than half of farmers surveyed by the National Young Farmers Coalition cited lack of capital as their biggest obstacle.

The median IPO size 20 years ago was $10 million; in 2009, it was $140 million. The IPO market is effectively closed to 80% of companies that need it.

If Americans shifted just 1 percent of their investments to locally owned companies, more than $260 billion would be injected into the Main Street economy - without costing the government a dime!

These 9 midwestern cops saved their town’s 111-year old bakery and helped revitalize downtown Clare, Michigan.

Published by John Wiley & Sons

Paul Muccino


Copyright © 2011 by Amy Cortese. All rights reserved.

         Book Club?

See our discussion guide here.

We’ve witnessed the failings of a unfettered free market system, tallied in lost jobs, stagnant wages, rising inequality and languishing Main Streets. Isn’t it time for a back up plan?

Upcoming  Appearances

Sept 4: Amy will moderate a panel on Community-based Crowdfunding at SoCap, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco. 4pm

Details here.

June 27: Amy will moderate a panel on crowdfinance and alternative lending at the CFGE: Crowdfund Investment & ALT. Finance Summit in NYC.

Details here.

June 20: Amy will moderate a panel on women & entrepreneurship at the Center for Social Innovation in NYC, 6-9pm

Details here.

May 8: Amy will address the National Cooperative Bank’s annual meeting, Washington DC, Corcoran Art Gallery, 6-8pm

April 10-13: Amy is honored to take part in Bainbridge Graduate Institute’s ‘Change Agents in Residence’ program. Bainbridge Island, WA

Details here.

April 11: Amy will give a talk at the Bainbridge Island Public Library, part of its Sustainable Economy Lecture Series. 5:30-7:00pm Bainbridge Island, WA

Details here.

April 9: Amy will be the featured guest at the Seattle Fintech meetup.

6:00-8:00pm Seattle, WA

Details here.

March 20: Amy will discuss the potential for crowdfunding in Adrian, Michigan, the birthplace of Michigan crowdfunding. The Centre, Meeting Room A

Details here.