The Revolution in Local Investing





    Purchase this Book Online

We’ve 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?

Published by John Wiley & Sons


Copyright © 2011 by Amy Cortese. All rights reserved.


            Amy at TEDx Maui


by Amy Cortese


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.

March 19: Amy will participate on a panel exploring Michigan’s new intrastate crowdfunding law. Michigan’s Capital Conference 2014, Lansing Center, Lansing

Details here.

Feb 3&4: Amy will be in northeast Oregon to speak to groups in La Grande and Joseph about community capital.  

Details here  &  here.

Jan 16 Amy is cohosting MakeImpactNYC, a conference bringing together NYC’s social impact community, and the first-ever Battle of the Boros pitch competition.

Details here.

Dec 3 Amy will speak at a Forward Community Investment event at the Goodman Community Center in Madison, Wisconsin. 5-7pm

Details here.

Nov 19: Amy will moderate a panel about crowdfunding hosted by Slow Money NYC. 6-9 pm

Details here.

Oct. 23: Amy will speak at the Forward Community Investments’ 2013 Investor Breakfast in Madison, Wisconsin. 7:30 am

Details here.

Oct. 10: Amy will give a talk about Locavesting at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Business & Career Library (Cadman Plaza) as part of its Innovative Solutions services. 6pm

Brooklyn, NY

Sept. 24: Amy will participate in a panel discussion hosted by Slow Money NYC exploring “What is Local”

Brooklyn, NY

Details here.

Sept. 18: Amy will speak at the Innovation Summit at Kroc Center in Augusta, Georgia

Details here.

Aug. 8: Amy will present at the Crowdfunding Professional Association’s (CfPA) 2nd Annual Crowdfund Investing Innovation Forum in Orlando, Florida

Details here.

July 17: Amy will speak and judge at the CrowdfundX NYC Challenge in New York, NY

Details here.

July 12: Amy will discuss recent crowdfunding developments at the Directors of Technology Transfer for the Southeast Region. Mandarin Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia

June 25: Amy will discuss local investing and innovation at an event hosted by the Waterloo Regional Enterprise Network. Waterloo, Ontario

Details here.

June 19: Amy will address the Erie Canalway National Heritage Center’s

“Unlocking Investment Opportunities in Your Downtown.”

Schenectady, NY

May 5: Amy will sign books at the Food Book Fair from 1:00-1:20pm at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, NY

Details here.

April 22-24: Amy speaks at the Michigan Small Town and Rural Development Conference, Thompsonville, MI

Details here.

March 24: Amy, along with Good-B, will be giving a workshop at the Hello Etsy conference in Brooklyn NY, entitled “Get Funded Without Selling Your Soul”

Sunday at 3:45pm

Details here.

March 14: Amy will be the featured  speaker at Buffalo First’s “Get The Rust Out” series. Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo, NY


Details here.

Feb 22, 2013: Amy will be a keynote speaker at Rome Confluence, “two days of inspiration” in Rome, GA 8:45am.

Details here.

Dec 13: Amy is the luncheon speaker at Virginia Community Capital’s Annual Luncheon & Leadership Forum, Richmond, VA   

Details here.

Dec 11: Amy will speak at Now Street’s Women Transforming Our Financial Markets Symposium, New York, NY

Details here.

Nov 1: Amy will speak at the Barry County Economic Development Summit & Business Expo in Hastings, Michigan. Noon.

Details here.

Oct 31: Amy will speak to the Adrian, Michigan Area Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Club.

11:30 am

Details here.

Oct 30: Ann Arbor Think Local First hosts Amy at Ann Arbor’s Performance Theatre Network.

Ann Arbor, Michigan. 6:00pm

Details here.

Oct 16-17: Amy will be a panelist at the Opportunity Finance Network conference in San Antonio, Texas. Details here.

Oct 14: Amy will give a talk at Asheville, No. Carolina’s Malaprop’s bookstore. 3pm Details here.

Oct 13: Amy & special guests will talk Locavesting at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC. 5pm

Details here.

Sept. 17-21: Amy will participate in Local Investing Week in Sonoma County, CA. Details here.

Sept. 19: Amy will give a talk at Copperfield’s Bookstore in Santa Rosa, CA. Details here.

Sept. 14: Amy will speak at the State of the Valley Symposium. Glenwood Springs, CO. Details here.

Sept. 13: Amy will address the Governor’s Awards at Downtown Colorado, Inc.’s Annual Conference.

Golden, CO. Details here.

August 2-4: Amy will be the keynote speaker at the Smart & Cloud Show 2012 in Seoul, South Korea. The conference, which focuses on how technology is transforming society, is hosted by Chosun Media, Korea’s leading newspaper. COEX Convention Center in Seoul, South Korea.

June 15: Amy will be the featured speaker at Springboard Innovation’s Re:Forum series in Portland, Oregon. Details here.

June 13: Locavesting will be the topic, and Amy the guest speaker, at Openly Disruptive, a new interactive TED-like series of events in St. Louis. Details here.

June 1: Amy will participate in the SlowLiving Summit in Brattleboro, Vermont. Details here.

May 21: Amy will kick off Manchester, New Hampshire’s small business week with a keynote speech, followed by a talk to the local Chamber of Commerce. Details here.

May 16-18: Amy will be attending the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Details


April 20: Book discussion with Amy and Slow Money founder & author Woody Tasch. Details to come.

April 2: Amy will deliver the keynote speech at the National Main Streets Conference in Baltimore. Details here.

March 5: Amy will participate in the WeFunder Crowdfunding Forum with Rep. Patrick McHenry and Sen. Scott Brown. Details here.

January 22: TEDx Maui.

Amy brings the message of local investing to Hawaii’s first TEDx.

Details here.

January 18-20, 2012: American Booksellers Association Winter Institute. Amy will discuss alternative financing for booksellers. New Orleans, LA. Details here.

November 16 : Amy will participate in the Plenary Panel at the Vermont Businesses For Social Responsibility 2011 Fall Conference in West Dover, VT. Details here.

November 10 : Amy will be on New Hampshire Public Radio’s Word of Mouth with Virginia Prescott from  12:30pm - 12:45pm. Details here.

November 9 : Amy will speak at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund annual celebration, Concord, NH. Details here.

October 22: Book signing at the Grand Army Plaza greenmarket  in Brooklyn, New York, along with representatives from Slow Money NYC. From 10:00am - 1:00pm.

Details here.

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

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

Media Coverage for Locavesting

Social Enterprises Raise Money Through Public Offerings

Anne Field

August 6, 2014

Looks like there’s a growing interest among social enterprises in a capital-raising method called Direct Public Offering (DPO).

(Read the article here)

A Bumper Crop of Microloans: Farmers Turn to Kiva Zip for Capital

Dan Mitchell

August 4, 2014

In wrapping up a recent conversation with Kiva Zip’s Justin Renfro, I asked him whether there was anything else he wanted to say about the crowdlending platform he helps to run. “Please let more farmers know about us,” he said.

(Read the article here)

Chatting for Change with Amy Cortese

Richie Aronson

April 21, 2014

BGI at Pinchot had the privilege of hosting Amy Cortese, an award-winning journalist and editor, as a Change Agent in Residence (CAIR) lecturer at the April intensive of our MBA in Sustainable Systems program on Bainbridge Island.

(Read the interview here)

Spring is Here (and So is a New Reading List for Savvy Economic Developers)

(Read the post here)

Main Street Community Partnership

How can a group of civically minded individuals take control of the future of main street and spur economic development in their city?

(Read the article here)

Open City recapped: “Loca-what?”

Matthew Lewis

December 3, 2013

A culture of entrepreneurship is taking root in Detroit. Attend an Open City event and you will see that there is a growing group of Detroiters excited to transform their ideas and talents into small businesses. Of course, starting a business is no cake walk. Significant planning, product testing, and time investment is required to launch a venture. But even with all of that, one large hurdle remains--access to capital is required to really make a business work.

(Read the article here)

‘Locavesting’ Meets Crowdfunding Meets Social Entrepreneurship

Anne Field

November 24, 2013

What better way to strengthen communities, while empowering regular people to support nearby small businesses, than by helping individuals fund local entrepreneurs?

(Read the article here)

Investing Local

Veronica Rueckert

November 22, 2013

According to our guest, going local is more than a do-good philosophy, it’s become a movement and a money-maker.

(Listen to the interview here)

Investing locally: An idea whose time may have come again

Second Wave

George Martin

October 31, 2013

Most people who are concerned about the place they live know about buying local and eating local. Now comes an idea that takes those concepts even further -- investing locally.

(Read the article here)

Delamaide: Crowdfunding rules help investors


Darrell Delamaide

October 30, 2013

The SEC's proposed rules on crowdfunding could bring investors an alternative to Wall Street's monopoly on securities dealing, says USA TODAY's business regulation columnist.

(Read the article here)

5 ways the booming crowdfunding ecosystem is changing in 2013

Venture beat

Carl Esposti

May 22, 2013

If you think that participating in crowdfunding simply means investing in smaller companies that launch games and devices on Kickstarter, think again. With crowdfunding volumes reaching $2.7 billion in 2012, it has emerged as a viable, scalable alternative to public and private finance across the globe.

(Read the article here)

Group buys Adrian building in ‘locavesting’ venture

The Daily Telegram

John Mulcahy

April 23, 2013

A group of 22 investors has bought the building at 120 E. Maumee St., Adrian, inspired by a speech last October at the Adrian Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Club luncheon.

Don Taylor, one of the investors, said he and three other people got together after the speech by Amy Cortese, author of “Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It,” and talked about how they could invest locally... “It was Amy (Cortese’s) presentation that really sparked this particular investment in downtown,” said Chris Miller, Adrian Downtown Development Authority and economic development coordinator.

(Read the article here)

Banking on Maui

A local stock exchange could strengthen island businesses and give the community a greater voice

Shannon Wianecki

March-April 2013

....This sweet deal is an example of “locavesting,” a term coined by Amy Cortese in her book Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It. At the 2012 TEDxMaui conference, Cortese took the podium to explain how it works. She began by asking the question that first inspired her: “What would the world look like if we invested 50 percent of our investment dollars within fifty miles of where we live?”

(Read the article here)

On Crowdfunding: An interview with the award-wining journalist, Amy Cortese

Zack Miller

January 28, 2013

Amy Cortese is an award-winning journalist and author who has written extensively on crowdfunding. Her book, Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It addressed an early, growing trend of investing locally and she recently penned an article for the New York Times entitled “ The Crowdfunding Crowd is Anxious about recent developments in the crowdfunding sphere.

(Listen to the interview here)

Author Amy Cortese on the burgeoning “locavesting” movement, and how we can harness it in Michigan

Mark Maynard

October 25, 2012

Next Tuesday, October 30, Think Local First will be bringing author Amy Cortese to Ann Arbor to discuss her book Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It. Following is my interview with Amy, who, in addition to being a published author, has written for the likes of the New York Times Magazine, Wired, New York, Business Week, and the New York Times.

(Read the interview here)

Is Local the Future of Investing?

by Tony Fuentes

October 3, 2012

Author Amy Cortese coined the term locavesting in her book Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It. Just as locavores focus on foods grown close to home, a locavestor aims to only invest in businesses within 50 miles of his or her doorstep. 

The emergence of locally focused investing is potentially good news for small businesses that are struggling for the capital needed to grow their businesses.

(Read the article here)

Amy was named one of 25 leading women “changing the world” by Good-b.

(Read the article here)

In her book, Locavesting:  The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It, journalist and author Amy Cortese notes that she is, in part, reviving some concepts that were central to small town businesses until just a few decades ago. (Aired on September 17, 2012)

(Listen to the program here)

Local investing helps area’s economic ecosystem ‘evolve’

by John Colson

September 15, 2012

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — Communities around Garfield County are pulling themselves up by their own efforts through increased energy efficiency and locally-based job creation, according to speakers at the State of the Valley Symposium on Friday.

But there is a lot more to be done, the speakers said, and it will take some different kind of thinking to do it.

(Read the article here)

Newsmakers: Amy Cortese sees a future for local investing

by Christina Williams

June 11, 2012

Amy Cortese's book about local investing was published last year, just as an eroded trust in Wall Street left many investors looking for another option.

The book, "Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From it" covers how a shift in directing investment dollars from global companies to neighborhood enterprises can deliver social and economic returns.

(Read the article here)

Supporting Local Business with the Muscle of a ‘Cash Mob’

by Sarah Goodyear

April 16, 2012

Saturday was a typical one in Brooklyn: the sidewalk crowded with fashionably dressed people chatting in the spring sunshine, discovering friends in common and business connections.

But these people weren’t waiting for brunch at the latest hot local eatery. They had shown up to participate in a “cash mob,” an event to support local businesses that got started last year in Buffalo and Cleveland and has since spread across the country. The first National Cash Mob Day happened on March 24.

(Read the article here)

Cash Mob Hits Brooklyn, Gives Local Business Much Needed Boost

by Andrew Ramos

April 15, 2012

It’s a Saturday afternoon in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn and a mob has gathered, and it’s growing by the minute.

(See the video and article here)

In Praise of Crowdfunding

by Andrew Leonard

April 9, 2012

(Read the article here)

Buying into Mob Mentality

by Anne Kadet

April 7, 2012

As mobs go, it wasn't especially scary. In fact, the gang gathered in front of the Tea Lounge in Park Slope may have been the cuddliest in world history: women in long hair and soft sweaters, men in high tops and pastel hoodies. At 1600 hours, ringleader Amy Cortese checked her watch and revealed the afternoon's heretofore classified plan: They would head across Union Street, march a few blocks down Seventh Avenue and invade the Community Bookstore, where they would…buy books.

(Read the article here)

Crowdfunding and Social Entrepreneurs

by Tom Szaky

March 26, 2012

Last week, the Senate passed the Jobs Act, which contains equity crowd-funding legislation, and idea, as I wrote in a previous post, whose time I believe has come.

(Read the article here)

Putting Your Money Where Your Mom and Pops Live

by Nicole Davis

March 1, 2012

When Ben Rossen and Jay Lee started working as financial lawyers in late 2008, they saw how difficult life was becoming for independent businesses not far from Wall Street. “I was facilitating billion-dollar global transactions, while watching storefronts in my neighborhood get shuttered and replaced by bank branches and corporate chains,” said Lee, who lived in the East Village at the time, near Rossen. “It just seemed incredibly messed up to us.”

(Read the article here)

Crowdfunding Set to Explode with Passage of Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act

by Adrienne Burke

February 29, 2012

Nearly $100 million in seed money was pledged last year to startups and creative projects through the crowdfunding platform–just one of many websites now dedicated to matching projects with people who have some means and desire to support them.

(Read the article here)

WNPR’s “Where We Live” program hosted by John Dankosky

Listen to Amy Cortese and members from Slow Money NYC, Workers Diner and New London Local First discuss Locavesting. Aired on February 6, 2012.

(Listen to the program here)

Speaker Spotlight: Journalist Amy Cortese

(Read the interview here)


December 1, 2011

Investors stymied by current market conditions may be ready to consider Cortese’s treatise on the art of supporting local and small businesses. Although many of her examples are in the early stages of development, she provides ample ideas for new consumption and investment opportunities.  (See the list here)

(Read the original review here)

A Declaration of Independence - from Wall Street

Washington can’t - or won’t- fix the economy. So we’re going to

have to do it ourselves

by Andrew Leonard of

November 2, 2011

(Read the article here)

Companies Close to Home Need Your Help

by Luke Johnson

November 1, 2011

Two recent books, independently published on either side of the Atlantic, have each drawn parallels between the “slow food” movement and the idea of investing locally. The slow food concept was pioneered in Italy in 1986, to champion small-scale producers and regional ingredients, as a backlash against global fast-food operators such as McDonald’s. Now this philosophy is being extended to the financial sector. This is of particular interest to me, because my work tends to involve a combination of food and investment. Both these volumes have merit, and deserve wider readerships.

(Read the rest here)

Angel Investors-in-Training Choose an Investment

by Adriana Gardella

October 28, 2011

...For PhilanTech, the benefits of partnering with Pipeline are more than financial, Ms. Goldstein said. “I’m also getting 10 passionate, committed women with different backgrounds and networks who are invested in my success,” she said. “I can’t even figure out how to value that.”

In addition to being committed to PhilanTech’s success, the fellows are sold on angel investing. Ms. Crowell said she was starting to build deal flow and to consider ways to augment her portfolio. Through her Pipeline connections, she is meeting with more experienced investors. She wants to focus on small and local businesses and has found the book Locavesting particularly helpful on the subject. (The book, by Amy Cortese, is published by Wiley.) She’s also researching Mission Markets, an exchange for socially responsible businesses.

(Read the full article here)

How Outdated SEC Rules are Getting in the Way of Start-ups Trying to Find Funders Online with Amy Cortese.

Scroll down to 5th Video.

October 26, 2011

(View video here)

Helping Main Street - and Bookstores - Succeed

by Shannon McKenna Schmidt

October 17, 2011

Journalist Amy Cortese has written a slew of articles on intriguing topics like barefoot running and the turf wars of Prosecco makers. The subject she turned into her first book, Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It, happened by chance after a sharp-eyed literary agent spotted an article she had written for the New York Times Magazine. Titled "Locavestors," a term Cortese coined to describe grassroots financial innovators, the piece featured the comeback of regional stock exchanges in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown--and becomes ever more topical as the economy continues to sputter.

In Locavesting, Cortese explores the burgeoning "citizen finance" movement taking place across the country. "The book is a confluence of a lot of things I had been writing about--local food systems, sustainable business, entrepreneurship, and venture capital," she explained. "After the financial crisis hit, I started digging around and noticed that not only are people looking for alternatives, they're actually out there trying to create them."

(Read the rest here)

Pennies From Many


by Amy Cortese

September 25, 2011

AS Congress considers President Obama’s job package, one measure seems to have rare bipartisan support: a proposal to loosen some of the outdated securities regulations that hamper small businesses in raising capital.

The Obama administration, not surprisingly considering its own success in gathering small donations during his campaign for the presidency, is supporting crowdfunding, a financing model that relies on collecting small sums of money from many people over the Internet.

Crowdfunding has the sort of populist, common-sense appeal that resonates with free-market libertarians and champions of the working class. By marrying online social networks with finance, this model offers a more democratic model of finance, in which individuals can directly fund other individuals or businesses that they deem worthy, without going through a bank or Wall Street middleman.

(Read the rest here)

Need an Investment in Your Business? Locavesting Has More Than a Few Great Ideas

by Pierre DeBois

September 25, 2011

“... this book is one of the most honest showcases of monetary hope to the small business community, online or off.  Locavesting examines how communities and small businesses band together to establish alternative financing to reluctant banks.  I asked the publisher for a copy after seeing it in a bookstore, and was emotionally well rewarded by its text, summed up in the conclusion’s first sentence: “What would the world be like if we invested 50 percent of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?”

(Read the rest here)

New Book: ‘Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Finance’

GUEST AUTHOR BLOG - A Grassroots Stimulus Program

by Amy Cortese

September 22, 2011

In a deeply divided nation, the one thing we can agree upon is the need for jobs. The economy cannot recover until millions of people are put back to work and consumer spending once again flows. But it’s doubtful that any meaningful job-spurring policy will surmount the political gridlock in Washington.

Don’t look to Corporate America for salvation either: our biggest and most profitable corporations are sitting on piles of cash pile while focusing their investments overseas. And Wall Street is too busy chasing trading profits to engage in the kind of productive capital-raising that was once its mainstay.

So how are we going to begin rebuilding the broken economy and creating jobs? Where is the investment going to come from?

One answer is taking shape in dozens of towns and neighborhoods across the country, as citizens from Brooklyn, NY to Port Townsend, WA are figuring out ways to invest in the local businesses that create jobs and help build strong local economies. Just as locavores eat a diet sourced close to home, these locavestors are investing that way.

(Read the rest here)

Raising money on Main Street

Entrepreneurs turn to ‘locavesting’ to fund community-based businesses

by Anne Field

August 14, 2011

Rebecca Fitting and Jessica Stockton Bagnulo faced a daunting challenge in 2008: raising $300,000 to start a bookstore in Brooklyn.

Having been awarded the Grand Prize in the Brooklyn Public Library PowerUp! business plan competition, the duo were approached by the Fort Greene Association to open the store, which they had pitched, in the neighborhood. The association even threw the women a party to introduce them to residents.

With the economy heading into a tailspin, the chances of securing funding through traditional channels seemed impossible. The partners had a brainstorm: Perhaps area residents would give them a loan.

Through an e-mail campaign, the entrepreneurs approached community members and raised $70,000 from about two dozen people. The lenders were offered interest rates ranging from 2.5% to 4%, paid quarterly for five years, starting after one year. The business owners then secured a five-year $150,000 loan with 3.5% interest through the World Trade Center Small Business Recovery Fund, and in late 2009, they opened Greenlight Bookstore.

(Read the rest here)


August 8, 2011

Amy Cortese discusses the ways that investing in local businesses, rather than faceless conglomerates, can bring investors profits while building healthy, self-reliant communities. In Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It, she argues that in the wake of the financial crisis, investors would be better served investing their money in businesses and people within their community rather than investing it on Wall Street.

(Listen to the program here)

Beyond The Stock Market, Local Investing - With Amy Cortese

by Zack Miller

August 8, 2011

If last week’s terrible market has gotten you jittery, check out this episode of Tradestreaming Radio with Amy Cortese.

(Listen to the program here)

“Locavesting”: Investing In Main Street Instead Of Wall Street

by Danielle Sacks

August 3, 2011

What if you didn’t send your money to a faceless investment bank, but instead gave it to a local business? We spoke to author Amy Cortese about local investing, where people keep their capital within 50 miles of where they live.

"The crazy thing is it’s easier for most people to invest in a company halfway across the world than in their own backyard," says Amy Cortese, author of the recently published Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It. Cortese, a former BusinessWeek editor, got her first glimpse of the revolution in 2009, as she witnessed communities swallowed up by the hangover of the economic collapse. "Wall Street rebounded, bonuses were back, everything was looking up, but it was so starkly different on the ground, on Main Street." Cortese spent the next year on a journey to uncover the most innovative experiments in citizen finance around the world, from local stock exchanges to cooperatives and DIY IPOs. Fast Company spoke with Cortese about “locavesting,” the term she dubbed that, similar to the spirit of locavores, describes the movement to rebuild sustainable communities by investing in businesses within 50 miles of where you live.

(Read the rest here)

How to Do Well and Do Good: Invest in Local Businesses

by Loren Berlin

July 25, 2011

When it comes to my money, I often feel like I have to choose between "doing good" -- that is, using it to improve the world by, say, donating to charity -- and "doing well" -- deploying it to earn me more money, say, by buying stock. But that's not necessarily true. More and more, we have options to achieve both simultaneously, and I don't just mean by buying low-energy light bulbs -- though that's good too, of course!

According to Amy Cortese, author of
Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It, we can put our dollars to good use not simply by shopping at locally-owned businesses, but also by actually helping to finance them. As Cortese explains in her book, when you invest in a small business, your money strengthens the community in all sorts of way beyond that initial investment. Specifically, locally-owned businesses usually create local job, whereas larger corporations often outsource jobs over seas. And while big companies routinely use armies of high-priced accountants and lawyers to wiggle their way out of paying taxes, small businesses just have to fork over the funds. (According to the Government Accountability Office, in 2005, for example, 25% of the largest American companies didn't pay one red cent in federal income taxes on more than $1 trillion -- yes, with a "T" -- in revenue).

(Article with Video here)

Locavesting: 6 Ways to Pool Your Local Resources For Funding

by Anne Field

July 22, 2011

Small business owners looking to raise money are still finding it tough. Bank loans continue to be hard to come by. Venture capital is available only to a tiny percent of cutting edge companies. And many business owners’ friends and family themselves are struggling financially.

There’s an alternative, in the form of “locavesting,” a new movement aimed at supporting and investing in small businesses. “We’re seeing more companies veering away from conventional ways to find money and, instead, tapping their biggest supporters: Their customers and their community,” says Amy Cortese, a Brooklyn, NY-based small business expert, who coined the term and is author of Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It.

Sounds interesting. But, how to go about finding locavestors who might be interested in your business? Cortese suggests taking these steps:

(Read the rest here)

Support Your Local Business - Invest in it

by Vanessa Richardson

June 28 2011

You shop locally, you buy locally, so why don’t you invest locally? Why not invest your assets in your favorite small business just down the street from where you live? Truth is, it’s not as easy as it should be, says Amy Cortese, a veteran business journalist and author of the new book Locavesting, which takes a look at the local-investing movement and how individual investors can participate.

While Wall Street is back in stride after the financial crisis, Main Street has lots of cracks in the pavement. That’s because our financial markets aim to serve “too big to fail” corporations, while labeling small businesses as unlikely to succeed. Instead, we should be doing a better job investing in locally-owned companies, says Cortese, and financial regulators should also be doing a better job in allowing us to do so.

I talked with Cortese about her book, the state of local investing today, and steps that investors of any net worth can take to support their local business.

(Read the rest here)

Rye merchants to learn about local-investing trend: ‘locavesting’

by Andrew Klappholtz

June 21, 2011

RYE — Ever want to short sell the Rye Bar & Grill? Or maybe you're bullish on its short ribs and have your eye on the July 15 call options?

One author is suggesting these types of investing could be coming to a mom-and-pop shop near you.

"Locavesting" is a concept being revived around the nation since the 2008-09 stock market crash. The term was coined by author Amy Cortese, who will speak at the Rye Chamber of Commerce's annual luncheon Thursday.

She'll discuss everything from how small businesses can raise money through local stock offerings to the return of local stock exchanges, which used to operate nationwide.

Such "locavesting" strategies are becoming more common as distrust toward Wall Street grows, she said.

(Read the rest here)

"Locavesting": Capitalism for Main Street

by Lara Pingue

June 7th 2011

You’ve heard of eating local and shopping local –  now a new book urges you to take the same approach to your portfolio. Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It guides readers through the idea that investing in local businesses, instead of faceless conglomerates, can not only benefit your local economy, it can boost your bottom line, too.

The book, by freelance journalist Amy Cortese, evolved out of a story she wrote on local stock exchanges in the wake of the financial meltdown.

“People were coming up with new ways to funnel more investment capital to the locally owned companies that create jobs and healthy communities and are too often ignored by the financial establishment,” she says. Locavesting is about restoring the bonds between investors and companies. “It’s capitalism for Main Street.”

Cortese gives Reuters an inside look at the world of locavesting and how you can get started.

(Read the interview here)

Dollars to Doughnuts: One Way to Save Main Street

by Hardy Green

Slow food, microbrewing, real simple living: Call it the rebellion of the hipoisie. Young Urban Professionals with a Won’t Be Fooled Again agenda.

And now comes the investing counterpart, locavesting. “Across the country people are figuring out ways to invest in their local businesses and communities. In the process, they are rebuilding economies, revitalizing downtowns and rural Main Streets, and establishing a sense of shared purpose and wealth,” writes Amy Cortese.

A former BusinessWeek colleague, Cortese has just published an authoritative catalog of this trend, Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It (Wiley, $22.95), with loads of “imagine that!” examples from across the United States.

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Locavesting was included in a “green book” roundup by MNN (Mother Nature Network)

(Read the writeup here)