In recent decades, community capital innovators have succeeded in reforming regulations and building the foundation for a more democratic and inclusive economy. Their shared vision of a more just, more collaborative, and more equitably prosperous future brought them together. They exchanged ideas, they learned from one another, they launched projects together, and they wound up creating opportunities for millions of people to start participating in exciting new ways in revitalizing Main Streets across America.
Though with the coronavirus pandemic taking a huge toll on small businesses nationwide, some people may be wondering what the road ahead looks like for community economies. Government stimulus dollars may help small business owners somewhat in the short term. But if past is prologue, large corporations with influence in Washington will wind up getting more support than small businesses. And what will that mean for Main Streets?
Will local ownership decline in the years ahead? Will independent restaurants, retail stores, local small batch manufacturers, small-scale farms, etc. eventually fold and give way to a raft of invading chain restaurants, big box retailers, centralized mass producers, and industrial ag companies?
Or will small business owners and community stakeholders work together and share resources to ensure that the locally owned enterprises that make communities special and vital survive the crisis and thrive in the years ahead?
Local ownership and local control are essential to community well-being. And though large corporations may have a competitive advantage in Washington, we believe that local, independent businesses have their own advantages. And with new community capital tools at their disposal for engaging stakeholders as investors, we believe that we’re actually about to see a very different kind of economic recovery than we’ve ever seen before – one that’s collaborative but decentralized – and fueled by the voices and the wallets of people who have historically been excluded from the process.
Since investment crowdfunding is one of the main tools for making the recovery period ahead far more democratic than economic development periods of the past, we hope you’ll join us for an upcoming webinar (or several) as we continue to explore how crowdfunding is revolutionizing finance in the weeks ahead.