With nearly all government grants evaporating, and banks more than ever reluctant to fund small businesses, local communities are suffering and have been trying to seek out new opportunities to find investments. A variety of projects and businesses are being funded through local investment and crowdfunding, showing that money can be recycled within a local area.
This is where local people and businesses are invited to fund a project; it has been filling the gap as regeneration budgets are slashed. Locals are backing creative ideas that might previously have struggles to get off the ground, plans to turn a flyover into a public space in Liverpool. There are also charities in place that set up charity giving accounts, which means if you want to help but don’t know what to support you can build a balance and when you have decided donate the money.
During holiday times, many businesses sometimes encourage employees to bring in unopened, non-perishable canned and boxed foods that can be donated to local food banks. This is a great way to help your community, and it can also make a big difference to those that it helps.
Small Business Fund
The Arroyo SECO community revolving loan fund is the first small business micro-loan programme funded and managed by a timebank. Recognising the fact that many small businesses were setting up as a result of the skill shares and exchanges within the timebank network, it decided to offer loans to members running or setting up small business and co-operatives.
Put Shares Into the Community
Many local businesses are turning to their local communities for funding. The amount of equity raised through share offers in the UK treble to £9m in 2012 and large-scale share offers in particular are on the rise. The vast majority of share offers undertaken by community enterprises have been in the renewable energy, retail, and food and farming sectors.
Keep The Spend Local
If the spend of institutions such as hospitals and universities were kept local this would generate investment. Evergreen Co-operatives in Cleveland has harnessed the spending power of local hospitals and universities to rebuild its economy. Working with institutions to help them localise their spend; it has also set up a number of co-ops to supply laundry services, energy and food from within the local neighbourhood. In the UK the approach has inspired Preston Council’s community Wealth Creation initiative.