Seeking Capital, Some Companies Turn to ‘Do-It-Yourself I.P.O.’s

Source: 
New York Times
Author: 
Amy Cortese

Excerpts from original article:

Direct offerings were a hot topic at a Business Alliance For Local Living Economies conference held in Buffalo in June. “I’m seeing a huge disconnect between the investment products available and the desires and values of investors,” said Michelle Long, executive director for the organization, a network of 30,000 entrepreneurs and community leaders. “D.P.O.'s represent an opportunity to put your money into something real and tangible.”

The [D.P.O] offering has yet to close, but People’s Market has raised more than $630,000 from more than 150 mostly unaccredited investors – and potential customers. “We have a critical following,” said Mr. Ahmadi, who plans to use the money to build the store, purchase inventory and open by fall 2014 (details are spelled out in the prospectus). “Ultimately,” he said, “it’s about leveraging social capital and turning it into financial capital.”

Read the full article here...

Creative Financing Comes to Main Street

Source: 
Chronogram
Author: 
Carl Frankel

Small, locally-owned enterprises often have difficulty raising the money they need to sustain or build their business. Professional investors only underwrite enterprises with a big potential upside and most small businesses don’t qualify. There was a time when you could borrow money from a bank, but that was before tight credit. As for that iconic public event, the Initial Public Offering (“IPO”), that’s been seen as for the corporate elite. Local shops need not apply.

The only available option for small businesses often ends up being the owner’s private circle of friends and family (sometimes referred to as friends, family, and fools). This can be problematic, too. Your nearest and dearest may not have enough money to provide the support you need, nor is it easy to go with your hand out to Mom and Dad or your rich pal Phil.

And now for the good news: This disheartening funding landscape is being transformed for the better. As interest in localism surges, innovative financing mechanisms for small, locally owned businesses are emerging. Read more...

BALLE Buzz: Your Source For All Things Local

Source: 
BALLE
BALLE BUZZ
  April 2013

What an exciting week at BALLE! We listened to an incredible Earth Day webinar with BALLE co-founder and Localist Pioneer, Judy Wicks, and experienced a flurry of registrations leading up to our early bird deadline for the 2013 BALLE conference. We have been pouring over the list of names, and let me tell you, it's an incredible group of people that will be descending on Buffalo in June. We hope you'll join us!

 

Balle_horizontal_emailsig_small


RegisterButton
 
WHAT'S NEXT
CommunityCapitalwebinarCommunity Capital Webinar
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 | 10:00am PT

The Highly Replicable LION Investing Model: Lessons Learned and New Innovations
Featuring: James Frazier, founder, Local Investment Opportunities Network (LION) and Local Investing Resources Center and Renata B. Kowalczyk, co-founder, Whatcom Investing Network

We first featured LION in March 2011. Since then, the LION model for matchmaking entrepreneurs seeking capital and investors looking to support local businesses has taken off, with deep work in its home community of Port Townsend, WA and many new LION groups across North America. This webinar will show us how the Port Townsend LION has grown since 2011, will overview the other communities now using the LION approach. We’ll then hear from the Whatcom Investing Network (WIN) as one of the most promising evolutions of the LION approach.

Register Here | Host a Webinar Viewing Party

Can't attend? Don't worry, register and we’ll send you the link to the webinar recording and materials to view on your own time.

Learn and share: Check out our website to learn more about our BALLE Live! webinars and all of the inspiring things happening in the BALLE community. Share the good news!

*Register for three or more webinars in any of our series and receive 20% off your total registration! For more information about pricing see our Member Benefits.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN COMMUNITIES


Redefining Convening: Personal Lessons from BALLE Fellow Angie Hawk Maiden

Angie Hawk MaidenVRACEnet CEO and 2013 BALLE Fellow, Angie Hawk Maiden, talks openly about what the word “convening” means to her, how she’s relied on convening to propel her local economy work in Appalachia, and some of the realizations she’s discovered along the way.  Read more...



*Free* Access to Judy Wicks Webinar

BALLE kicked off Earth Day with an incredible webinar from BALLE co-founder and Book cover image for Good Morning Beautiful Businesspublished author, Judy Wicks.  Judy recounted stories from her newly released memoir, “Good Morning, Beautiful Business,” shared the story of how BALLE came to be, and gave everyone a sneak peek into her content planned for the 2013 BALLE conference.  If you missed it, we're giving our BALLE friends free access here.  And if you're joining us in Buffalo, Judy is our vision speaker and is leading an Interactive Session titled "Entrepreneurs in Love: Generosity in Business" on Thursday, June 13. Full agenda here.

WHAT'S HAPPENING AT BALLE

Integrated Capital and Connections
A Gathering for Community Capital Catalysts
Tuesday, June 12 | 8:30am – 4:30pm

Facilitated by: Otto Scharmer

Join local economy funders, investors, financial institutions and other experienced community capital catalysts for this invite only gathering around integrated capital and connections.


Balle_communitycapital_square 2Interactive discussions around:

  • Reshaping the Financial System: Directing Community Wealth to Local Business
  • Various Forms of Integrated Capital: Gifts, Loans, Pre-Sales, Equity and More
  • Integrated Capital in Action: Lending Circles, Community Funds and Impact Investors
  • Capital is Not Enough: The Emerging Role of Connections and Support

 

Request an Invitation



 

Prosperity for All & The Core FourNew Scholarships Available

BALLE is an equal opportunity organization, and yet we recognize that economic opportunity is not currently equal. BALLE has helped set up several scholarships specifically to support the work of entrepreneurs and local economy leaders from communities currently underrepresented in the Localism movement.  
 

Due date: 11pm EST, Monday, May 6th

National Prosperity for All: Sponsored by BALLE
Buffalo Entrepreneurship Fund: Sponsored by Buffalo First!
Western NY Local Economy Leaders: Sponsored by the John R. Oishei Foundation
Western NY LGBTQ Local Economy Leaders: Sponsored by Buffalo First!
BALLE & PARTNER EVENTS

Slow MoneyApril 29-30, 2013
Slow Money 4th National Gathering
Boulder, Colorado



InvestorsCircleMay 8-9, 2013

Investors' Circle Spring 2013 Venture Fair & Forum

San Francisco, California


September 18-22, 2013
18th Annual Social Venture Institute (SVI) Hollyhock
Cortes Island, British Columbia

 
Keep in touch with BALLE by subscribing to our newsletter. Subscribe here.
Our social media channels are humming with Localist action. Be sure to follow us on Facebook so that you don’t miss a beat. Remember that we’ve moved to /BeALocalist so like us there!
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About | Connecting Leaders | Spreading Solutions | Driving Investments | Donate | Join Now!

©2012 Copyright BALLE

 

BALLE Buzz: Your Source For All Things Local

Source: 
BALLE
BALLE BUZZ
  March 2013
WHAT'S NEXT
Tomorrow!
Tuesday, March 19th | 10am PST
How to Accelerate Local Procurement:

Steve DubTed HowardWebinar: Leveraging Green Purchasing & Supplier Diversity
Join Ted Howard & Steve Dubb of The Democracy Collaborative as they explore the role of community foundations and place-based supporters in supporting local procurement, bringing anchors and agencies to the table, and funding conveners working to shift procurement to local businesses. Register here
 
Can't attend? Don't worry, register and we’ll send you the link to the webinar recording and materials to view on your own time.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

LocalFirstWestMichiganBALLE Champion network, Sustainable Business Network (SBN) of Greater Philadelphia, has deep ties to the BALLE community through its founder, Judy Wicks, co-founder of BALLE.  It therefore brings us great joy to share the appointment of Jamie Gauthier as Executive Director.  She brings a great mix of non-profit and community development experience to the role that will enable her to lead SBN towards their vision of a truly sustainable local business community.  Jamie takes over from Philly’s former ED, Leanne Krueger-Braneky, 2012 BALLE Fellow and now BALLE’s Director of Fellowship. 

Welcome New BALLE Members!
Edmonton Economic Development CorporationGo Buy LocalUrban Food LinkFor the Children, Inc Amy Pearl • Dawn Meader McCausland

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN COMMUNITIES

BALLE Co-founder, Judy Wicks Book Launch Book cover image for Good Morning Beautiful Business
Our co-founder and Localist pioneer, Judy Wicks, has released her memoir, "Good Morning, Beautiful Business," available now. Filled with meaningful experiences and funny stories, this book follows her entrepreneurial and activist adventures starting from age nine! Check out Judy's book signing tour

Building Local Economies with Some Culture: A Blog by Nikki Henderson
Nikki Henderson – BALLE Fellow, food justice activist, and Executive Director of People’s Nikki HendersonCommunity Market – shares her story about her diverse upbringing in Los Angeles, the questions about poverty and economic development that fueled her quest for meaningful work, and how her latest project, People’s Community Market, is helping to transform the West Oakland community.  Read more...

WHAT'S HAPPENING AT BALLE

Join us in Buffalo for 2013 BALLE Conference2013 Conference Infographic
Get inspired and take home practical tools to your communities. Join business owners, funders, policymakers, network leaders and more at the 2013 BALLE Conference in Buffalo, NY, June 12-14. Register by April 19th to save $100 with our Early Bird rate.  Check out the growing list of incredible people who are attending

 

 

Films! Films! Films!
We’re looking for the most inspiring short films related to Localism to showcase at the 2013 BALLE Conference. We want to short films (less than 20 minutes) that showcase locally owned business, community capital, local collaborations, and prosperity for all. Send us your submissions by Friday, May 3.

Hello Oakland -- BALLE Headquarters has landed
We couldn’t be more excited to call Oakland, CA our new home!  BALLE has moved its headquarters from Bellingham, WA and is now located in the heart of Jack London Square at at 55 Harrison St, Oakland, CA  94607.  Our Executive Director, Michelle Long, will remain in Bellingham, and will frequently be found working along side the team in Oakland. Come visit us!

We're Hiring
We are currenlty expanding our team and have a few key positions available for the right candidates. Join a smart, committed, and passionate group of people who are working to create thriving local economies! Check out our open positions and check back for updates in the coming weeks.

BALLE & PARTNER EVENTS

March 22-24, 2013
Hello Etsy: Reimagine the Marketplace Conference Hello Etsy 2013
Explore more lasting and purposeful ways of working at the Reimagine the Marketplace Conference in Brooklyn, NY. Featured speakers like BALLE's very own Michelle Long, Wired Editor, Chris Anderson, and Zipcar founder, Robin Chase. BALLE Members get a $15 discount. Coupon Code: BalleEtsy13. Details here.

April 29-30, 2013
Slow MoneySlow Money 4th National Gathering
Boulder, Colorado

May 8-9, 2013
Investors' Circle Spring 2013 Venture Fair & Forum
San Francisco, California

September 18-22, 2013
18th Annual Social Venture Institute (SVI) Hollyhock

Cortes Island, British Columbia



You can expect the Buzz to land in your mailbox the first week of each month. BALLE members should send 50-word submissions by the 15th of each month for inclusion in the next edition. We will do our best to include your item in the newsletter and/or on our website.

Our social media channels are humming with Localist action. Be sure to follow us on Facebook so that you don’t miss a beat. Remember that we’ve moved to /BeALocalist so like us there!

facebook twitter vimeo youtube linkedin

About | Connecting Leaders | Spreading Solutions | Driving Investments | Donate | Join Now!

©2012 Copyright BALLE

 

BALLE Buzz: Your Source For All Things Local

Source: 
BALLE
BALLE BUZZ
  November 2012

flag
Hello Localist! Here’s your monthly "news you can use" to build your local strategies, connect with other movement leaders, share your successes and engage with the BALLE community. If you haven’t already joined BALLE, now is a great time. We’ll be adding to our Map sharing the impact of Localism far and wide, so join us.

WHAT'S NEXT

PFA-Web BALLE Live! Webinar Series

  • Community Capital: Tues, November 13, 2012, 10:00am PT : Time Banking as Community Capital: Creating Prosperity & Community Services Without Currency with Stephanie Rearick, Founder and Director, Dane County Time Bank and former board chair. Learn how time banks are sweeping through communities from Maine to Missouri to Montana and offering another option... Read More | Register Now*
  • Prosperity for All: Tues, November 20, 2012, 10:00am PT : Communications Strategies that Reach, Build and Empower with Kimberlee Williams, BALLE Fellow and CEO, FemWORKS, LLC. Understand how to utilize multicultural communications and partnerships, and expand your approach to communications initiatives from a place of authenticity... Read More | Register Now*
Can't attend? Don't worry, register and we’ll send you the link to the webinar recording and materials to view on your own time.

*Register for three or more webinars in any of our series and receive 20% off your total registration! For more information about pricing see our Member Benefits.
 

2013 Conference

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

TownOfCarborro Welcome: The Town of Carrboro, NC
BALLE has been tracking the massive upwelling of Localist energy in North Carolina, and the Town of Carrboro is our latest hero. Carrboro is demonstrating how public sector commitment to Localist principles can invigorate and support the positive impact that local businesses can have in their communities. Three cheers for Carrboro!

Welcome New BALLE Members!
AdvantageWestShare Exchange / Made Local MarketplaceTown of CarrboroCity Dining CardsSustainable South SoundCanadian Union of Public Employees British Columbia (CUPE BC)ReThink Local • Beate Kirmse • Willa Breese • Kathryn Scott • Bruce Beckwith • Alexis Halbert • Rachel Maxwell • Gary Cook • Wendy Wilhelm • Dorothy Noronha • Robert Foster • Grace Chow Grund • Laurie Johnson • Scott Soltau

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN COMMUNITIES

Zingermans What’s working for Localists in your town? Here’s a glimpse of some of the work that is happening that is making a difference at home.

This Is Ownership
Zingerman's Community of Businesses has defied conventional wisdom about how to expand a business by growing deep in its place instead of growing wide by franchise or replication. Watch the video to see how Zingerman’s rocks.

Prosperity For All
BALLE Conference and Webinar speaker, Maggie Anderson, created a national movement to support black businesses and professionals. Now she’s teamed up with BALLE to create Prosperity For ALL. We love you Maggie!

Local Living Economy MBA
Bainbridge Graduate Institute has expanded their wildly popular Sustainable MBA program to include a specialization on Local Living Economies.

Incubator Farm
BALLE Fellow, Jamee Haley has spearheaded efforts to start Dirt Works Farm, the first incubator farm in South Carolina.

WHAT'S HAPPENING AT BALLE

MichelleSOCAP SOCAP12 Mainstage Address
Check out BALLE Executive Director Michelle Long's mainstage presentation at SOCAP’s annual conference.

Intern With BALLE
Do you or someone you know want to be on our team? BALLE is looking for a part-time Communications Intern to help us spread the Localist love. Apply today.

2013 BALLE Conference Presenter Suggestions
What revolutionary ideas have you seen from the frontlines of the Localist movement? We are accepting presenter suggestions for our 2013 conference. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 23.

2014 BALLE Conference Location Submissions
We're scouting locations in the Wild, Wild West for our 2014 conference. Want to partner? Letters of interest are due by 5:00pm PT on Friday, November 16.

BALLE Blog
Subscribe to the BALLE Blog and get the most up-to-date, relevant and interesting insights. Check out Michelle's recent Huffington Post piece on the evolution of impact investing.  It’s worth the time.

BALLE & PARTNER EVENTS

ShiftYourShopping November 3, 2012 – December 31, 2012
Shift Your Shopping


November 13 – 17, 2012
SVN Hall of Fame + SVN Fall Conference

November 29, 2012
The Right Stuff Awards Dinner

December 2012
LOCO BC Live Local, Buy Local Campaign


December 7, 2012
AdvantageWest Venture Local



You can expect the Buzz to land in your mailbox the first week of each month. BALLE members should send 50-word submissions by the 15th of each month for inclusion in the next edition. We will do our best to include your item in the newsletter and/or on our website.

Our social media channels are humming with Localist action. Be sure to follow us on Facebook so that you don’t miss a beat. Remember that we’ve moved to /BeALocalist so like us there!

facebook twitter vimeo youtube linkedin

About | Connecting Leaders | Spreading Solutions | Driving Investments | Donate | Join Now!

©2012 Copyright BALLE

 

BALLE Buzz: Your Source For All Things Local

Source: 
BALLE
BALLE BUZZ
  February 2013

flagHappy February, Localists!
Here's a little Valentine's Day love for you. It has been a red hot winter for BALLE and Localists everywhere, with far more innovation than hibernation happening over the last few months, and there is no telling what more will come as the mercury rises. Fortunately, the BALLE Buzz is here to keep you up-to-speed on the hottest happenings in the Localist community.

WHAT'S NEXT
Upcoming BALLE Live! Webinars
  • Ted HowardLocal First: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 : 10:00am PT : An In-Depth How-To on Accelerating Local Procurement: Financing the Work and Influencing Anchors with Ted Howard, Executive Director, The Democracy Collaborative. In case you haven’t noticed, BALLE is big on local procurement. Buy Local campaigns and consumer education are still essential tools in the Localist workbench, but bringing the Localist movement to scale requires...
    Read More | Register Now*
  • Arno HesseCommunity Capital: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 : 10:00am PT : Edible Credits: The Credibles Model for Crowdsourced Funding of Local Food Businesses with Arno Hesse, social finance innovator and Slow Money investor. As entrepreneurs and investors continue their dance in the evolving crowdfunding landscape, creative innovation abounds. One model leading the charge is the Edible Credits – or Credibles – program, which allows food businesses to raise capital by pre-selling directly to consumers...
    Read More | Register Now*
  • Ted HowardLocal First: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 : 10:00am PT : An In-Depth How-To on Accelerating Local Procurement: Leveraging Green Purchasing and Supplier Diversity with Ted Howard, Executive Director, The Democracy Collaborative. Our series continues with part two where we’ll explore the role of community foundations and place-based funders in supporting this work, bringing anchors and agencies to the table, and funding conveners working to shift procurement to local businesses...
    Read More | Register Now*
Can't attend? Don't worry, register and we’ll send you the link to the webinar recording and materials to view on your own time.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

LocalFirstWestMichiganBALLE Champion network Local First West Michigan has notched a substantial victory, securing a $450,000 grant from Michigan’s Economic Development Corporation to expand its work beyond its traditional service area, and measure the impact of its Localist programs. Local First was chosen because it is the largest local business advocacy organization of its kind in Michigan. Learn more about how this BALLE Champion has moved the needle on economic development policy in their state.

Welcome New BALLE Members!
THRIVEOn the Spot Pop Ups • The Energy CooperativeThrive Capital Partners • Judy Wicks • Green Business Networking • Bill Schuh • Eric Shertzing • Steve Oryana • Charles Renner • Cindee Lolik • Dana Eness • Ann Childs • Allison Van  Kat Gjovik • Jonathan Robert • Justine Zang • Beth Geherd • Mark Ferrell • Diane Freaney • Patricia Van Ryker  • Karan Jain • Gregory Panos

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN COMMUNITIES

 What’s working for Localists in your town? Here’s a glimpse of some of the work that is happening in your communities.

Survey Says! 2012 was a Good Year for Local Businesses
The 2013 Independent Business Survey, conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in partnership with BALLE and other business associations, has found that independent businesses experienced solid revenue growth in 2012, buoyed in part by “buy local first” initiatives and growing public interest in supporting locally owned businesses. The survey gathered data from 2,377 independent businesses across 50 states and the District of Columbia. Check out the press release and full report for more on the positive impacts of local business networks and the shared challenges ahead.

Mark BrandThe Impact of an Unconventional
Mark Brand, 2013 BALLE Conference speaker, recently spoke at TEDxVancouver on finding “unconventional solutions to big problems” where local businesses build new economic models while creating employment opportunities for those who need them most.

A Journey of Mortality Renewal
Also at TEDxVancouver, long-time BALLE advisor and BALLE Funders Circle partner, Joel Solomon discussed ethical investment, his work as a Social Venture Capitalist, and the world economy’s need for the “clean blood” of ethical capital.

WHAT'S HAPPENING AT BALLE

February Local Economy Fellowship Immersion
In the last week of January our new cohort of sixteen Local Economy Fellows came together for the first time and inspired and impressed us with their stories of what drives them, their instant connection (“I feel like I have known you my whole life!”) and their readiness to get to work on Community Capital, Measuring what Matters, Spreading Solutions, and much more. This first gathering kicked off eighteen months of Canadian and American local economy leaders connecting and learning together to advance their work in their home places as well as the local economy movement as whole.

Their next gathering in Oakland, CA in April will center on Community Capital, and then they will join us at the BALLE Conference in Buffalo in June. Learn more about the 2013 Fellows in their monthly blog posts and profiles about what prosperity for all means to them.

Harper SE Bishop - Local Economy Featured Fellow Sarah Bishop
Each month we’ll be taking a closer look at the people who make up the 2013 BALLE Local Economy Fellowship and sharing insight into what makes them tick, what inspires them to do this work, and why we think they are among the rising stars in Localism. BALLE’s featured Fellow of the month for February is Buffalo’s Harper SE Bishop. As well as being a BALLE Fellow, Harper is leading the local planning for the BALLE Conference in Buffalo, June 12-14. Read more.

A Truly Righteous Guy
In January, BALLE Program Manager, Andrew Connor, traveled to Buffalo to work with our Featured Fellow, Sarah on 2013 BALLE Conference programming. While there, he visited Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe Records “a people-friendly, sub-corporate, woman-informed, queer-happy small business that puts music before rock stardom and ideology before profit." He made quite an impression. Read more.

2013 BALLE Conference Register Before April 20 to Get the Early Bird Discount
2013 BALLE ConferenceCalling all Localists! Early-bird registration is now open for the 2013 BALLE Conference. Once per year our community assembles for a can’t-miss gathering that is a who’s who of innovators collaborating to build a new economy. From international thought leaders and on-the-ground social entrepreneurs, to policymakers, network builders, local economy funders, philanthropists, and everyone in between, Localists of all stripes will be descending on Buffalo, New York June 12-14, 2013 to share the work of building a new economy. Great speakers, great sessions, and more!
 

BALLE & PARTNER EVENTS

March 1, 2013Hello Etsy 2013
Featured Fellow Social Media Meet Up
Online

March 15-17, 2013
Economics of Happiness Conference
Byron Bay, Australia

March 22-24, 2013
Hello Etsy: Reimagining the Marketplace (and Trade Show for Good)
Brooklyn, New York

April 29-30, 2013
Slow MoneySlow Money 4th National Gathering
Boulder, Colorado

May 8-9, 2013
Investors' Circle Spring 2013 Venture Fair & Forum
San Francisco, California

September 18-22, 2013
18th Annual Social Venture Institute (SVI) Hollyhock

Cortes Island, British Columbia



You can expect the Buzz to land in your mailbox the first week of each month. BALLE members should send 50-word submissions by the 15th of each month for inclusion in the next edition. We will do our best to include your item in the newsletter and/or on our website.

Our social media channels are humming with Localist action. Be sure to follow us on Facebook so that you don’t miss a beat. Remember that we’ve moved to /BeALocalist so like us there!

facebook twitter vimeo youtube linkedin

About | Connecting Leaders | Spreading Solutions | Driving Investments | Donate | Join Now!

©2012 Copyright BALLE

 

Living La Vida Local

Source: 
Chronogram

Love was in the air at this year’s annual BALLE conference, which was held in Buffalo June 12-14 (and which Luminary Publishing was proud to co-sponsor).

BALLE stands for Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, a mouthful of a phrase that would probably have been jettisoned long ago were it not for the considerable name recognition its acronym has grown to command. With eighty local and regional networks, BALLE is a booming organization in support of a booming movement, localism, which is built around the notion that we’ll all be better off if we wean ourselves from the global economic teat and instead support local businesses, local agriculture, and other local institutions. If you have any doubts about localism’s trajectory, consider how many restaurants currently promote their local sourcing of ingredients compared to just a few years ago. BALLE has had more than a little to do with this transformation: It’s been a firestarter.

Read more...

IMPACT at the 2013 BALLE Conference

Source: 
IMPACT Silver Springs, MD Blog

“From me to we.” This is how I would summarize the three day experience in one sentence. While this term was used over and over again at the BALLE Conference, I was amazed at the many ways different speakers used this idea to describe their work. From biomimicry (learning from nature to take care of each other and our place) to the Gross National Happiness lab (“What makes us happy is when we make one another happy, nature happy, and God happy”). From creating spaces of generative generosity (ever been to a Karma Kitchen?) to the art of being with the breakdown (it’s okay to be vulnerable to harsh realities around you). We learned that, in order to keep our communities healthy and happy, we need to move from an “ego-system” to an “eco-system.”

Read more...

Business 'localists' argue public policy slanted toward large corporations

Source: 
WBFO
Author: 
Ashley Hassett

Buffalo hosted the 11th annual Business Alliance for Local Living Economies or the BALLE business conference this year. The event brought together over 600 self-described “localists” from around the continent who all share the idea that local businesses are key to solving community problems.

Director of the Sustainable Business Alliance in Oakland, California Erin Kilmer-Neel, spoke at the conference.

“Right now people so many people feel like the economy is out of their hands, that big banks have basically messed everything up and they don’t have anything they can do about it and this is really an amazing opportunity to understand that we actually can do something about it and together we can change everything,” said Kilmer Neel.

Read more...

Columbus “Localists” Energized by BALLE Conference – Part 2

Source: 
The Metropreneur Columbus
Author: 
Brent Warren

Bill LaFayette of Regionomics brings an economist’s precision to his assessment of the small business climate in Columbus, and he sees lots of room for improvement. “We have a long way to go,” he said, referencing a study produced (PDF) by Community Research Partners that compared Columbus to some of its peer cities and found that it ranked near the bottom in small business creation, and dead last in percentage of small businesses.

“There’s some sort of blockage, something preventing the formation of small business” lamented LaFayette, pointing out that it wasn’t for lack of quality entrepreneurial resources, citing the Small Business Development Center at Columbus State and ECDI. “There’s got to be a disconnect somewhere.”

LaFayette sees great potential in the so-called “anchor institutions” of Columbus; the hospitals and universities that spend millions of dollars annually on goods and services but often send that money out of the city or even out of the state. BALLE speakers from the University of Minnesota and the City of Cleveland, among others, explained the great positive benefits of redirecting even a small percentage of this money back into the local economy.

Read more...