Six Guidelines for Business-Investor Conversations

Six Guidelines for Business-Investor Conversations By Jenny Kassan and Michael Shuman What kinds of conversations can a business owner have with potential investors without breaking the law? Over the past year many local investment advocates and practitioners have sought our advice in answering these questions, and this blog attempts to provide some answers. The law …

Read moreSix Guidelines for Business-Investor Conversations

Every Community Needs a Neighborhood Exchange

Sofusion Cafe - an example of a Maryland Neighborhood Exchange Success Story

Every Community Needs a Neighborhood Exchange Three years ago, the Maryland Neighborhood Exchange was just a dream. We envisioned creating a website listing great local investment opportunities in Baltimore and mobilizing residents to invest in them. Here’s what’s happened since: The Exchange has helped 44 Baltimore businesses successfully raise $3.3 million from nearly 6,000 investors. …

Read moreEvery Community Needs a Neighborhood Exchange

The Little Baltimore District That Could

Every community in America is struggling to recover from a year of COVID-19 shutdowns and could benefit from a surge in local investing.  Yet only a handful of communities are prepared to embrace this strategy.  An inspiring example is Market Center in Baltimore.  I’m now working with the Market Center Merchants Association to embark on …

Read moreThe Little Baltimore District That Could

27 Resolutions for Community Renewal (Part II)

The words 2021 Happy New Year set against a night sky with fireworks

Last week, I offered 18 of 27 New Year’s Resolutions on how you can create a vibrant local investment ecosystem. You and your neighbors can use your savings to boost your community’s economy and speed its recovery from COVID-19. I suggested ways to get your local businesses “investment ready,” to create more investment options for …

Read more27 Resolutions for Community Renewal (Part II)

27 New Year Resolutions for Community Renewal (Part I)

The words 2021 Happy New Year set against a night sky with fireworks

Happy New Year!  If you are unsure how to fix your community after a year of COVID shutdowns, bankruptcies, deaths, and despair, I’d like to offer 27 resolutions.  The focus of all 27 is how to jump-start your economy by mobilizing local capital for local businesses, projects, and people, in relatively easy and inexpensive ways. …

Read more27 New Year Resolutions for Community Renewal (Part I)

The Rural Renaissance

Main Street store fronts along 4-lane street on a clear day with no cars visible

If you believe the portrait of rural America depicted in the Netflix film Hillbilly Elegy, you might conclude that its residents are hopelessly impoverished, addicted, and depressed. That’s also the view of Eduardo Porter in “The Hard Truth of Trying to ‘Save’ Rural America,”  whose much-discussed piece in the New York Times argues that the …

Read moreThe Rural Renaissance

Stop Cluster-f**king Communities

Please, no! Not another economic development study on how to expand the local clusters!  Haven’t we learned anything about the fragility of global dependencies from this pandemic? Last week, I spent several hours reading two recent economic-development studies done for Ulster County, New York. One was entitled “Food and Agriculture Cluster Development.”  It was a …

Read moreStop Cluster-f**king Communities

The Case Against Dumb Localization

Congratulations, fellow localizers!  Our arguments are winning!  Why else would the globalization elite be going out of their way to attack us? The lead editorial of the November 7th issue of the Economist skeptically asks, “Why Is the Idea of Import Substitution Being Revived?”  Import substitution, of course, is a technical term for localization, where …

Read moreThe Case Against Dumb Localization

Last Week’s Big News

No, not the election.  But a revolutionary change in securities law. Last week, in a 3-2 decision, the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) tweaked a bunch of regulations concerning investment crowdfunding.  The headliner change increased the maximum amount a company can raise in a year from $1 million to $5 million, which means that many …

Read moreLast Week’s Big News