Community-Supported Businesses on the Rise

Stacy Mitchell reports on the growing trend of micro-financing, where small business people turn to the local community to get the funding they need to open restaurants or small shops.

Mitchell talks to Jessica Stockton Bagnulo and Rebecca Fitting, who were struggling to get a loan to open an independent bookstore in Brooklyn when the financial crisis hit.

The partners "...hit on an idea: they turned to neighbors and future customers to help finance the business, raising $70,000 in small loans in a few months."

Mitchell writes, "Although no hard data exist, the number of businesses relying on their customers and neighbors for financing appears to be on the rise. Just as CSAs have played a key role in the rebirth of small-scale farms, so too may these new community-supported enterprise models help launch a new generation of independent grocers, bookstores, and other neighborhood businesses."

Thanks to Stacy Mitchell

Full Story: Beyond the Bank: How Local Businesses are Turning to Their Neighbors for Funding

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