Similar to how you can support your local living economy by buying local, Community Capital offers a means to strengthen your community by investing local. Moving deposits from large banks to local banks is a simple yet powerful way to engage in local investment – small banks lend a much larger percentage of their assets to small, locally-based businesses than do large banks; recent FDIC estimates show that 56% of the assets of small banks are invested in small businesses compared to 18% of assets for large banks. The Move Your Money campaign, the New Rules Project’s Community Banking Initiative, and Bank Local campaigns in places such as Portland, OR, Sonoma County, and Cambridge, MA are examples of initiatives designed to move money to local banks. Groups across the country are also exploring ways to enable citizens to directly invest in local businesses. LION, the No Small Potatoes Investment Club, and Slow Money Chapters are examples of initiatives that aim to facilitate direct local investment.


It’s better for our Community – Local, independent businesses are the backbone of communities. Small businesses promote economic and cultural vitality and encourage citizen engagement. A growing body of evidence also demonstrates that decentralized, local-based economies have a smaller impact on the environment than more centralized economies based on large-scale enterprise. The Great Recession has also led many of us to re-evaluate the wisdom of Wall Street dominated capital markets. Using other people’s money Wall Street prioritized speculation over productive investment; meanwhile, Main St. remains in decline and an excessive centralization of capital distorts our democracy. Community Capital is an alternative, decentralized system of saving and investing that aims to better align our community and economy. Similar to Buy Local Campaigns, Community Capital is a tool to support local independent businesses and foster vibrant, sustainable communities. Community Capital also offers the promise of more purposeful investing, providing greater transparency and autonomy, and more tangible returns on your money.


Seacoast Community Capital (SCC) is currently exploring the feasibility of two projects: Shift Your Banking – a campaign to encourage individuals, businesses and local institutions to move deposits to local banks. Invest Local – a program to facilitate direct local investment by convening local entrepreneurs and investors and pooling capital for investment. We are exploring other creative solutions as well; your input is always welcome.


SCC is an all-volunteer initiative run by Seacoast Local. Volunteers have backgrounds in finance, regulatory and public policy analysis, nonprofit management, journalism, and community activism and have volunteered for like-minded organizations such as Slow Money, BALLE, and The Carrot Project. Please contact us to learn more about the initiative, to share ideas, and pitch in.