The Community Capital program encourages the community to direct more money locally through deposits and investments that support our local, living economy. We connect leaders, spread solutions, and drive investment through our Community Capital Network, Local Entrepreneur Showcases, and a Bank Local Campaign. More information about these campaigns and events follows below.
This 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 sign up for our newsletter or contact us to learn more about the initiative, to share ideas, and pitch in.
Shifting your money to a local bank means putting it to work growing your local economy. Local banks use local knowledge to turn deposits into loans and other productive investments. Small businesses rely on community banks to finance growth. That’s true across the country. In fact, although small and mid-sized banks control only 22 percent of all bank assets, they account for 54 percent of small business lending.
There are often other rewards for banking locally, too. Studies show that most locally owned banks offer the same array of services as big banks, from online bill paying to debit cards, at a much lower cost than bigger banks.
Our Community Capital Network enables people seeking capital to reach out to community members who have an interest in local investing and with whom a pre-existing relationship exists. As such, the Network provides a process to effectuate compliant local investment more efficiently.
Why do we need a membership network for this? Unbeknownst to most business people and investors—you cannot raise capital from the general public unless you register your business with the SEC. In many jurisdictions registration with a state securities agency is also required. For small businesses the cost of registration is prohibitive. While entrepreneurs are allowed to raise money from people they know—family and friends and those with whom you have a “pre-existing” relationship—soliciting the public constitutes a “general solicitation” which triggers the need to register your investment offering. Often a business person looking to raise capital will reach out to people in the community and not realize that he or she is making a general solicitation. Soliciting investment funds by advertising in a paper or online, posting a notice in a shop window or community bulletin board, or speaking at a public event are all examples that constitute a general solicitation.
A model to LIONize
Seacoast Local’s Community Capital Network is modeled after LION (the Local Investment Opportunities Network) based in Port Townsend, WA. https://l2020.org/
How it works
To become a member of the Network you must be sponsored by an existing member you know. The network provides a membership application to identify the applicant and sponsor. Capital seekers fill out a submission form that describes their investment opportunity. Network members are listed on the submission form; the capital seeker indicates which members he or she knows and would like their submission form to be sent to. The submission form is submitted to the network facilitator, who ensures that it is filled out correctly and then forwards the form to those members selected by the capital seeker. It is then up to selected members to independently contact the capital seeker to learn more about the investment opportunity. Investment opportunities are not vetted by the network. Who the Capital Seeker selects and whether the contact falls within or outside the scope of general solicitation rules is the responsibility of the capital seeker. If selected for membership, the applicant is provided a membership agreement for signature. Members may invest individually or together, as desired, but are never required to commit to or make an investment as part of membership. There are no costs associated with membership or investment opportunity submissions. The network is an all-volunteer effort run by the members. Members are asked to help cover minimal, incidental costs for meetings, paper, printing, copying etc. Members are expected to meet in-person at least once per quarter.
Seacoast Local hosted its Fall 2013 Entrepreneur's Showcase on Thursday, Oct. 24, at White Heron Tea Cafe. The showcase is a gathering of entrepreneurs, investors and community members passionate about building a local economy based on values of community well-being and sustainability. The event features "lightning" presentations by local entrepreneurs followed by Q&A. Events are casual with food and drink available.
Fall 2013 Entrepreneur's Showcase presenters included:
- UNH Net Impact – (topical presentation) - Student initiative to discern the potential for microfinance in the Seacoast area.
- Juice Burger – New Hampshire's first "farm-to-sidewalk" food truck.
- From My Head To-Ma-Toes - Growers of heirloom tomatoes for sale to wholesale markets and local restaurants
- Economic Information Exchange – a new venture to provide product “Impact Ratings” on the economy on both the state and national level
- Islinglass River Hop Exchange – Processor of locally grown Hops for supply to area Micro-Breweries
- Hopestill Garage – Chef Evan Mallet of Black Trumpet discusses plans for his new restaurant in Newmarket and financing utilizing “edible” shares
*The showcase is not an offer to sell securities or a solicitation of an offer to buy securities.
Here's what our Spring 2013 Showcase looked like!