Local Investment Networks
Investing locally in small businesses has been happening for centuries but the process hasn’t always been easy. For several years, Local Investment Networks (LIN) have been growing in number and popularity. These networks support local businesses when they need start-up or growth capital, which is often a challenge for the smallest and most under-served businesses. Traditional financing is challenging for a new borrower who often has to resort to high interest credit cards and or other options.
Investing in main street businesses connects local investors of all levels with businesses and entrepreneurs right in their own community. It’s designed to create opportunities for local businesses, individuals, and local investors to network and develop informal relationships.
The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) and the Washington State University (WSU) came together several years ago to develop a field guide to help more communities launch Local Investment Networks to get funding into the hands of local businesses and grow rural and urban economies at the ground level.
In 2020, The Washington State Microenterprise Association (WSMA) began working with these state partners and LINs throughout WA to develop a Community of Practice on the first Thursday of the month to share ideas, best practices, discover opportunities, identify gaps and learn together. Interested in attending? Drop us a note at [email protected]
There are great resources available to learn more: