For the past three years, VCC has presented an educational forum the morning of our annual luncheon where community development, finance, and nonprofit leaders discuss current trends. The conversation is led by an invited guest and the 2012 event received exceptional reviews: Amy Cortese, award-winning journalist and editor, discussed the concepts presented in her recent work: Locavesting—The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It.
After writing for years about the finance world including the dot.com boom and bust and then turning her attention to the sustainable movement, Cortese was motivated to explore local investing after the financial crisis of 2008 “laid bare the failings of Wall Street.”
Her book advocates for place-based economic development or locavesting, where building local financial ecosystems can conceivably provide the essential ingredient for long-term economic recovery in America. She credits Woody Tasch, the founder of the Slow Money movement, for asking the provocative question: What would America look like if we directed 50 percent of our investments within 50 miles of where we live?
Cortese expands on this thought when she wonders. “Would we see more vibrant downtowns and Main Streets? Would we have the same unemployment? Might we even have a higher level of civil engagement or even civility?”
While she was in Richmond, Cortese appeared on Liz Humes’ Wordy Birds, an independent radio news show running every Friday from Noon to 12:30 p.m. on WRIR 97.3.
The interview offers a concise look at Cortese’s work where she discusses potential impact from the pending JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, which is currently undergoing SEC review before final implementation. She relates success stories on the power of local investing including one from her Brooklyn neighborhood. Cortese backs up her thesis with compelling statistics and sound justifications for a local economy backed by local investors.
You can hear the entire interview by clicking here.