Amy Cortese

 

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December 12, 2008


8TH ANNUAL YEAR IN IDEAS

Locavestors

by AMY CORTESE


Perhaps you’ve heard of locavores: people who eat only foods that have been produced within a 100-mile radius. Now some people — call them locavestors — are investing in much the same way. The idea is that, by investing in local businesses, rather than, say, a faceless conglomerate, investors can earn profits while supporting their communities. To help match mostly local investors with capital-hungry local businesses, regional stock exchanges are starting to spring up around the globe.


Consider InvestBX, which was formed to serve businesses looking to raise relatively small sums in England’s West Midlands region. In February, InvestBX’s first listed company, Teamworks Karting, which runs an indoor go-kart center in Birmingham, raised more than $735,000 to open a new track in nearby Reading. In November, Key Technologies, a high-tech firm with 232 employees and annual sales of some $26 million, floated shares worth nearly $3 million. To list on InvestBX, a company must be based in the United Kingdom and have a significant part of its operations in the West Midlands. Companies can raise about $3 million from “local and U.K.-wide investors.”


Local exchanges address a financing gap for smaller companies, which may not be able to attract venture capital and for whom the major exchanges may be out of reach. “Small businesses need funding options more than ever in today’s recessionary climate,” says Trexler Proffitt, a professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., who recently completed a feasibility study for a seven-county Lancaster exchange. (His conclusion: affirmative.)


In a way, we’re coming full circle. Until the 1950s, when they began to consolidate, there were thriving regional exchanges all across the country. “Globalization has been advantageous, but we’re starting to see the sacrifices we’ve made,” Proffitt says. “People are interested in figuring out how to connect to their local communities again.”

 

                BUSINESS


New York Times Magazine

> Locavestors -  2008 Year in Ideas

> Wine From China, 2008 Year in Ideas


New York Times

> The Crowd Is Anxious

> Buying Underwear, Along With the Whole Store

> Pennies From Many  -   OP-ED

> Wiggling Their Toes at the Shoe Giants

> Italian Makers of Prosecco Seek Recognition

> In Search of Better (and Greener) Building Blocks

> Fractional Ownership Heads to Europe

> Scraping the Sky, and Then Some

> Friend of Nature? Let’s See Those Shoes

> At Sea With A Book to Read, and the Author of It, Too

> Wearing Eco-Politics on Your Sleeve

> DuPont, Now in the Frying Pan

> As the Earth Warms, Will Companies  Pay?

> Can Energy Ventures Pick Up Where Tech Left Off?

> The New Accountability: Tracking the Social Costs

> Private Sector; An Antiwar Chief (and Proud of It)

> Can Entrepreneurs and Environ-mentalists Mix?

> Italian Makers of Prosecco Seek Recognition

> Champagne Beyond the Big Names

> It’s All About Beer, and Independence

> This Glass Is for the Cabernet, That One the Pinot Noir

> Mother of the Bride? Nice Dress

> Outlet Shopping, the European Way

> Savoring Domestic Caviar, Leaving the Guilt on Ice


Daily Finance

> The Real Wall Street: Where Financial Metaphor Meets Architectural Reality


Mother Jones

> The Carpet Cleaner: How a Captain of Industry came to See Himself as a

“Plunderer of the Earth and a Thief,” and How He Changed Course


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> Table for One: Hong Kong

> Vino Americano

> Fruited Plains

> Seconds, Please?

> Caribbean Dreams


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> An Italy Less Traveled

> Where Serious Foodies See What’s Cooking

> Move Over, Beluga

> Underground Treasure


Leite’s Culinaria

> Hog Heaven: Lardo di Colonnata


The American

> Our Very Best Restaurants (According to the French, that is.)


The Daily Beast

> The Vodka Bubble Burst

> Designer Champagne


New York Daily News

> Vintage Greece


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> An Island of Venetian Culture Opens

> Dining Like Alexander the Great

> Can Champagne  and Hot Dogs be  a Perfect Match?


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> Raising Dough

> In the Kitchen with... Joseph Stiglitz

> In the Kitchen with... George Steel, director of the City Opera


Edible Brooklyn

> Entrepreneurial Incubators