The first time I asked my wife out was at a coffee shop on a corner street. It was a significant moment for us, and by default, the shop became a significant place. A year and a half later we would get married, and it all started in that coffee shop on the corner.

We all have stories and we all have a place we call home. Whether or not you realize it, your story is intertwined with not just where you’re from, but with where you are. And the peculiar paradox of time is wondering how it happened so fast, yet seems so long ago?

That coffee shop closed down a year later. Its memory is with me, but I can’t go back to that shop, sit in that same location, and reminisce.

I sometimes wonder what went wrong for that shop — was it the service, the product, the location? Was it avoidable? I personally wish I could have done something other than frequent it to help it stay open.

At Vicinity Capital, we talk about our investment platform and the possible returns (and risks) if you invest locally. But there’s something beyond the dollar sign we should consider: community. It’s not quantifiable or objective, but it’s the qualitative ethos that tugs at our heartstrings. And the good news is that local business is no longer off-limits to everyday investors.

“The unique value of crowdfunding is not money – it’s community.” – Ethan Mollick, The Wharton School

As an investor, you can invest in local businesses through regulation crowdfunding. As a local business owner, you can raise the capital you need for improvement or expansion by running a campaign and marshaling investors who will champion your vision.

There are many reasons to invest in the community, not all of which are qualitative. Take, for instance, these five reasons below:

  1. Early buy-in: Investors in Reg CF have grown 150%, 2 years in a row, raising over $339 million for more than 2,100 businesses*
  2. Pride: be proud of where you’re from and put your money where your heart is. Did you know investing locally generates 3x more economic activity at a local level?*
  3. Potential returns: you’re doing so much good by investing locally, we think it’s ok to keep some of that money for yourself… until of course, you see that next business you just HAVE to invest in. 
  4. No more FOMO: don’t be afraid of missing out on the next Facebook. Instead, buy-in on the next dozen awesome businesses in your neighborhood.
  5. Value-based investing: you have a certain way of looking at the world and you’re sticking to it. We help you find and support businesses that share your values. We think that’s more fun than backing companies you disagree with just to get a dividend payment.

We could talk about these all day but let’s park on value-based investing or, as our resident optimist might say, socially responsible investing or “SRI.” SRI isn’t a new concept but local investing could be considered its newest (and most interesting) category. SRI  explores how investors care what corporations do in regard to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. 

As of 2018, ESG investing was estimated at over $20 trillion in AUM–it’s catching a lot of attention. What does an upward trend like this mean? In short, it means you’re in good company. There are a growing number of investors who truly care where their money is going and what effect it’s having.

As investors realize their dollars hold power, they’re busting out of their normal restraints like an erupting volcano. Hopefully with less fiery lava but more kinetic energy and new formations. Now you can join the army of investors leveraging their investments to support the values and missions they want to energize. This is all thanks to legislation that was passed a few years ago that provides investors new alternatives to Wall Street. With Vicinity, these alternatives are beginning to appear in their backyards. 

Bottom line: Vicinity is empowering investors to make direct impacts on the communities they care about and helping owners raise the money they need to thrive as a business. And as they thrive, they can give back to their communities. 

Thinking of a business you love that should raise money on our portal? Tell us about them at [email protected]. Just want to learn more? Check out Vicinity Views or our FAQs. Only a human will do? Drop us a line [email protected] – we’d love to chat!