Welcome to The Main Street Journal
V. 1, No. 1
Welcome to the maiden voyage of The Main Street Journal, a hub for local investing news and events. This newsletter, published every other Thursday, will expand the audience, reach, and power of the emerging local investment movement in the United States. We believe that shifting even a small fraction of the tens of trillions Americans have invested in Wall Street, to local businesses, projects, and people on Main Street, can have a huge impact on community prosperity, environmental sustainability, and social justice.
Today, the local investment movement is spread among dozens of organizations competing for scarce resources and a limited audience. The Main Street Journal aims to unify, enlarge, and empower this movement. Every other Thursday, look for a round up of news clips, voices from our partners, and a list of key events providing you an easy-to-use entry point into the field. We will also share other content about local investments you might have missed and, in time, tools for finding “fellow travelers” in your own community.
We welcome feedback about everything, from our design to content. And we welcome suggestions of other groups to involve as partners, and other information to include. Please send your ideas to Sophia Leswing at email@example.com.
Thanks for joining us on the journey ahead!
– Michael Shuman, Publisher of The Main Street Journal
News of the Week
The East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (EB PREC) in California, plans to purchase the property of Esther’s Orbit Room, a Bay Area cultural landmark, to help revitalize West Oakland. To raise the money, EB PREC is using a direct public offering that allows community members, foundations and traditional financial institutions to invest $1000 per share.
The cooperative’s members imagine the Esther’s of the 21st Century as a BIPOC arts and residential space, where permanently below-market-rate units will be occupied by “resident owners” who have a say in what happens to their home. (Oaklandside).
The U.S. Treasury Department has announced plans to invest $1.25 billion in community development financial institutions (CDFIs), which primarily operate in four sectors: community development banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture capital funds for small businesses. CDFIs are private financial institutions that offer services to low-income, low-wealth, and other economically disenfranchised people.
According to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, “for every dollar injected into a CDFI, it catalyzes eight more dollars in private-sector investment, meaning that today's announcement might lead to an additional $10 billion in investment.” (Investopedia).
Several equity-focused organizations have introduced the Inclusive Capital Collective (ICC), an initiative to tackle systemic racism through equitable access to capital. The ICC supports individuals and organizations working to develop wealth in their local communities through debt, equity, and real estate instruments.
It focuses here first, the org said, because real estate is the largest source of asset-based wealth and opportunity for American families, but Black and other communities of color are systematically marginalized in renting, owning and financing real estate. Consider the legacy of redlining. (Technical.ly).
Voices From Our Partners
New to local investing or wondering why community investments aren’t more popular? Read “Why Investing Locally Feels Like Moving Mountains” by the CEO of Revalue Investing, Angela Barbash.
The National Coalition for Community Capital (NC3) is spearheading the Community Investment Fund (CIF) movement. Read more about their recent work to bring CIF stakeholders together here.
In his article, “Unrestricted Funding Means Power”, CEO of Common Future Rodney Foxworth discusses the immense impact that unconstrained funding has on nonprofit organizations.
Friday, July 30, 12:30-2pm PST – The Next Egg is hosting a panel on the past, present, and future of the JOBS Act. They’ll explore topics like the JOBS Act's relevancy to the mass “egg-sodus” of $32 trillion retirement dollars out of Wall Street, if and how the JOBS Act supports intergenerational wealth-building, its impact on racial, gender, and class equity, and more. Register in advance for the webinar here.
Watch a recording of the webinar: “Invest in Black Economic Liberation” presented by Natural Investments LLC to learn about how investing in relevant opportunities can help reduce the racial wealth gap.
Read about one New Hampshire farmer’s journey to becoming a local investor, thanks to a “Local Investment 101 Class”. If you’re interested in having one of these classes in your region, please email Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.