A conversation with the Rutts: Smart local investing, re-purposing, and revitalization

1484415_1052340968126190_7084642744377046456_nThe goal of local investing is to encourage new business growth, help your fellow neighbors succeed, and see your community thrive. For Celia and Jim Rutt, that is exactly what they set out to do when they began their local investing endeavors. Self described as a teacher and former entrepreneur respectively; the Rutts have invested multiple times in the community hoping “to see more activity economically for [the Augusta County area].”

Metal Craft Brewing Company was just what they were looking for. Slated to open in 2015, the new brewery will be located in the old Virginia Metalcrafters building in downtown Waynesboro. It will be the first brewery in Waynesboro but also adding to the slew of breweries and wineries dotting the area.

The Rutts knew about the Staunton Creative Community Fund programs and heard about an equity investment opportunity with Metal Craft Brewing Company. They liked the idea of “repurposing an underused resource” and were also intrigued in bringing a new food business to Waynesboro.

While the brewery is not yet open, the Rutts are satisfied with their investment thus far. They say there have been little to no problems other than the back and forth of contracts and dealing with investor language. The owners of Metal Craft Brewing have been good with giving updates to the Rutts and keeping them in the loop, which is important with local investments.

Because of their success with past investments and commitment to building a better community, the Rutts say they would invest again in a local business if they saw a good plan and were interested in their mission. They advise anyone who is interested in local investing to really do their homework. Know the business, know the plan. It is imperative to understand the risks and be proactive in keeping updated with how the business is operating. Jim wisely advises never to invest more than you can afford to lose.

Hopefully others will soon follow in the Rutts’ footsteps and invest in their beloved community. This area has a lot to offer and everyone can do his or her part to bring more businesses launch and grow.

For more information on SCCF’s Invest Local initiative, contact courtney@stauntonfund.com. Take a minute to explore the Invest Local Toolkit and other resources here on Invest-Local.org

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