Tools, templates, and tips for getting started with local investing — We’re compiling them all here!

Excited about local investing but not quite sure where to start?  We’re developing and sharing tools to help individuals take direct and manage their local investments.   Here’s what we’ve created so far, what’s in the works, and places for you to request the resources you need.

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Toolkit for Investing LocallyA collection of stories about local investing projects around the country, this report draws on resources from communities that have mastered the art of keeping dollars local. Stories range from micro-crowdsourced start-ups to direct public offerings, with links in each section to the tools used by the communities that developed these “go local” financing strategies.  Read it here for our best “getting started” introduction to local investing.

Types of Investments:  At its simplest, an investment in a small business is an exchange of resources: entrepreneurs need funds (and sometimes advice, support, or other non-monetary items) to start their businesses. In exchange, they offer a return on those resources (interest, profit, or repayment) to their investors in the future.

As simple as its sounds, there are as many ways to structure investment relationships as there are entrepreneurs and investors. Choosing one that’s right for your business may depend on many factors such as risk, potential for growth, personal needs of the entrepreneur, long-term exit strategies, and more. The example structures in this document introduce some common terms when considering what local investment strategy is best for you.

Investing with Self-Directed IRAs: Individual Retirement Accounts offer a way for many individuals to participate as local investors, regardless of their currently available cash on hand. This toolkit shows how local investors can use their retirement accounts to grow their communities, and tips and tools for getting started. Pair with the Stories from the Field (below).

Stories from the Field:  Stories about how some of our friends and neighbors are already using Self Directed IRAs to transform our local area!

Sample Promissory NoteReady to make a local investment, but want to review some sample loan documents first? Our sample promissory notes are based on Slow Money local investment initiatives in North Carolina and Maine, as well as activities here in the Shenandoah Valley.  You can peruse them here.

Invest Local Newsletter:  Want to stay in touch as we develop more tools and share stories from our own local investment initiatives? You can browse the past issues here or sign up below!

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Under Development

All the tools and resources we have in development and are planning to post soon!

Virginia Securities Law Handbook:   Our Toolkit shares local investing stories from around the country, but this excellent under-development handbook from Cutting Edge Capital will detail how each of these strategies can be best adapted for Virginia securities law.

Virginia Direct Public Offerings Handbook:  Kickstarter made waves with crowd-sourcing that is based on pre-sales and donations. Direct Public Offerings take crowdsourcing up a notch, with the introduction of repayable loans, equity investments, and other investment strategies. This handbook is also under development by Cutting Edge Capital

Others — Based on YOUR input!   We’d like to develop tools and resources based on actual local need.  Get in touch and let us know what YOU would like to have to assist your local investment goals: or 540-213-0333

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All work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Invest Local is a project of the Staunton Creative Community Fund.