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Dear Colleague,


As we approach the end of the year, all of us at The Democracy Collaborative would like to wish you a happy and safe holiday season. For our December www.Community-Wealth.org newsletter, we have a host of new developments, including:
  • Last week, The Democracy Collaborative and Community Catalyst hosted a webinar on the opportunities that the Affordable Care Act's new Community Health Needs Assessment requirements create for hospitals to promote community revitalization. The video recording of the webinar, which included a presentation by Democracy Collaborative Research Associate David Zuckerman, is available on our website in case you missed it.   
  • In Seattle, upset voters reacted to the state’s capitulation to Boeing, granting the company $8.7 billion in tax breaks, by electing a city councilmember who ran on a ticket strongly opposed to this “race to the bottom” economic development strategy. In a recent article, Governing magazine's Mark Funkhouser summarizes the key issues behind large corporate subsidies and offers a fundamentally different alternative — a community wealth building model that broadens ownership of capital, anchors jobs locally, and stops the leakage of dollars from communities. We highlight one such innovative wealth building strategy in another new infographic, which explains a new partnership between Mondragón Cooperatives and the United Steelworks Union to develop union co-ops in Cincinnati. 
 
As always, we have added new links, articles, reports, and other materials to the site. Look for this symbol *NEW* to find the most recent additions.
 
Ted Howard
Executive Director, The Democracy Collaborative

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In this Newsletter:



Featured From The Democracy Collaborative


Recommended Reads



Featured Websites


 

On our Blog:



Why Eds and Meds Matter for Community Economic Development


Boulder Residents Defeat Excel Again



Oberlin College Adopts Impact Investing Platform 












 

Featured from The Democracy Collaborative

Newly Launched Interactive Tool Maps Community Wealth Building Activities


The Democracy Collaborative releases an updated web-based tool that maps community wealth building projects by location. Highlighting community wealth building efforts across the United States, this interactive map allows users to search organizations and initiatives by city or sector, making it easier to find examples of best practices in community-based economic development. Read More»

Interview Reveals Expanded Opportunities for Worker Cooperatives


In an interview with The Democracy Collaborative, Melissa Hoover discusses opportunities to convert existing businesses into worker cooperatives. She shares insights from her roles as the Executive Director of the national membership organization for worker cooperatives, the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and founder of the Democracy at Work Institute, a nonprofit that provides technical assistance to worker cooperatives. Read More»
 

Recommended Reads


New Book Presents Community Foundations as Anchor Institutions

 

As they begin their second century of institutional giving, community foundations are responding to the new challenges of a shrinking public sector. A sampling of the growing body of innovative practices for community foundations has been collected in the book Here for Good: Community Foundations and the Challenges of the 21st Century. Edited by Terry Mazany, President and CEO for The Chicago Community Trust, and David Perry, professor of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, this anthology invites community foundation presidents and community development professionals across the country to discuss how foundations can better serve and engage communities. The second section of the book is dedicated to investigating how community foundations define and measure community impact and how they serve as anchor institutions. Read More»


 


Paper Outlines Strategies to Minimize Risk When Investing in Cooperatives


A recent report from RSF Social Finance analyzes investment opportunities in emerging producer-owned farms and customer-owned food retail that have traditionally lacked the collateral or financing needed to ease start-up. Interviewing established food cooperatives as well as financial organizations and service providers that work with cooperatives, this paper finds that investors should engage cooperatives with more risk-tolerant funds in the early stages of development and continue to build a relationship as the cooperative matures. Lenders can reduce the risk associated with financing new cooperatives by partnering with organizations that understand the initial phases of cooperative development. Read More»


Federal Reserve Paper Finds Local Entrepreneurship Builds Strong Local Economies

 

After many years of fruitless industrial recruitment and redundant tax breaks for corporations, communities are looking for new strategies to attract stable and responsible capital. In a recently released paper, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta explores the potential of locally owned businesses to contribute to economic growth and examines the relationship between local entrepreneurship and county economic performance.  Author Anil Rupasingha finds that employment provided by resident-owned businesses is positively associated with county income and employment growth and inversely correlated with change in poverty. Furthermore, this paper shows that smaller locally owned businesses contribute more to local economic performance than medium- and large-scale locally owned businesses. Read More»

 

New Report Argues that Public-Private Partnerships Weaken Small Business 

 

In recent years, many states have privatized the functions of their economic development agencies, creating public-private partnerships (PPP) with international consulting firms with the espoused goal that this would increase their ability to attract business and create jobs. In a new report, Good Jobs First reviews these partnerships in Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, and other states, finding that they hasten the consolidation of corporate power and reduce small businesses’ influence in local economies. Reporting repeated instances of excessive bonuses to executives, exaggerated claims of job creation, conflicts of interest, opacity in use of public funds, and abuse of executive power, the authors call for restructuring of state economic development agencies as an alternative to privatization. Read More»

Featured Websites



Local First Arizona

 

Local First Arizona is a statewide nonprofit organization working to grow and support locally owned businesses throughout Arizona. Through market development, case studies, and state-level advocacy, they educate consumers, stakeholders, business leaders, and policymakers about the economic, civic, and cultural benefits of strong local economies. Useful for local-economy advocates nationwide, their website provides economic studies on the benefits of buying local and the impact of shifting procurement locally. Find Out More»

 

A Visual Guide to Employee-Owned Businesses


This interactive website from the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) seeks to broaden understanding of employee-owned businesses using maps, infographics, and videos. Intended for both the existing employee-ownership community and the broader public interested in how employee ownership can build stronger companies and communities, this site presents technical information in an accessible way and connects visitors to employee-owned businesses. Find Out More»

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