Since start-up funding and growth financing for small- and medium-sized businesses has been in such short supply these past couple years, I thought posting about this / Fortune Small Business article on finding novel local investment would be a welcome change.

The article, originally published earlier in September, is about owners of several types of small businesses which opened, recovered, or expanded during the current economic crunch because local patrons were willing to invest in their favorite local businesses. Several types of money raising programs are discussed, including VIP cards/treatment for shareholders, $600 store and restaurant certificates sold for $500 (20% is a pretty good ROI), as well as “shares”.

Businesses showcased include restaurants, bookstores, pub/bar, and a fair-trade retail gift store. The focus of these financing efforts is on encouraging customers to become patrons or shareholders. And shareholders are a loyal customer base. Local shareholders feel vested in the company and want you to succeed.

Look to your customer base and your community. Including them as participants in your business and fostering a buy-local awareness could bring you that shot-in-the-arm financial boost to success.

Read the entire Love a local business? Buy a share article.

Steve Lange
Palo Alto Software