8 Ways Small Businesses Help Communities

American Express has proclaimed November 27th “Small Business Saturday”. Despite the cliche move of inventing random holidays to market one’s own brand, the article does highlight several reasons why the “going local” movement has been gaining steady momentum. According to a study by the 3/50 project, $68 out of every $100 spent at a local business will be recycled back into the community as opposed to only $43 when money is spent at national chains. This is due to the fact that local businesses tend to purchase from other local suppliers as well as increasing the overall tax base. In addition, local businesses tend to be more involved in supporting community organizations, creating a virtuous cycle. By making the decision to shop at these businesses, consumers are also indirectly supporting many of these organizations that benefit. Cofolio believes in the importance of creating sustainable local communities. By joining Cofolio, individuals like you are able to not only eat local and buy local, now you can invest local as well. Full article

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Fed Study: Half of all small business loans denied

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently commissioned a study which found that 59% of small businesses surveyed wanted access to credit, and out of those half were denied. Two years after the onset of the financial crisis, and banks are still reluctant to lend to small businesses (despite resilient demand for loans). Cofolio’s goal is to remove the bottleneck of stringent bank lending from the equation, allowing companies to go directly to the end consumer and local community for access to funding. Full Story

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Welcome to Cofolio!

Below is one of the stories that inspired the Cofolio concept. It is a great example of what we are working towards building on a web-enabled, global scale. Thanks for joining us on this journey, and please leave a comment! In January 2009, Vox Pop, a popular bookstore and coffee shop in Brooklyn, was drowning in $190,000 of debt, including overdue rent, unpaid city health department fines and expenses from a failed expansion. Desperate, CFO Debi Ryan offered shares in Vox Pop for $50 apiece, calling community meetings and buttonholing patrons as they came through the door. Each share entitles its holder to a small dividend once Vox Pop’s debt is paid. In 10 days Ryan raised $64,000 from newly minted shareholders — enough to keep the business afloat. With that capital came an unanticipated bonus: Vox Pop’s customers-turned-shareholders visited the shop more frequently than they had before, coming in to buy everything from their morning coffee to children’s birthday gifts. “With this many shareholders we have a ready-made customer base,” Ryan says. “Everyone wants to see Vox Pop succeed.” … Continue reading

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