Kramer, Frazier speak on local investing
Natural Investments’ Michael Kramer and James Frazier were the featured speakers at a recent event co-sponsored by several Maui organizations, on the topic of “Green Business and Investing Locally.” The wide-ranging presentation received detailed coverage in the Maui Weekly, and we encourage you to check out the full article here.
Michael stressed the importance of a new initiative that would allow small businesses to use crowd-sourcing projects such as Kickstarter to accept investments from individuals up to $10,000; currently, there are some daunting regulatory hurdles, designed to protect small investors, that make it difficult for small businesses to raise money locally without going through complex SEC oversight. HR 2930, the “Crowd Funding Bill,” is before congress now with bipartisan support.
James shared his experiences as a part of the Local Investing Opportunities Network, a membership-based network that has created another pathway to legally invest in small local businesses. (see more in these two previous NI Blog posts). Frazier noted that local investing used to be the norm, with new business owners receiving startup funds from friends and neighbors or the local bank. In addition, many cities had their own local stock exchanges, including Honolulu. However, with the growth of Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, investing became national; local exchanges could not compete and ultimately closed. LION is a step toward changing that; in Port Townsend, Washington, where the initial LION network emerged, over $2.7 million has been invested in 37 small businesses.
For more, see the Maui Weekly article.
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