Community Wealth Building: How the Local Investment Network (LIN) model is transforming the Methow Valley
Primary author: Anthony Gromko
Co-author(s): Trevor Lane; Christina Sanders
Primary college: Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences — Extension
A Local Investment Network (LIN) is an innovative, community-led peer-to-peer investment network that connects local investors who have capital with local business owners who need capital. It brings residents together around a common goal: to build wealth in their community by keeping local capital rooted in their local economy.
The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) partnered with Washington State University (WSU) Extension on a project to implement Local Investment Networks around Washington State. The results of the project have shown that one Local Investment Network in particular, the Methow Investment Network, has had significant immediate success. In its first couple of years it has received over 100 inquires from local businesses, accepted 13 formal applications for funding, added 47 local investors to its network, funded nine businesses for a total of $1,500,000 and created 32 new jobs. The unique characteristics of the Methow Valley draw in urban audiences for relocation, tourism, or second homes. This dynamic urban-rural interdependence has set the stage for its Local Investment Network to thrive.