Category Archives: Main Street

Why Locally Owned Shops Deserve Our Business the Rest of the Year, Too

Americans are voting with their dollars. Sandwiched between the frenzy-inducing duo of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday has quietly become a force. Last year on Small Business Saturday, an estimated 112 million Americans spent a combined $15.4 billion at independent neighborhood retailers and restaurants, according to the American Express. The figures are […]

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Revitalizing Local Communities With Popup Shops

Local retail is a crucial to a community’s economic health and vitality. Local stores invest 68 cents for every dollar they receive back into their neighborhood. They also increase the perception that a block is less vulnerable to crime and, as result, boost safety, says Sarah Filley, the founder of Popuphood, a startup that incubates small […]

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Spurring Rural Entrepreneurship: 8 Innovative Business Models That Don’t Break The Bank

Starting a business in a small town or rural place isn’t easy. Financing can be a major roadblock. In some small towns, local banks may not support unproven business owners. In other towns, the formerly-local banks are now owned by out-of-town conglomerates with far-away loan approval committees. In still other rural places, there simply aren’t […]

A Report Examines How Rising Rents Are Hurting Local Businesses, and What to do About it

Affordable housing has been a focus of policymakers for years. But skyrocketing real estate is displacing more than families: it’s also forcing thousands of small independent businesses from their commercial spaces. A new report pulls back the curtains on the increasingly precarious reality of small businesses in America today, at least those in cities and […]

Seattle’s Third Place Books Has Figured Out How to Thrive in Amazon’s Shadow

“[Third Places] are the heart of a community’s social vitality, the grassroots of democracy, but sadly, they constitute a diminishing aspect of the American social landscape.” -Ray Oldenbur Sociologist Ray Oldenburg believed each of us needs three places: the home, the workplace or school, and beyond that, a third place – a public space on neutral […]

BDCs: An Untapped Tool for Local Investing?

Take a look at this Presidential signing statement: “This new law will facilitate the financing of small businesses by providing needed reform of the Federal securities laws. Small businesses are essential to economic growth and to innovation. No effort is more difficult for small businesses or more crucial to their success than raising investment capital. This […]

Social Impact Fashion Comes to Main Street

In 2012, Alok Appadurai and Jade Beall, co-owners of a yoga and arts studio in Tucson, Arizona, began designing and selling t-shirts and donating a portion of each sale to local nonprofits that feed the hungry. Little did they know where that simple idea would take them. As they learned more about the fashion industry, […]

Social Impact Fashion Comes to Main Street

In 2012, Alok Appadurai and Jade Beall, co-owners of a yoga and arts studio in Tucson, Arizona, began designing and selling t-shirts and donating a portion of each sale to local nonprofits that feed the hungry. Little did they know where that simple idea would take them. As they learned more about the fashion industry, […]

Crowdfunding Profile: Localstake Boosts Community Investment in the Midwest

Localstake is a securities-based crowdfunding platform with strong financial and Midwestern roots. Launched in late 2013 by a founding team of investment banking and wealth management professionals, the Indianapolis-based company has raised $4.5 million to date for 15 issuers, mostly small businesses based in the Midwest. We talk to cofounder Ryan Flynn about the company’s […]

A New Index Shows Main Street Entrepreneurship on the Rise

It was a good year for Main Street entrepreneurs. A new Kauffman Foundation index of small business entrepreneurial activity showed a large increase in 2015, marking the first big gains since the onset of the financial crisis six years ago. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has long been a champion of entrepreneurship, especially the kind […]