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The prevalent economic development practice is ineffective, unaffordable and in need of a makeover.  In his book, The Local Economy Solution, Michael Shuman suggests an alternative where cities nurture a new generation of enterprises that help local businesses launch and grow.  These “pollinator businesses,” create jobs and the conditions for economic growth, and are doing so in self-financing ways.

Two years ago, CCEC partnered with like-minded organizations to present a conversation with Michael Shuman speaking to his book, “Local Dollars, Local Sense – How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street”See the blog   So, what's new? 

In his new book, he says, “A growing number of small, private businesses are facilitating local planning and placemaking, nurturing local entrepreneurs, helping local consumers buy local and local investors finance local business."  These functions are performed by “pollinators”.  They are locally-grounded, and succeed by building local support in pursuit of the shared goal of revitalizing the local economy.

Shuman feels that the traditional “economic development” model of chasing after large companies with huge taxpayer subsidy deals is the wrong way to revitalize a crippled or stagnant local economy.  He says, “economic development today is creating almost no new jobs.” 

There is another far more promising path.


At CCEC, your investments and funds give us the capacity to provide business loans to your neighbours who are creating “pollinator businesses”.  Refer friends and co-workers to CCEC.  Think of us when you are buying a home, renovating, going back to school or (fill in the blanks)!


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Euro's

As a credit union trying to serve our community and membership, we are beset with increasing regulatory pressures and expectations; all because some investment bankers in New York misbehaved (and some deranged fundamentalists made use of commercial banking services, another story altogether).  But are these 'regulatory' and monetary policy tactics having the desired impact? In short, no. 

In the minds of politicians, stimulus is the answer, but a large proportion of the resources being pushed out into the economy are not making any difference, the so called recovery is stalled.  The principle reason for this is that the key 'intermediaries' are stuck - large banks and public companies.  A culture of risk aversion is now present, rooted, first, in weak indicators and, second, a fear of another banking calamity.  

For a great overview check out this post at Pieria.  The upshot for credit unions is paradoxical; the new regulatory practices (largely fashioned for international banks) insist on 'reducing' lending risks at a time when local businesses and social entrepreneurs are eager to create jobs and resuscitate local economic activity.  In the end, the financial system is not working.    

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