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Unleash your LIONs

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The Local Investment Opportunity Network (LION) of Port Townsend, Washington, was formed in 2006 with a simple premise: local relationships are the basis for local investments. Interested investors and businesses began meeting every month informally in a potluck dinner, and gradually the membership and relationships evolved into commitments of dollars. Between 2008 and 2019, LION’s membership grew to 68, and they collectively invested $9.4 million in 80 local businesses and nonprofits. Put another way, a 10,000-person town was able to mobilize nearly $800,000 in new local investment per year for more than a decade. Imagine what a network of LIONs could accomplish in your own community? If Montgomery County, Maryland (where I live), with a million residents, were able to replicate this record, we would be mobilizing $80 million per year. The lead feature in this issue is a wonderful short video LION just released on its work – well worth a watch!

We also have an article and a podcast about how worker co-ops are giving once marginalized people the ability to transform their sweat equity into powerful new local businesses.

Finally, last issue we released our initial list of Main Street Champions. Their numbers are growing. Please join them in launching local investment movements in your own community. Let the LIONs loose!

– Michael Shuman, Publisher of The Main Street Journal

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