The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) recently changed their Shop Indie Local program to the name Choose Indie Local. While the name change seems subtle, this shift moves us closer to our vision: Community members at all levels participate as investors, creators, and Indie Local champions — inspired by independent businesses’ impact on community health and wealth.
When we Choose Indie Local, we do so much more than just shop – we bank, invest, create, and donate to boost the ripple effect of economic and community benefits we receive when we support our local economy. Together, we build strong local, equitable, and sustainable economies.
This April, celebrate Move Your Money Month with AMIBA and The Local Crowd Monadnock. What’s Move Your Money Month? It’s a time to look at where you deposit and invest your dollars and ask, can you move your money closer to home -- by banking with a community bank or credit union and investing in locally owned businesses in our region?
“Thank you, Silicon Valley Bank, for going belly up just as we at AMIBA prepared for Move Your Money Month in April,” said Michael Shuman, local economist and AMIBA board member. “Seriously, we worried that this slogan, popularized during the 2008 financial meltdown by Occupy Wall Street, might have lost its relevance. But here we are, once again, reminded that the global financial system is too complex, too opaque, and too risky. The solution—as we learned fifteen years ago—is to embrace a localized financial system that is more simple, transparent, and safe.”
When you bank locally at a community bank or credit union in our region, more of your dollars recirculate throughout our local economy -- building more local jobs and prosperity.
Traditional banks, publicly traded and owned by stockholders, exist to provide a return on investment to its owners. Community banks, on the other hand, are privately owned and not publicly traded. While credit unions are cooperatives, meaning the members own it -- the people who use its services and live or work locally.
“Savings Bank of Walpole is a mutual bank [a type of community bank],” shared President Mark Bodin. “Which means we are free of the short-term earnings demands of shareholders, venture capitalists, and other groups of owners. We are owned by our depositors and our community -- and our earnings stay right here with our bank and our community.”
Move Your Money closer to home and closer to your heart by choosing a bank more in line with your values. Who do you bank with now? Search for them at mightydeposits.com and find out what your bank does with your money. Discover how many dollars your bank invests in your community. Want to Move Your Money closer to home?
In addition to moving your money to a community bank or credit union, we encourage you to invest in locally owned businesses. Why? The Monadnock Region Indie Impact Study found that businesses rooted in our region recirculate up to four times more money in our local economy compared to national chain stores. If we invested more capital in locally owned businesses, we’d see a return on investment that included more community health and wealth.
“U.S. households and nonprofits held just over $18 trillion in banks in the form of deposits, checking accounts, savings accounts, and money market funds in 2022,” said Shuman. “But it’s nothing compared to the other securities we hold. Americans now have $71 trillion in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance funds—nearly all of it invested in global corporations. If you and your neighbors could shift even a small amount of that capital from Wall Street to Main Street, your local economy could flourish.”
Ready to learn more? Sign up for The Main Street Journal, published by Michael Shuman, highlighting local investing news and events. Also, we’ll share local investing opportunities on our website throughout Move Your Money Month.
We’ll also celebrate Earth Day in April. “Invest in Our Planet,” this year’s theme, connects perfectly with Move Your Money Month. Find ways to share your time, talents, and treasures with our planet by investing in locally owned businesses, sustainable agriculture, alternative transportation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and equity.
Need some inspiration? Join us at Monadnock Earth Festival on Saturday, April 22 from 12 pm – 4 pm in downtown Keene. Learn about what others are doing and making to invest in our planet, enjoy performers, and participate in activities from Railroad Square Park to the Monadnock Food Co-op. Hope to see you there!
The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431