Local businesses make up the fabric of any prosperous community, and all have seen a profound impact from the present and ongoing COVID-19-challenged economy.
In his recent publication, “The Case for Local Rewards (In the Post-COVID Era),” Michael H. Shuman writes, “Rewards that incentivize local purchasing and local investing are increasingly becoming the gateways for challenging economic behavior.”
We know that relationships are a foundation for resiliency and prosperity in the rural economy. As people connect to businesses and businesses connect to local initiatives, a mutual and collaborative support structure is built, creating a foundation to revive in the face of turmoil. Through the crowdfunding lens, as Shuman writes, pre-purchased rewards offer a tangible and mutually beneficial approach to locally lending a hand.
Imagine a local farmer in need of support after the pandemic’s mandated closures of their wholesale restaurant accounts. The business needs money to survive, just as the community needs access to fresh food.
The farmer can raise capital by pre-selling produce shares at a discounted rate, allowing their business to gain financial support, and the community will receive a monthly delivery of fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables. Both the customer and the business benefit, thus cultivating a richer relationship and progress toward a healing community at large in a troubling time.
Read more on the power of locally owned businesses in the rural economy in the full publication, “The Case for Local Rewards (In the Post-COVID Era)” from economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur Michael H. Shuman here.