Vital Communities is a nonprofit organization that cultivates the civic, environmental, and economic vitality of the Upper Valley.
By Michael H. Shuman
Local businesses are the key to community prosperity. In normal times, community initiatives that support and stimulate these businesses are the essence of successful economic development. In the COVID-19 era, when literally millions of local businesses are in danger of bankruptcy, such initiatives are essential for rapid community recovery. This paper summarizes the case for these initiatives and suggests some of the forms they are now taking. Perhaps their biggest virtue is that they facilitate a culture of local purchasing and local investing that can significantly boost a COVID-challenged economy.