When an economic engine left its New Hampshire region, the Monadnock small business community decided to create an economic engine of its own. The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock developed an innovative way to bring new investment to the community and its small businesses through a crowdfunding platform.
In 2017, the Monadnock Food Co-op and small business leaders launched TLC Monadnock to provide economic support for entrepreneurs in rural communities. The project served to fill a devastating void in the region. When the nearby Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant closed, the region lost 176 high-paying jobs and $30 million in annual economic activity. Instead of turning to outside companies for new investment, the creators of TLC Monadnock sought to generate investment for local businesses that could offset the loss.
TLC Monadnock connects small businesses and entrepreneurs with crowdfunded capital. The organization provides a platform where small businesses and community groups can set up a fundraising campaign. The campaign includes a fundraising goal and a deadline. Then, community members can go online to donate to the campaign through TLC Monadnock’s platform. The platform works similarly to popular crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, but its focus is more meaningful. TLC Monadnock keeps the focus local by supporting campaigns that relate to a local community group or business.
In just over two years, TLC Monadnock has raised more than $100,000 from 800 supporters for local campaigns. For some campaigns, TLC Monadnock has started to match community contributions. Specifically, TLC Monadnock focuses on projects that promote sustainability, affordable housing and living wages.
By crowdfunding for the community, TLC Monadnock presents local investment as a viable alternative to outside companies and corporations. The grassroots effort empowers local entrepreneurs, farmers and business owners to lift up the community and the local economy. As they grow, these businesses and community leaders can reinvest what they’ve earned and strengthen the entire region.
For more information about TLC Monadnock, visit www.monadnocklocal.org.