GROWING OUR LOCAL ECONOMY
On Mar. 22nd, 2015, John Kuhry, Executive Director of EDFC, spoke in Willits about a ground-breaking new opportunity to invest in “Main Street” not “Wall Street.” EDFC (Economic Development & Financing Corp) has just received approval for a Direct Public Offering (DPO) that allows local investors to target a portion of their dollars to building our local economy.
Kuhry calls this “Local Social Impact Investing.” He said it was appropriate to have the first “roll-out” of this program in Willits, since Willits has taken the lead on so many progressive ideas for sustainability and localization.
EDFC’s mission is “Connecting money and ideas with entrepreneurs to create sustainable prosperity in Lake and Mendocino Counties.” Kuhry noted that entrepreneurs in our community are challenged with rugged terrain, low population density, and lack of broadband infrastructure. They often cannot qualify for commercial bank loans and they need “patient capital” – some flexibility and help getting started.
EDFC already has extensive experience and a good track record incubating, assisting and serving as a lender of last resort to finance new enterprises. EDFC will thoroughly vet all loans from the new fund for financial viability as well as social impact: good for the planet, people (jobs), and profit.
This DPO for the first time allows investors (including non-accredited, non-millionaire folks) to participate. EDFC is seeking to raise $250,000 to $1,000,000 for the initial fund. A minimum investment is $1,000, but anyone in California can invest up to $2,500, and qualified (accredited) investors can invest more. Expected return is 2% over 6 years.