EDFC's Social Impact Local Investing


      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.  

     People at the presentation were very excited about this new way to invest in our local economy. We also heard from Wowser about their plans to begin a for-profit “Wowser Wagons of Willits” enterprise, building and selling portable micro-housing. This, along with such enterprises as a small-scale meat packing plant, wool-processing facility, and bio-char production, could all be considered candidates for DPO funding.       For more information, go to www.edfc.org or contact John Kuhry at 467-5953. WELL (Willits Economic Localization), which sponsored the Mar. 22 event, will continue to promote local economic opportunities, including donations to its Pay It Forward (PIF) micro-lending fund. For more info on WELL and PIF, contact Madge at 459-1493 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..