Community ownership

Community-Managed assets or organizations are those that are owned and controlled through some representative mechanisms that allow a community to influence their operation or use and to enjoy the benefits arising.

Benefits of ownership in infrastructure projects such as dams and irrigation are claimed to include increased responsiveness to needs of that community and the community valuing the projects more highly.

Community land buyoutsEdit

Communities can sometimes buy the land they live on and manage them through locally-run trusts. There are many examples of this in Scotland including Eigg, Assynt and Ulva.

Community owned enterprisesEdit

In Saranac Lake, New York, after the local Ames Department Store closed due to bankruptcy and residents were forced to travel 50 miles to Plattsburgh for staples, the town was approached by Walmart which offered to build a 250,000 square foot supercenter, but it was felt by the community that Walmart would negatively impact local business and increase traffic. As an alternative a community-owned store was organized and shares were sold to community residents. $500,000 was raised by about 600 residents who made an average investment of $800. goal last spring. The store, Saranac Lake Community Store, opened in October 29, 2011 in remodeled facilities in downtown Saranac Lake. Powell, Wyoming, also has a community store established in 2002 under similar circumstances. In both instances the securities were intrastate offerings registered under less onerous state securities laws rather than federal law.[1] Funds were raised in a similar way for an independent bookstore in Brooklyn, a coffeehouse in Oakland, and restaurants in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York[2] and Hardwick, Vermont. In Hardwick two enterprises were created, one which operates a restaurant which prepares meals using locally grown food, another which bought and equipped the location as a restaurant.[3]

The New Rules Project of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance a nonprofit corporation has worked to make financing of community owned business less onerous. H.R.2930, the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act [1] Archived 2012-12-15 at the Wayback Machine, would relax securities law requirements making it easier for a community to raise money for community owned enterprises.[4]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Cortese, Amy (November 12, 2011). "A Town Creates Its Own Department Store". The New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2011. Community ownership seems to resonate in these days of protest.
  2. ^ "Love a local business? Buy a share: Sometimes it takes a village to fund a company." by Helaine Olen on CNN Money, September 10, 2009
  3. ^ Mitchell, Stacy (August 24, 2010). "Grassroots Financing is Underwriting a New Crop of Neighborhood Businesses". Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Stacy (November 8, 2011). "Crowdfunding Bill Would Allow People to Invest in Local Businesses". Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Archived from the original on November 10, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2011.

External links and further readingEdit