Do good and make a profit

Launch of the Columbia Valley’s Community Investment co-op

Columbia Valley residents have a chance to get in on the ground-floor of a new investment cooperative launching in the East Kootenays.

Community Investment Co-ops (CIC) allow members to pool their money to support local ventures, while getting a return on their investments. Essentially, it is a way to save your money and help the local economy at the same time.

Eden Yesh, a leading advocate for investment co-ops and branch manager of the Invermere branch of Kootenay Employment Services, is spearheading the new co-op.

“You invest anyways and the options available to us right now allow us to invest in national or international mutual funds or corporations in stocks. But we can’t invest into local businesses in the Columbia Valley or Invermere easily,” Mr. Yesh says. “It’s really about bringing a portion of our portfolios into the places we live and work and play.”

Mr. Yesh reports that in RSPs alone, the East Kootenays are “leaking” $90 million per year.

“Unlike other investments where you’re completely disconnected to any of the positive or negative returns, (in a CIC) you’re very connected to your local investment, to become ambassadors, to create relationship with entrepreneurs,” says Mr. Yesh.

Businesses within the region can apply for financing, and approved applicants receive business development guidance, collaborative financing and ongoing support.

Mr. Yesh toured the Kootenays, including stops in Radium and Invermere, to promote two new co-ops for the East and West Kootenays. The Radium and Invermere sessions drew out more than 40 people to listen and learn. The presentations netted more than enough founding members to create a viable co-op.

“We had a target minimum of 60 founding members across the East Kootenays, and another goal of 60 in the west. We’ve already crossed that threshold,” shares Mr. Yesh.

The East Kootenay CIC will have four sub-regions: the Columbia Valley and Golden, Revelstoke, Kimberley and Cranbrook, and the Elk Valley. Members can donate as little as $500 or up to $5,000.

The local investment co-ops are not a guaranteed fund like a term deposit. Members share in the risks and rewards of the business portfolio, Mr. Yesh explains.

“When businesses are repaying loans as anticipated, we expect a modest return similar to a GIC.”

The East and West Kootenays’ co-ops are coming on the heels of the successful Creston co-op, which launched in December 2016. In the first few months, they signed up 107 founding members and now have more than $350,000 pooled in the community’s Credit Union. An estimated 30 plus jobs have been created as a result of that financing, Mr. Yesh says, explaining the funds from the co-op were leveraged into other financing as well for Creston business ventures.

To become a founding member, sign up before December 14th. While there are no special bonuses for signing up early, you will get bragging rights that you were a founding member, and that incentive is priceless.

For more information, visit https://eastkootenaycolumbia.com.

Just Posted

Alone together during COVID-19

How local families are coping during COVID-19

All fitness centres, gyms and yoga studios ordered to close immediately

Many Columbia Valley fitness centres were already closed

Columbia Basin Trust offering $11.7 million to help with COVID-19

Columbia Basin Trust is announcing $11.7 million in new funding to provide immediate support.

Tire shop encourages social distancing

Local OK Tire calls for extra caution

Hospital’s Chief of Staff asks for vigilance

Doctor stresses vigilance and compliance to guidelines to mitigate future surge in COVID-19 cases

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

Most Read