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

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

Liberals’ Kootenay-Columbia candidate stands by Trudeau despite scandal

Robin Goldsbury says the prime minister’s racist photo is a learning opportunity

Canal Flats pavilion gets a financial boost

Trust provides over $1.9 million for 12 community projects

Windermere carnival this Sunday

Fundraiser event features bouncy castles, games, reptile room, laser tag, food and fun

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Canada continues to win at world indoor lacrosse championships in B.C.

Results of the action from day two of the 2019 World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor World Championship

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert

Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base

Most Read