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

Charges laid after woman’s dog dragged by her stolen vehicle

Dog dragged behind freshly stolen vehicle as it fled downtown Windermere

Motorcyclist killed in collision north of Canal Flats

A 45 year old man from the East Kootenays, died at the scene.

Business can rise this fall in the Columbia Valley

Post-secondary students and snowbirds may bolster fall, our traditional shoulder season.

Healing the big river

Photographer documents the Columbia mile by mile while chasing salmon dreams

Youth invited to virtual economic development summit for training

First Nation, Métis, Inuit and non-Indigenous applicants urged to apply for youth summit

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Most Read