When residents who care about their communities invest in local businesses, good things happen. Small businesses grow. Money goes back directly into the local economy. And community members see a tangible connection to their investment.

AWC CQC, partnering with Washington State University’s Extension Office, is bringing local networks (LIN) to cities and towns across the state. We’ve gone past the pilot stage – working in several small communities and with Thurston County’s EDC – and are launching new networks in 2017. Take a look at the newly formed Methow Investment Network or Thurston EDC THINK.

Here’s how it works. WSU Extension and AWC CQC work directly with interested communities, typically working with a community champion, a group or organization that believes in the value of local investing. Both potential investors and interested businesses are trained in the LIN process. People learn how loans are made, the rules they need to follow and how the LIN relationship operates. After the training, that’s when the cool stuff begins: people making loans with folks they know and local businesses getting the boost they need to add to a more vibrant economy.