Monday, April 14, 2014
Julie Norris invited me to attend a free talk with Carol Hewitt, a Slow Money inspired author of "Financing Our Foodshed", and Lyle Estill, author of similar books, such as "Small is Possible". The discussion will focus on all things local: from food to fuel to finance to friendship.The talk and discussion were held at East End Market (3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL) on February 24th.
The primary point of the discussion was that we don't need large banks to finance small businesses in our community. Individuals who have a little money saved can help their neighbors with small loans with very low interest rates. When the money is loaned directly to someone you know, it is more likely to be paid back since not doing so would be embarrassing. Carol began loaning money in her community with increasing frequency and there have only been a few defaults. Such grass roots financing has resulted in a stronger sense of community.
Carol is a pioneer in the Slow Money Movement. The American financial system is built on the idea of fast money. Computers trade execute trades at exponentially fast speeds in order to bring in fast returns. These quick trades aren't intended to help the investor or the business. Instead they skim money from both with no value added. Slow money implies lending money locally so that the community you live in can thrive and grow. Since Carol has been practicing this for years, it seems that removing big banks from the financing equation is a viable option for people with vision and a personal interest in seeing their community grow.