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Public invited to community, economic development presentation

Using local investment funds as development strategy

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News from Lake County Community Development Executive Director, Billie Lee

RONAN — Lake County Community Development is presenting a public seminar on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Grey Leaf Gallery, 400 Main St. SW, at 6 p.m. on using locally derived investment funds as models for development in rural communities.

As public funds continue to diminish as a source for local development projects, communities are searching for more innovative ways to create funding streams for projects that have the potential to create a return on the investments being made. This presentation provides information on a locally-initiated investment fund model that has worked elsewhere by innovators who wanted to see change in their community. The intention of this presentation is to demonstrate what is possible when local leaders decide to become involved, financially, in how their communities grow and thrive. The question we are posing, as the primary economic development organization in Lake County, is “locally derived investment funds are working elsewhere to help communities, why not here?”

Our presenter is Leslie Watson, a founding member of the Northeast Investment Cooperative, who will present on the use of cooperative formation as a model for creating an investment fund. She will demonstrate how it was used among friends and neighbors in her community to make transformative investments to “collectively buy, rehab, and manage commercial and residential property in northeast Minneapolis.”

This presentation is sponsored by Lake County Community Development Corp. in collaboration with the Ronan downtown committee. For more information, please email:

Sponsored by: