Hosts Amy Pearl and Simon Love speak with Amy Cortese (author, journalist, and founder of Locavesting), and Chris Miller (economic and downtown developer of Adrian, Michigan).

Chris discusses the inspiration provided by Locavesting and the impact that crowdfunding has had on the city of Adrian. The discussion moves to the shift from investing in Wall Street to investing in one’s community and the associated economic and community benefits. They answer big questions such as how to balance individual gains (mitigating risk and making a profit) with being an ethical member of the community. Amy and Chris also provide pointers to discern a real local market from the façade of one.


Amy Cortese is an award-winning journalist who writes about topics spanning business, finance, food, wine and travel. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, New York, Business Week, the New York Times, the Daily News, Portfolio, Mother Jones, Afar, The American, the Daily Beast, Talk, Business 2.0, and Wired, among other publications. Her recently published book, Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From it (John Wiley & Sons, 2011), draws upon her experience covering these diverse realms to explore how a small shift in investment away from multinationals towards locally-owned enterprises can reap enormous economic and social benefits for individuals, their communities and the country.

Amy Pearl draws on extensive experience in the education, corporate, and social sectors to shape a vision of how we might address global challenges by activating a new kind of community leader. An inveterate educator and strategist, she designed unique programs such as Local Agenda and Challenge and Change that teach adults and youth social entrepreneurship skills in high-need, under-served communities. She first envisioned ChangeXchange, the first American social innovation exchange while at the Skoll World Forum; and, envisioned HATCH in 2009. Her own career has taken her from the classroom and school district to the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, to managing Intel’s online international education initiatives.

Chris Miller is the lead economic and downtown developer for the City of Adrian, in SE Michigan. He came to this position with a background in business, a career in education that included private and international schools, and non-profit and government leadership work. He worked as a city commissioner and Downtown Development Authority board member, and served as chairperson of the regional chamber of commerce, symphony orchestra, and housing development coalition.

In this episode you’ll learn:


  • Inspirational stories of economic development in Michigan and the City of Adrian
  • How “Cops and Donuts” became a success story in Clare, Michigan
  • What state representatives can do to help local businesses
  • How risky local investing really is
  • What led Amy Cortese to write the book Locavesting
  • How to tap into your own community as a business owner
  • How Tecumseh Brewing Co. crowdfunded their dream microbrewery
  • How to attract a conventional loan from a community bank with a crowdfunding first round
  • How community investing is a new asset class, and what if Wall Street stocks became the minority of investment activity?
  • Which markets are truly local


Locavesting by Amy Cortese

City of Adrian Community Development

Michigan Regulator LARA

Hatch Innovation’s “Let’s be Frank” video

Tecumseh Brewing

Cops and Donuts, City of Clare