In order to promote local economic resilience, members of the Local Investing Opportunity Network (LION) have invested at least $10.5 million in East Jefferson County businesses, nonprofits, real …
In order to promote local economic resilience, members of the Local Investing Opportunity Network (LION) have invested at least $10.5 million in East Jefferson County businesses, nonprofits, real estate and other entities since 2006.
The collective investments by LION members were made through 313 agreements with 96 entities which together had an estimated 450 full- and part-time employees at the end of 2020. These and other detailed findings from surveys of LION members are contained in a report released this month http://L2020.org/LION.
Investments have been made in all economic sectors with the top three being Food & Farm, Tourism & Retail, and Small Business & Entrepreneurs. The most common investment amount was $10,000, although individual investments ranged from $500 to $475,000. Eighty-five percent of the investments were loans.
LION lenders responded quickly to help local businesses deal with the pandemic. Loan relief in the form of suspension of payments or forgiveness of interest or deferral of principal payments were granted to at least 47 borrowers who collectively had a total of $1.8 million of outstanding loans. The estimated forgiven interest payments totaled $25K-$50K. Additionally, seven new loans totaling $64,500 were made specifically to provide pandemic relief.
Founded in 2008, LION is a network of local citizens whose mission is to build a prosperous and resilient community by investing their money in East Jefferson County. Local businesses and nonprofit organizations submit Business Opportunity applications through EDC Team Jefferson to solicit interest and financial support from LION members.
LION member make their own decisions as to whether, where and how much to invest. Currently there are 72 LION members.
Local residents interested in joining are welcome to apply. Please visit the LION website http://L2020.org/LION for information on LION membership and for submitting Business Opportunity applications.