LION Investments Surpass $ 10 Million in Our Region | Letter to the editor
To promote local economic resilience, members of the Local Investing Opportunity Network (LION) have invested at least $ 10.5 million in businesses, nonprofits, real estate and other entities in County of East Jefferson since 2006.
The collective investments of LION members were made through 313 agreements with 96 entities which together had approximately 450 full-time and part-time employees at the end of 2020. These and other detailed findings from the surveys among LION members are contained in a report published this month http://L2020.org/LION.
Investments have been made in all economic sectors, the top three being food and farming, tourism and retail, and small businesses and 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 have responded quickly to help local businesses cope with the pandemic. Loan relief in the form of suspension of payments or forgiveness of interest or deferral of principal repayment was provided to at least 47 borrowers who collectively had a total of $ 1.8 million in outstanding loans. The estimated amount of interest payments remitted was between $ 25,000 and $ 50,000. In addition, seven new loans totaling $ 64,500 were made specifically to provide pandemic assistance.
Founded in 2008, LION is a network of local citizens whose mission is to build a thriving and resilient community by investing their money in East Jefferson County. Local businesses and non-profit organizations submit business opportunity requests through the EDC Jefferson team to solicit interest and financial support from LION members.
LION members make their own decisions about whether, where and how much to invest. There are currently 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 requests.