AT THE NEXUS OF FINANCE & SMALL BUSINESS
Beginning in 2008 National Commonwealth Group began researching community economic development.
Our work focused on finance, as it affects small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and communities.
Most relevant to the Sustainable Communities Framework is our research on currencies and on issues of small business and sustainability.
Complementary currencies are a powerful tool for local economic development and have existed for millennia. There are thousands in use around the world today.
We are implementing new ways to deploy local currencies that go beyond the single goal of recirculating money within communities. Our program can galvanize entrepreneurial activity and help create greater and more widespread prosperity.
SMEs & SUSTAINABILITY
Looking at our main focus areas from a higher-level perspective, we research credit and capital concerns for small- and mid-size businesses, community economic development, regulatory frameworks and corporate sustainability, including impact investing and triple bottom line accounting.
NCG has devoted a great deal of our research to two additional topic areas within the broader scope of small business financing and sustainability — public banking and securities.
A public bank is owned and operated on behalf of the general public, in contrast to private banks, which are owned by private shareholders and serve only their interests. Public banking takes many forms, and around 40% of banks worldwide operate under some form of public ownership. We believe that non-profit-owned public banks play a critical role in nurturing small businesses and local communities.