In order 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 D ‘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 results of LION member surveys are contained in a report released 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 cancellation of interest or deferral of principal payments was provided to at least 47 borrowers who collectively had a total of $ 1.8 million in outstanding loans. The estimated canceled interest payments were $ 25,000 to $ 50,000. In addition, seven new loans totaling $ 64,500 were granted specifically to alleviate the pandemic.
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 decide for themselves if, 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 more information on LION membership and to submit applications for business opportunities.