It’s Local Banking Month, Here are the Top 5 Reasons to Bank Locally!

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Here at CLF, our goal is always to support local businesses and let people know the benefits of choosing local first! With Local Banking Month beginning, we wanted to take this opportunity to let you know the top 5 reasons to choose local banks over big banks:

1. Get the Same Services at Lower Cost

Most locally owned banks and credit unions offer the same array of services, from online bill paying to debit and credit cards, at much lower cost than big banks. Average fees at small banks and credit unions are substantially lower than at big banks, according to national data. Studies show that small financial institutions also offer, on average, better interest rates on savings and better terms on credit cards and other loans.

2. Put Your Money to Work Growing Your Local Economy

Small businesses, which create the majority of new jobs, depend heavily on small, local banks for financing. Although small and mid-sized banks control less than one-quarter of all bank assets, they account for more than half of all small business lending. Big banks, meanwhile, allocate relatively little of their resources to small businesses. The largest 20 banks, which now control 57 percent of all bank assets, devote only 18 percent of their commercial loan portfolios to small business.

3. Keep Decision-Making Local

At local banks and credit unions, loan approvals and other key decisions are made locally by people who live in the community, have face-to-face relationships with their customers, and understand local needs. Because of this personal knowledge, local financial institutions are often able to approve small business and other loans that big banks would reject. In the case of credit unions, control ultimately rests with the customers, who are also memberowners.

4. Back Institutions that Share a Commitment to Your Community

The fortunes of local banks and credit unions are intimately tied to the fortunes of their local communities. The more the community prospers, the more the local bank benefits. This is why many local banks and credit unions are involved in their communities. Big banks, in contrast, are not tethered to the places where they operate. Indeed, they often use a community’s deposits to make investments in other regions or on Wall Street.

5. Support Productive Investment, Not Gambling

The primary activity of almost all small banks and credit unions is to turn deposits into loans and other productive investments. Meanwhile, big banks devote a sizeable share of their resources to speculative trading and other Wall Street bets that may generate big profits for the bank, but provide little economic or social value for the rest of us and can put the entire financial system at risk if they go bad.

To read more written by the New Rules Project’s Community Banking Initiative, click here.

Want one less thing to remember? Sign up for Auto-Renew!

We are so grateful to have members who renew year after year. Now we are making that process even easier by offering auto-renew. Once you sign up you will be automatically charged annually for your membership. If you like, you can also include a directory ad and make sure to get space in our annual directory (with 25,000 copies distributed throughout Cambridge). When you enroll in auto-renew with an ad you will also receive the EARLY BIRD pricing.

Your privacy is our top priority. All payments are securely run through PayPal payments and you are welcome to cancel your subscription at any time. You will also be sent a courtesy reminder 30 days before the payment is processed.

Please be aware that signing up for auto-renew will charge you for this year's renewal automatically. If you have already paid for your renewal but would like to sign up for auto-renew, please contact us at info@cambridgelocalfirst.org

Sign up for Auto-Renew Today!

To renew for this year's membership and every year after!
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Classic & Sonorous: recital, concert, and reception space available

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Longy School of Music is located in the historic district of Cambridge, Harvard Square. Their space hosts a century of academic tradition as well as several rooms for rent complete with beautiful architecture and acoustics.

Spaces available to rent for receptions, recitals, practices, and concerts can accommodate 30, 60, and  281 occupants. 

Additionally, publicity services for events are available for renters! For more information visit the space rental information site at Longy School of Music of Bard College. 

 

 

Play Lovin’ Local!

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Support Cambridge Local Businesses and Win Great Prizes!

This winter has been rough on both Cambridge residents and businesses. The good news is that spring is just around the corner. In an effort to encourage shopping at Cambridge businesses, the City of Cambridge is launching the Lovin' Local raffle card game from March 16 - April 3, 2015. Prizes include gift cards from local businesses, a Hubway membership, and the grand prize of lunch with Mayor David Maher.

Here is how it works:

Residents, visitors and area workers can pick up a game card at one of the following locations:
Mayor's Office, Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge Public Library's Main Branch (449 Broadway), and Cambridge Community Development Department, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway.

OR Customers will be able to download the raffle card starting Monday, March 16th at: www.cambridgema.gov/lovinlocal
Rules of the game:

Step 1: Shop at a local business.
Step 2: Have the local business sign a cell on the card
Step 3: Take a picture of yourself visiting at least 1 business and tweet, Instagram or Facebook a picture using the hashtag #LovinCambMA. Please tag the business you are visiting, too!

3 completed cells from 3 different businesses gets a contestant 1 raffle ticket, 9 cells = 6 raffle entries. If the contestant hands in a card with a business from each of the different Cambridge commercial districts, they will receive 4 extra entries into the raffle.

How can you help?

  • Make sure your staff is aware of the raffle card. It is a 5X7 postcard, blue on one side, white on the other. We ask that each business initial a cell with the business name and the date of purchase.
  • Use the #LovinCambMA hashtag on your own social media to encourage your followers to participate in the contest. You should direct them to:www.cambridgema.gov/lovinlocal for all the information they need to participate. We will retweet you!

If you want to give a discount to people who show up with a Lovin' Local raffle card, that is OK, but it is not required to participate.

Questions? Please contact Pardis Saffari at 617-349-4654 or via email at: psaffari@cambridgema.gov. Full rules and entry information for the contest can be found at :www.cambridgema.gov/lovinlocal

Winter Relief: City Now Offering Micro-Loans to Small Businesses

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It's been a tough winter on all of us, but it's been especially hard on small businesses and on the local economy. Thankfully, the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) has approved a snow storm loan to assist small businesses in their recovery from lost revenue as a result of the storms we've had. MGCC plans on making up to $1 million in micro-loans of $5000-$10,000 to businesses in need. This program is anticipated to run through May of this year. To read more and to learn how to apply for a loan, click here.