The financial capital of a community is made up of the financial resources available to invest in community capacity building, to underwrite business development, to support entrepreneurship, and to accumulate wealth for future community development (Green & Haines, 2002). Despite popular belief, financial capital is much more than the total number of dollars in a community; it is their income, wealth, security, investment, and the ability to access funding in a variety of forms.
Mahwah, NJ has many financial resources. Mahwah is a community containing a variety of incomes; the mean household income being $131,380. The majority (21.9%) of families have an income of $100,000-$149,999. The top 16.3% earn $200,000 or more, and the bottom 2.4% earn less than $10,000 (American Fact Finder, 2014).
As we discussed in class, a key question that community development specialists need to address when dealing with financial capital in a community is “are underrepresented individuals able to access credit locally?” This question allows specialists to see if the bottom 2.4% in Mahwah has fair access. This is where the CBO Mahwah’s Regional Chamber of Commerce comes into play. As one of Bergen County’s largest Chambers of Commerce, their mission has always been to enhance business, civic and economic vitality in the community as well as surrounding communities by supporting a healthy economic climate. Helping to advance the general welfare of the community, many of the members of the Chamber of Commerce grew up in Mahwah or around the Bergen County area, which creates stronger community ties. They hold many events, meetings, and opportunities for the community to advocate on behalf of the financial community (MRCC, 2016).
Green, G. P., & Haines, A. (2016). Asset building & community development (4th ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.
American Fact Finder (2014). Income in the Past Twelve Months. United States Census Bureau.
MRCC (2016). Mahwah Regional Chamber of Commerce. Web.Mahwah.Com.