Green and Haines said, “In many ways, financial capital is the lifeblood of communities and has an impact on other forms of community capital.” (2016, p.229). When viewing financial capital it’s essential to look beyond the amount of money in a community. Financial capital includes alternative options for loan funds and credit institutions including: community development credit unions and banks, revolving loan funds, and microenterprise and venture capitalist loan funds. Financial capital is crucial for development in poor and minority communities, because dollars invested and spent within communities stay in the community.
The majority of Richmond’s working age population commutes to nearby towns like Burlington, Waterbury, and Montpelier for work. Resident’s access to financial capital and resources come from towns outside of Richmond. According to Richmond’s “Our Town, Our Future” website reports, “ Median adjusted income in Chittenden County ($47,812) is significantly higher than in Vermont ($33,829) overall. Richmond’s income level ($46,657) falls in the middle for Chittenden County town.” (2015). Although it’s located in Chittenden county, it’s easier to access the their lack of financial capital. The small town vibe and population hasn’t spurred much development of many large businesses or services. For example, there is only one financial institution, which is TD Bank. Residents and business owners that need access to financial resources can use the Vermont Community Loan Fund in Montpelier, an alternative to traditional financial institutions that creates accessible loan options for all financial backgrounds.
However, one local non-profit organization helping improve resident’s lives without much access to financial capital is the Richmond Food Shelf and Thrift Store. They use donations from the community to sell in their thrift store, which are turned into revenue that is invested into purchasing food that is donated to the community. Their mission is “to improve the lives of individuals and families in the community who are experiencing financial hardship. Our primary activities will be to distribute food to those in need with no membership fee or proof of income and to sell low cost clothing.” (Richmond Food Shelf and Thrift Store, 2016).
Green, G .P. & Haines, Foster (2016). Asset Building & Community Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Richmond Food Shelf and Thrift Store. (2016) Home. Retrieved from http://www.richmondfoodshelfvt.org
Richmond: Our Town, Our Future. (2015). Richmond Data. Retrieved from http://richmondvtfuture.weebly.com/richmond-data.html