Financial Capital – Potsdam, NY

While there is hypothetically access to a large amount of financial resources to the community in Potsdam, this is not always distributed appropriately to members of the community who are living in poverty. As previously reported, 31.7% of residents in the village of Potsdam live in poverty (US Dept. of Commerce, 2014). Ironically, many of these people are hired by the local Walmart, which, unfortunately does little to support the residents of the town, and also takes away business from local small business owners. With a large university population, there is a surplus of money to be distributed throughout the community, however now it is going to Walmart Corporation instead of being distributed to the long-term residents due to competition for low prices and volume of sales. While Walmart has threatened the financial health of Potsdam, another large organization in town, Clarkson University, has made efforts to support the community both financially and otherwise. With numerous clubs and organizations which fundraise and volunteer for the food shelf, humane society, and other local associations which would not be able to exist without external support (Clarkson, 2016).

Potsdam also benefits, but is also sometimes influenced, by a few wealthy residents who have a history of generous gifting. These individuals create a greater income inequality in the town, and because of their financial power are essentially able to operate without restrictions. Aside from this, the community does offer local banking to assist low income families in financing loans and managing savings. North Country Savings Bank serves as a CDCU, servicing St. Lawrence County exclusively. Their website boasts that they are “customer-based and community-driven,” which is displayed by the large proportion of residents in the area who choose to bank locally (North Country Savings Bank, 2016).

 

Clarkson (2016). Clubs: Volunteering. Retrieved from: http://www.clarkson.edu/campus_life/clubs/volunteering.html

 

Green, G. P., & Haines, A. (2015). Asset Building and Community Development. Washington, DC: SAGE Publications.

 

North Country Savings Bank. (2016). Retrieved from: https://www.northcountrysavings.bank/about

 

U.S. Department of Commerce (2014). Community Facts. Retrieved from http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml