Financial Capital: Alburgh, VT

Financial capital is defined by Green and Haines as “all of the monetary assets within a community that can help build and develop the community further” (Green, Haines, 2012) and as mentioned in my last blogpost, the people of Alburgh are a fairly middle class town, where out of the 705 total households, roughly 324 of those households make less than $50,000 a year, and the rest make between $50,000 or more (with the average household income being $70,525. There are 877 people in the civilian labor force. Out of those people, 791 of them are employed, and only 86 are unemployed. So the majority of the people in Alburgh’s small town are working weekly so that way they can support their families. (DADS, n.d.)

Starting a business in Alburgh is also typically doomed to fail. Since I moved intofc2 the town in 2005, almost every one the businesses in the center of town have now gone out of business, because the people of Alburgh don’t make enough money to support local businesses. Oddly enough, the only businesses that have managed to thrive in town are liquor stores and auction houses, which reflects the old spirit of the town. Although it is unfortunate, the town is too small, and the people in town don’t make a lot of money. And when the town doesn’t have a large tourist presence or a community that can afford local goods, the likelihood that it will sustain a business is very slim. There also are no programs in place to increase the town’s financial capital. There are no community credit unions, incubator spaces,  or community loan funds, so it doesn’t provide the incentives for people to improve themselves monetarily.
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Community based organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, have taken notice of low income families in towns like Alburgh. There have been two separate affordable housing projects that have been built in town since I have been living here, and they have worked with local families to provide a safe a secure home. With further investments into the town’s financial capital, it could see a vast array of improvements among it’s small community.

SOURCES:

Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). (n.d.). American FactFinder. Retrieved September 21, 2016, from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml