Staunton Creative Community Fund inspires, facilitates loaning of start-up capital
Invest Local, a program sponsored by Staunton Creative Community Fund, is focused on discovering community members who have a passion for a project that needs funding, folks looking for a way to get more local dollars into the community, or people interested in changing the way money flows into their neighborhoods.
Invest Local spurred the owners of Geezer Farm (Norm Shafer and Sharon Zoumbaris) to provide a small loan of $5,000 start-up capital to owner/operators of Dancing Star Farm, Joy and Ryan Blosser.
“Ryan has been an encouraging voice as I’ve developed and grown my market farm the last five years,” Shafer said. “His enthusiasm for locally grown food is contagious. I’m thrilled to be able to help him continue his work as he transitions to his own farm.”
Ryan Blosser, who is transitioning out of his role as executive director of Project GROWS and into farming full time at Dancing Star Farm, will utilize the funds to purchase a BCS walk behind tractor, an essential tool in small ecologically oriented mixed vegetable production.
“The minute I found out about Invest Local, it captured my imagination and I wanted to participate in the program,” Blosser said. “Today I’m receiving a loan, in the next couple of years I hope to be the one loaning to a startup. What makes this experience all the more touching for me is that a friend and fellow grower (the best local grower in terms of quality of produce) stepped up to offer me the money.”
Geezer Farm operates as a mixed vegetable farm providing CSA shares to community members and provides wholesale vegetables to Staunton Restaurants and stores.
Staunton Creative Community Fund is excited to see the application of this idea begin to take hold.
“We’re building the networks for a thriving local economy and opening opportunities for local investing, and are excited to see such a collaborative example of how these networks and opportunities can be creatively applied,” said SCCF Executive Director Chris Cain.
This Thursday at 6 p.m. there will be an Invest Local Meet and Greet event at the SCCF offices at 10 Byers Street.
All are welcome. Come to learn more and get involved.
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