Why investing locally can be life changing

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If you’re thinking about making an investment, your options are vast: investing in stock markets, buying property, having a savings account with your high street bank or peer to peer lending. The choice you make may depend upon factors such as how much interest you receive or how quickly you will see a return, but investment isn’t always about making a quick profit.

More and more people now consider other criteria when choosing to invest – in particular, they are taking into account ethical factors such as, is this company sustainably run? Or is it involved in activities that I am not comfortable funding? Investing in ethical opportunities does not mean sacrificing profits for principles: rather, it is an opportunity to make money while also contributing to the wider social good.

FOLK2FOLK’s local lending model provides a compelling investment option. Individuals with £20,000 or more can lend directly to support creditworthy businesses in their area who are unable to access finance via traditional channels and receive interest up to 9% p.a. paid monthly.

By lending funds FOLK2FOLK’s Local lending Movement investors are enabling businesses to access the finance they need. This access to capital helps businesses grow, create jobs and develop new revenue stream resulting in increased employment and spending, boosting the local economy.

A number of FOLK2FOLK loans have been used to revive old properties such as restaurants, pubs and hotels, bringing life back to communities. Farmers have been able to diversify into new ventures by converting buildings and land or expanding their existing farming businesses to generate more revenues. Funds also supported local manufacturers and property development, often with affordable housing for local residents.

Local lending can be life-changing for both investors and Borrowers. Local investors receive interest up to 9% p.a. paid monthly which may supplement their retirement income and make a difference to their day to day life while local and rural businesses are able to secure the finance they need. If you’re looking for your next investment why not consider lending via The Local Lending Movement and supporting your local businesses; it might just change your life!

If you are interested to know more about investing through FOLK2FOLK or would like to hear more about our business loans, please call us on 01566 818535.

Your capital is at risk and is not protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Should we leave it to Farmers to be the curators of our Countryside?

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As we, and thousands of visitors, enjoy our beautiful countryside this autumn Claire Thayers asks us to think of the farmers who work and maintain it while considering what we can all do to help.

With winter coming there is nothing nicer than a walk in the country, enjoying the beautiful views and changing colours whatever the weather and then the delight of a hearty, warming stew in the local pub next to a roaring log firetingly fingers warming on a mulled glass of local cider….just the perfect weekend in my opinion! We love it and so do tourists… no wonder so many visitors flock to see us all year round! We’re  so lucky to live in this beautiful country, but do we just take it all for granted?

The real question is: if  we value the visitor economy shouldn’t we stop and think about the important caretaking role and contribution our farmers make to the alluring ‘countryside experience’? They manage our countryside, they rear and grow our diverse and delicious local produce, essential for us and a lure to those who visit; spending money in our market towns and villages,  the local B&B and  village pub – all small businesses at the heart of our communities who employ local people.

Sitting by that pub fire, it’s easy to forget that every day, 365 days a year, the cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens all need to be fed whatever the weather, the work that our arable farmers put into harvesting every year: the vegetables and fruit that have to be dug and picked. The work that goes into laying our hedges, managing our woodland, taking care of our wildlife, and ultimately taking care of our countryside for future generations.

It’s what makes our country so beautiful and makes us all proud!

With an uncertain future, should we just sit back and expect our farmers to continue to do what they have always done? Or can we help them to diversify to create truly sustainable businesses? To create employment for our youngsters, to keep our children in the local schools, keep the local pub open and the high streets vibrant.

We can all help! Whether that’s ‘buying local’ and contributing to your local economy or ‘investing local’ through  FOLK2FOLK to provide farm and rural businesses with the finance they require to grow, develop or diversify while you earn a great 6.5% p.a interest rate!

So, this weekend as you sit by that fire in your local pub, check out our website on your smartphone and find out more about The Local Lending Movement. You CAN make a difference!

Capital at risk. No FSCS.

Should we leave it to Farmers to be the curators of our Countryside? | FOLK2FOLK

 

by Claire Thayers, FOLK2FOLK Corporate & Community Engagement Manager

Why go when you can stay?

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How our holiday choices have the power to positively impact our local economies

Now the school holidays have arrived, and the crazy season begins, we should perhaps take stock and think about how our holiday choices can impact on our local economies.

Many choose to fly away to foreign climes while some of us prefer to take our holidays here in the UK, avoiding the long delays at our airports, the stress of leaving home (who is taking care of the dog/garden/chickens/cat…the list can be endless) and when the weather is as beautiful as it has been recently, you have to ask yourself…why would you want to leave the UK with all the delights we have on offer…beautiful countryside, gorgeous little market towns, delicious food and drink…we have it all right here!

So, if we decide to stay, think about how you spend your money; if you have a bit more time on your hands, why not try the local farmers markets or local farm shops?

Many of our farmers are diversifying into tourism and producing food and drink to sell at the farm gate or farmers markets. You can find delicious locally produced cheeses, ciders, meats, fruit and veg, but have you ever stopped to think about the impact you can make by supporting them?

Every pound you spend in a farm shop, at a farmers markets, staying in a farm B&B or holiday let, supporting our local artisan food and drink companies, can make such a difference in keeping our rural economy alive. By staying in that B&B or holiday let, you are keeping people employed, the person who helps to clean, the accountant who does the books…it creates employment and keeps people in our villages. It can be the difference between that local school staying open or shutting; and, as our banks and post offices desert our high streets, the more we can do to keep our businesses thriving the better!

So, this summer, try something different: holiday in the UK, spend your money locally and keep our UK economy buoyant – YOU really can make all the difference!

Why go when you can stay? | FOLK2FOLK

 

by Claire Thayers, FOLK2FOLK Corporate & Community Engagement Manager

Why Local Lending can be a wise investment

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When you have some spare cash to put aside, be it a lump sum or a regular monthly contribution, the biggest decision is normally whether to opt for a bank account or some form of investment.

While deposit accounts offer guaranteed interest, interest rates for the past decade or so have been at historically low levels, often well below inflation. This has led to more of us choosing to invest our capital into companies in the hope that, by taking on a bit more risk, we’ll benefit from significantly higher returns.

But when it comes to selecting an investment, the choice is vast – the growth in the asset management industry means that today it is practically just as easy to take a stake in a Chinese copper miner as it is to buy shares in British Airways or BT.

But investment isn’t always about making a quick buck or trying to back the right company. Over the past few decades, more and more people have started to use other criteria when choosing businesses to invest in – in particular, they are taking into account ethical factors such as, is this company sustainably run, or is it involved in activities such as weapons manufacture or tobacco production that I am not comfortable funding?

Investing in ethical opportunities this way does not mean sacrificing profits for principles: rather, it is an opportunity to make money while also contributing to the social good, whether it is in the form of promoting renewable energy sources or fairer business practices.

And thanks to alternative finance providers such as FOLK2FOLK, there is now another compelling option for investors in the UK: the opportunity to fund viable businesses in their local communities. Through the local lending movement that we have established, individuals with £20,000 or more can lend directly to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in their area.

Not only does this give investors the chance to benefit financially from the success of local entrepreneurs, it also helps retain money in an area’s economy and thus boost prosperity levels through the likes of increased employment and higher spending.

This is all part of FOLK2FOLK’s drive to create financially and socially sustainable communities to help the UK advance economically while also meeting the challenges and opportunities thrown up by Brexit uncertainties.

The money put forward by FOLK2FOLK’s lender community is lent mong local business borrowers and is secured against property that those businesses own – which helps reduce the risk to investors. Meanwhile, if you lend larger sums of money, your capital can then be spread across a number of companies, again to help diversify and reduce risk.

Annual interest is 6.5%, and lenders’ capital is repaid at the end of the term, which can be up to five years depending on the loan term the borrower chooses.

And thanks to FOLK2FOLK interest can be earned free of income tax: under current rules, a FOLK2FOLK loan of £20,000 can be held in an Innovative Finance ISA with all subsequent interest payments free of tax, and additional Innovative Finance ISAs can be opened in later years to help shelter more of your interest earned from tax.

To learn how to invest locally and join us in The Local Lending Movement visit https://www.folk2folk.com/lend/invest-in-a-loan/