Lift Investing is an economic development tool for Community Banks to deliver economic growth within the communities they serve by receiving deposits from public agencies and deploying those deposits for business growth. Lift Investing is a partnership between Community Banks and public agencies for economic development-focused impact investing. Simply said, Lift Investing is a safe, transparent, and accountable tool to keep taxpayer dollars in our communities to grow our local economies.

Locally owned and operated Community Banks are a vital part of the economic and civic fabric of our communities. Because their success is tied to the economic vitality and growth of the local private sector, they are naturally aligned and motivated partners for public agencies. Their investments spur the production of enterprise and employment which generates a stronger tax base.

Community Banks are sophisticated and strategic partners. These banks marry marketplace expertise with main street intelligence to strategically deploy investments to power the economic engines of our communities. This is why Community Banks account for the majority of agricultural, commercial real estate, and small business loans. As the leading financiers for local businesses, Community Banks bring the dependable capital to grow our success; but, they can do more. That’s where Lift Investing comes in.

The more deposits a bank holds, the more loans they can make. A survey of local governments found that Community Banks hold less than 1% of invested funds from local agencies in the communities they serve. In fact, usually not one dollar is held locally.

Lift Investing is challenging public agencies to redirect investments held outside of the state and often even outside of the country back into their communities. We believe that holding dollars locally yields a greater return on investment for communities because through Community Banks those dollars can be deployed and leveraged locally to support business growth. It’s a common sense approach to growing the economy, but one that has been overlooked.

Lift Investing banks have embraced the mission of lifting communities through local investing. They have committed to the goal of deploying over 50% of the funds they receive back into business growth within the participating agencies footprint. It’s impact investing that is growing jobs and prosperity in our communities.

Lift Investing banks are good partners for public agencies because they are safe partners. They ensure “preservation of capital” by adhering to the rigorous requirements that Federal, State, and local law places on banks receiving public funds. But they have also agreed to additional requirements on participation such as holding a five-star rating with Bauer Financial or an equivalent rating system which independently assesses the financial strength of Community Banks.

Lift Investing banks are also good partners because they are transparent partners. They have agreed to share their work through our straightforward standardized reporting platform which details information on funds deployed for economic growth. We work with economic experts to take the economic development reporting that the banks provide and synthesize it into a report for agencies to view important information on industry sectors funded, jobs created and retained, as well as geographic data related to funds deployed into Promise Zones, Food Deserts, and Opportunity Zones.

With Lift Investing communities now have a safe, transparent and accountable vehicle to increase access to capital to boost job growth and employment. Lift Investing generates an economic multiplier effect for local economies and a social return on investment for participating agencies.