More and more people are investing in small, older properties, according to officials with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

A team of five from the Washington, DC-based organization were in Louisville this week, familiarizing themselves with the citys neighborhoods. Business First reported earlier this month that the National Trust is kicking off a three-year project in Louisville to identify the best areas of the city for government, developers and preservationists to invest money.

The revitalization of once underdeveloped areas, such as the NuLu neighborhood, creates excitement, said Jim Lindberg, planning director for the National Trusts Preservation Green Lab.

People want to be part of that, he said. People are interested in investing in place, to be able to walk to more amenities.

Older, small building spaces, in particular, foster entrepreneurship, according to the National Trust team.

Older, smaller buildings are cheaper, said Jeana Wiser, associate project manager for Preservation Green Lab. Older, smaller buildings are also adaptable. Its a little easier to make them work with various business concepts.

The National Trust team toured downtown with Rebecca Matheny, executive director of Louisville Downtown Partnership, who told the group the story behind various buildings as they walked along West Main Street to 10th Street and then down Market Street.

Matheny noted the investments that Michters Distillery LLC and Peerless Distilling Co. are making along Main Street. Business First reported previously that Peerless plans to open a distillery and visitor center in 2016. Meanwhile, Michters plans to open a similar operation next spring.



NEW DELHI: Healthcare major Fortis plans to utilise the money earned from selling overseas businesses to strengthen the balance sheet and invest those funds in the Indian market.

We are 100 per cent India centric. We were 50:50 in India and international some years ago. But now we have exited our international businesses. We have brought all that money back. We have brought all the profits back to India, Fortis Healthcare Executive Chairman Malvinder Singh said.



Student leaders are pushing GW to invest money in two local banks required to stimulate the local economy, a plan they say will help develop run-down DC neighborhoods.

The GW chapter of the Roosevelt Institute is asking the University to invest $250,000 of its cash in community development banks, which would help DC residents take out money for student loans, small business plans and affordable housing.

Group leaders will meet with the Finance Division next week to discuss a petition in favor of the plan, which has secured nearly 100 signatures.

GW already has a relationship with six community banks, but University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said GW wasn't able to comment on a petition it has not yet "formally received."

Zach Komes, the Roosevelt Institutes policy chair, said the campaign started when he and Josh Serchen, the group's financial director, were tasked with finding a way the University could "better interact with the community."

"We looked at the strategic plan, which calls for increasing GW as a model institutional citizen, and decided this would be a way for us to make sure we're giving back to the District," he said.

Komes said the University wouldn't lose any money from the investment. It would receive interest from the loans, he said, which members of the banks would take out to support small businesses or pay for housing.

The proposal would put money toward two community development banks in DC, City First Bank and Industrial Bank, which are required by law to give part of their money back to the community. The group's full proposal states that making these investments would help raise GW's "public commitment to environmental and social sustainability."

Komes said he thinks the idea will take off because similar plans have been successful at other schools like Tufts, Georgetown and Duke universities, and added that Georgetown contributed the seed money for City First Bank to first open.

Professor Greg Squires, who chairs the sociology department, said he has worked closely with the group on the proposal since September.

"GWs financial resources can be utilized to provide access to financial services in communities that have traditionally been underserved, making GW an even more effective partner in efforts to encourage equitable development of the Washington DC community," Squires said.

The group's Change.org petition urges Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz to consider the investment plan. Jacob Quiroz, the Roosevelt Institutes public relations director, said the petition is a way to show that the idea has sweeping campus support.

"We hope to bring it to the administration and we want to show them it's a concern for the community," he said.

Last April, Komes said members of the group met with University President Steven Knapp, who directed them to the financial office. Komes called that a step in the right director for the campaign.

Other student groups, like Fossil Free GW, have tried to work with the finance office on student-led ideas and petitions, but a push for GW to divest from fossil fuel companies has floundered for months.



Here are the top reasons why we should support local businesses.

1. Support your own self-interest. Every dollar spent locally strengthens the economic base of our community. Dollars spent turn over 7 times creating 7 times the purchase power and 7 times the sales tax dollars for maintaining and improving infrastructure and providing necessary government services.

2. Support local charity. Ask any local charity where the lion's share of their donations come from. The answer will be from local businesses and business owners. If you care about the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the local baseball and soccer programs, the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, the Johnson County Family YMCA, the Boys amp; Girls Club of the Big Horns, local schools and school-sponsored clubs and teams, the Bread of Life Food Pantry, or any other local charity, then you'd better buy locally because without donations from local businesses these charities would cease to exist.

3. Maintain our unique personality. Tourism accounts for $50 million in business in Johnson County primarily because we are conveniently located on two major interstate highways between Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park. However, without our community's unique character, visitors to the area would drive on by to spend their time and their money elsewhere. Our eclectic shops and eateries help attract visitors and their purchasing power.

4. Invest in community. Local people who live right here in Buffalo own local businesses. They care about our community and what happens to it. They are less likely leave when the going gets tough and are more likely to invest money in making the community a better place.

5. Better service. Local businesses hire local people who understand the products they are selling and your needs as a customer.  They don't try to sell you something you don't want or need. And, if something goes wrong, they can help you after the sale. Try that with the big boxes or online.

Finally, if these aren't enough good reasons to buy locally, consider this. This is your home, the place where you live. Do you want to live in a place with no local shopping choices? With only chain restaurants? With an empty downtown and business district? 

It can happen. And it can happen quicker than you think. Make the choice to shop Buffalo first. It will make you feel great because it makes our community a better place to live.