If you aren’t familiar with the popular craze of investing through cryptocurrency, this title may be confusing. Bitcoin is a digital currency that operates free of any central control or the oversight of banks or governments.
But if you are a community-minded investor, you might be like any one of the investors of the Community Builders Alliance from Moosomin Saskatchewan. The idea came in the fall of 2020 at an Economic Development meeting. A group of businesspeople formed an investment group that would align with the economic development committee and the municipal governments to assist with the community’s goals.
Tyler Thorn, the groups president, shared, “A year ago, while dropping my daughter off at a birthday party, this idea sprouted with another father. We wanted to be able to do more, to help the community-with intention.”
The non-profit group is member-based and has a five-person executive and a hired administrator. They advance from a sprout of an idea to a group with four main pillars of focus, healthcare, arts and recreation, education and business/economic development.
From that strategic direction, they came to goals and objectives, one focus on improvements to their airport runway.
“We have major corporations growing in our region, and we need a bigger runway that will allow for planes to land, assess a property and allow them to manage the business. Recently we went to the SARM convention and advocated for our runway. That advocacy gained attention from Premier Moe, who not only showcased the importance of airport improvements but gave kudos to our organization for its commitment to its community.”
The group has two more significant goals: bringing in a CT scanner and increasing the number of multi-housing units. And it has already completed one of its essential goals, established an agreement between the RM and the Town for funding models, and worked together on government relations.
Unlike government funding, the membership can pick and choose projects to invest in; a project will be brought forward to the membership, and investors can step forward if they want to be involved. Most of the investors are locals; some own farms in the region, and some are from outlying communities that see the benefits of this group’s positive impact.
Thorn added, “Community Futures Sunrise helped us get to today. They facilitated a strategic planning session with us. Helped bring in a consultant to help prioritize our goals and set action plans. Also, our administrator has taken several courses offered. They have been an enormous help to our organization.”