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Do you know where your money is? Most of us don’t, and if we did, we might be dismayed to find that it’s invested in the very companies we avoid like the plague. Or at the very least, we sometimes roll over in the middle of the night, when our money hasn’t come home yet and wonder . . .in which country is it hanging out? Doing what?

Well take heart – a new opportunity is opening up in Alberta for investing with our eyes wide open or at least to take a step in that direction.

Courtney Hare, Public Policy Manager with Momentum, has been paying close attention to the question of local investing for about four years. She is a native of Nova Scotia, the province which is the Canadian poster child for supporting investment with a community / social bias and it was with great glee that she recently sent an email to her colleagues, announcing that Bill 30: Investing in a Diversified Alberta Economy Act , had passed a second reading. This Bill includes a section on investing in Community Economic Development Corporations (CEDCs) and Co-operatives.

There is much to unpack in this Bill and much yet to be determined. In broad strokes, for those of us interested in investing locally, there will be more opportunity to invest in information technology, clean technology, health technology and interactive digital media among other start-ups.

There will also be the opportunity to invest in businesses that have a more specific goal of contributing to the common good and alleviating poverty through Community Economic Development Corporations (CEDCs) or Co-operatives.

How exactly the regulations define “Community Economic Development Corporation” (CEDC) is work still to be done. One understanding of a CEDC is that it is a for -profit company that creates and/or expands economic opportunities that improve the social conditions for individuals and families living in poverty.

A Co-operative is a member-owned business that has as its backbone the commitment to both social good and financial sustainability. It can be for profit or not for profit.

There will be a 30% tax credit for investments in either of these types of businesses.

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The Government will be engaging in stakeholder consultation about the CEDC portion of this credit so that the regulation can be implemented in the summer of 2017.

NewScoop’s hope is that this will turn out to be a boon for start-up co-ops, such as the Grain Exchange Bakery Co-op which we continue to follow with interest. Check out Anarchist Baker Hits Calgary  .

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