It is exciting to report, now four and a half years into our efforts, that Slow Money SLO experienced incredible growth in SLO County awareness and enthusiasm for our mission, vision and programs. We achieved great results against the goals and objectives we set a year ago and grew in some ways that were unanticipated! The number of involved volunteers, investors, donors, advisers and advocates all increased dramatically and we are well positioned to continue our important work in 2017.
Many thanks go out to the individuals and strategic partners who have generously contributed their time, knowledge, capital and passion to support the growth of small food enterprises and Slow Money SLO. And let’s not forget kudos to the food entrepreneurs who work tirelessly to grow their business and provide an important contribution to the SLO County food system.
Food and farm products, grown, raised, caught or produced locally help to build a thriving local economy, vibrant soil, healthy population and a quality food system.
To support the sustainable growth of small businesses which benefit the local food economy and the health of SLO County.
The 2016 accomplishments and progress crossed many fronts and resulted in a much better story that conveys what we have done and what we hope to do. We have fostered a locally relevant version of the nationwide Slow Money movement that has significance and momentum. Your on-going feedback and support propels us forward.
To keep it simple, here is a list of the activities and achievements over the last year. I welcome your comments and questions and look forward to speaking with many more new friends who support our vision in the coming year.
Established our Programs and Events Team – This is first on the list because without these individuals, we would have not accomplished anywhere near as much. Thanks very much to Adam, Cecilia, Danielle, Karen and Kylie. If you would like to join this team, please drop me a line. jeff@SlowMoneySLO.org
Adopted MailChimp for our Newsletters and started a Facebook Group to connect with food businesses
Created a trifold brochure that celebrates local food entrepreneurs and tells our story
Convened three free, public gatherings with food business speakers and shared local food
Organized a beautiful fundraiser event at Niner Wine Estates. Many thanks to Andy Niner and all the food donors.
Hosted Woody Tasch for 2 ½ days. Thanks to Woody for coming on his own dime and helping convey our mission. Woody enjoyed SLO County very much and was thrilled to see our progress and the enthusiasm of all involved.
Three Peer to Peer loan packages were completed, bringing us to 15 small food enterprises supported and over $750,000. in total loans. Many more businesses have been supported with advice, direction and networking.
Started a Revolving Loan Fund to augment peer to peer lending.
Held a Food Business Workshop in collaboration with the SLO Hothouse and SBDC
Assisted the Farmers Guild with a Farm to Buyer Mixer event. Another one is planned for Jan. 10 at Farm Supply.
Participated in the SLO County Food System Coalition as part of the Food Hub working group
Created a Performance Metrics Report with detailed input from food businesses we have assisted
Multiple articles appeared in print and watch Information Press for an article in their January issue
Five local Radio show interviews, including two with Woody Tasch
Presentations to interested groups, with reach to more than 450 participants
Greater than 5x growth in our Interest List and tripling of interest by potential peer to peer lenders
More than 100 meetings and phone calls with individuals, donors, food entrepreneurs and advocates
A tough act to follow, but among our plans for 2017, we hope to
- Launch a new Website
- Entice Woody to return to SLO County
- Create a follow up Food Business Workshop
- Convene a public gathering in North SLO County, three or four in total across the County
- Hold another big event!
Consider becoming involved with Slow Money SLO as an Advisor, Lender, Donor, Volunteer or Strategic Partner. The SLO County food system will benefit. Also, Jeff would enjoy speaking at your events and meetings.
For the economic and health benefits to all, please support good, local food.
I hope to see you at our first 2017 Gathering, February 7, SLO Guild hall, 2880 Broad St, 6 – 8 pm. Invite a friend!
Founder and Director