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Recently Norman Walzer and Jessica Sandoval from the Center for Government Studies at Northern Illinois University in consultation with David Ivan from Michigan State University and Greg Wise from the University of Wisconsin-Extension published a paper on the Emergence and Growth of Community Supported Enterprises.

Many of you, I am sure, have worked on downtown redevelopment projects in the past. After many years of distress and vacancies it can be difficult to find entrepreneurs willing to invest in downtown properties. Community supported enterprises can sometimes be the catalyst that a downtown needs to begin sustainable redevelopment efforts.

This paper is very well done and includes several examples of successful community supported enterprises as well as a sections devoted to legal structure, organization and funding.

If your community is contemplating or is already in the process of developing a community supported enterprise this paper is a must read!

The report is available on NIUs Center for Governmental Studies web site at:

Photo: Dandelion Communitea Café in Orlando FL