Links for February 15th to February 17th

These are my links for February 15th to February 17th:

  • ‘Bank of Essex’ plans unveiled – Economic Development – – By setting up a community bank, an idea inspired by similar models of community lending in the United States, emergency funds from the European Investment Bank could be channelled to reach hard-hit firms more directly, Essex County Council said.
  • Essex Council to form £50m community bank – Essex County Council is proposing to set up a bank that can provide loans for small firms unable to tap funds from the UK’s private, or even part-nationalised, banking sector. The move is in response to pleas from local business people who say they are unable to secure credit from High Street banks.
  • Bank of Essex to challenge high street brands – Councillors in Essex have released plans to create their own bank, in a bid to ease local companies' concerns that money is leaving the area, and pioneering a new era of investment in the region
  • Essex council plans to set up own bank – Telegraph – Essex County Council has drafted the plan following complaints from local firms that high street banks are refusing to give credit amid the financial crisis. Lord Hanningfield, the council's leader, said it intended to create a £50million "community bank", pooling funds from the council and local health and police authorities.
  • Public Service – Opening soon, the Bank of Essex – The 'Bank of Essex' is not the council's first radical idea. It recently announced handing out annual contracts worth millions of pounds to local businesses only, giving council tax rebates to thousands of pensioners (and maybe single mothers and families of Colchester-based soldiers in the future), and giving financial support to companies who take on apprentices.
  • Bank of Essex could show high street banks how to help small firms – As small firms continue to have difficulties raising money from the high street banks, Essex county council has come up with an ingenious way of helping local businesses weather the economic storm – by creating its own bank.

    During a special session, the Essex Management Board, the body that represents the Essex public sector, proposed the creation of a new 'Bank of Essex', which would be a special delivery vehicle to act as an intermediary and distribute European Investment Bank (EIB) funds to local businesses.

  • Watch out Big Four, here comes the Bank of Essex – Times Online – COUNCIL leaders in Essex are used to their county being the butt of jokes about white-stilletoed girls dancing round their hand-bags. Now, after deciding Britain’s banks have been making a joke of Essex businessmen, the council has come up with a pioneering plan to create its own bank.
  • Council to launch ‘Bank of Essex’ – Home News, UK – The Independent – A "Bank of Essex" is to be set up to help small businesses struggling to win investment because of the credit crunch, under plans being examined by the county council. The proposal for a bank, which would be a central point for help in accessing European funds, is part of a wider plan to help the local economy, which includes a new credit union, Essex Savers, and an Essex Apprentice scheme, which would create 40 new jobs initially.
  • Deli-dollar offers route to business funding – Business, News – The Independent – PASTRAMI ON rye might not sound like an alternative to hard cash but in one American town, sandwiches are replacing dollar bills. Frank Tortoriello runs a deli in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In 1989 he wanted to move to larger premises but the bank would not lend him the $4,500 he needed, so he simply printed his own money.
  • PB key message in empowerment white paper — Participatory Budgeting Unit – On Thursday 10th July, Communities & Local Government published 'Communities in Control: real people, real power' or the community empowerment white paper. The Participatory Budgeting Unit is really happy to note that Participatory Budgeting runs as a key thread throughout the whole paper and is linked to a number of other key commitments as well as there being PB specific key commitments.