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Friday, November 2, 2018

Meet the Creator of "Buy The Block," the Only Black-Owned Platform of its Kind Fighting Gentrification


Buy the Block, created by entrepreneur Linda (Lynn) P. Smith, is the only Black-owned crowd-investing platform that is helping Black communities build wealth while determining the direction of development in their communities. Developers go where the money is, and it’s an unfortunate fact that Black communities often lack that single wealthy investor who can back projects that will serve the community without changing the community.
It's very common to see developers come in, buy up a distressed property and turn it into something the neighborhood neither needs not wants. This is what gentrification is -- renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste, and then the current population is priced out of the neighborhood.

How is Buy the Block Different?

Buy the Block is a crowd-investing site. Instead of relying on a single big-money investor, projects that fund through Buy the Block will be relying on a much larger number of small-dollar donors.

Most people don't have a hundred thousand dollars to renovate an apartment building, but if a thousand of us have a hundred dollars to invest, we can get the job done and renovating and improving a house or neighborhood keeping the current residents, but the decisions are made by the community.

What does “stay within the community” really mean?

The one putting up the money is the one making the decisions. When that’s a developer from outside the community, they’re going to build whatever they want regardless of what the community needs. They’re going to hire someone they know regardless of where they come from. They’re going to take the profits and put them into their own pockets and their other projects outside the community.

When you back something on Buy the Block, you’re keeping control in the community. You and your neighbors get to pick which projects to back based on what your community really needs. You don’t get to dictate who gets hired, but the people who fund through Buy the Block are committed to their communities so they’re much more likely to hire members of the community. And let’s not forget that this is an investment. Investments make profits and Buy the Block keeps those profits in the community to fund other projects, retirements, and everything else life throws at us.

It’s Your Chance to Influence the Direction of Your Community

The only constant in the world is change. Your community will change and if you sit back and let things go on as they have been, that change will be directed by wealthy people who don’t care about you, your neighbors, or your community.
They will make decisions based on what they think will make the most profit regardless of whether it really serves the community.

Buy the Block is the Black community's chance to fight back -- against gentrification, against the widening wealth gap, and against a system designed to make the wealthy wealthier at the expense of the rest of us.

The minimum investment in any project is as low as $100 and most projects don’t require hundreds of thousands of dollars. The total investment goals are reachable, but only if you do your part to keep your community whole.

Sign up today; Your community will thank you for it:
https://buytheblock.com/campaign/connecting-farmers-to-people-reconnecting-people-to-real-food