Beginning in 2008, Michael Sauvante and Vari MacNeil, under the auspices of National Commonwealth Group, Inc., have been researching community economic development issues.

Our publications are focused on finance as it affects small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and communities, covering four broad categories: public banking, securities, currencies and related articles.


MONEY. It’s not what most of us think. Most people assume our national currencies come from the government. In reality, only a small percentage of money in circulation comes from the government and the balance from private sources. This section explores that topic.

Public Banking

Public banks are owned by non-profit organizations or governments. They reinvest profits into their communities, prioritize lending to small businesses and other groups under-served by big banks, and tend to lend counter-cyclically to private banks, thus helping smooth out contraction cycles.​


Securities regulations generally make it difficult for small businesses to raise capital. We advocate for changes to securities regulations that would allow small and mid-size businesses access to more of the fundraising pathways and other resources currently reserved for large corporations.​


Complementary currencies have existed for millennia and thousands are in use around the world today. They can be a powerful tool for local economic development. We put forth a new way to deploy local currencies that can galvanize entrepreneurial activity and help create widespread prosperity.


Looking at our main focus areas from a higher-level perspective, we research credit and capital issues for small and mid-sized business, community economic development, regulatory frameworks and corporate sustainability, including impact investing and the triple bottom line.

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