Public Banking for Farming, Food and the Climate

Expanding Opportunities for Local Food

Public Banking for Small Business

Fostering Main Street Stability and Local Growth

Public Banking for Municipalities

Investing Our Tax Dollars In Our Communities

What is a
Public Bank?

A Public Bank is a bank owned by the people through their representative governments and operated in the public interest. Public banks can exist at all levels, from local to state to national or even international. Any governmental body which can meet local banking requirements may, theoretically, create such a financial institution. 

Public banks exist around the world from Germany to Brazil to New Zealand. In the US, the Bank of North Dakota was established in 1919 to protect local farms from foreclosure by commercial banks, and today helps local businesses and farmers thrive.

Public Banking for Municipalities

The COVID-19 pandemic has left tax revenues down and municipal budgets stretched thin. Municipal leaderships is working 24/7 to establish new best practices to ensure that the community institutions that residents depend on, including schools, first responders, senior centers, libraries, and recreational facilities, are there to meet public needs. Cities and towns are sharing new ideas, programs, and procedures to meet the challenges of these times.

Public Banking for Small Business and Community Development

Nearly 1.5 million people—almost half of Massachusetts workers—are employed by small businesses. But small businesses are not just economically important. The presence of a diversity of service, manufacturing, construction, arts, and agricultural businesses creates a stronger community, with local businesses more likely to support local institutions. A thriving Main Street creates a sense of place and civic pride, and everyone benefits from access to services and jobs.

Public Banking for Farms, Food & the Climate

We don’t think of Massachusetts as being a farm state, but agriculture is an important part of the Commonwealth’s economy, its environment, and its culture. Massachusetts has more than 7,000 farms employing almost 30,000 people. Nearly 80% of the farms in the Commonwealth are either family or individually-owned. Massachusetts residents who shop at farmers markets or look for local produce in the supermarket appreciate the freshness and quality of what they buy, as well as the benefits to climate of eating local and in season.

Public banks can help us create the communities we want.

Parks, good roads, safe bridges, clean energy and housing we can afford. We want lower interest rates for local small business loans, local control of our tax dollars, investment in our local communities, and ethical and transparent financial institutions managing our public funds. Public banks can be the financial engine that makes this happen for our communities.

— Public Banking Institute

Public banks can help us create the communities we want.

Municipalities Pursuing Public Banks


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States Actively Exploring Public Banking

Latest News from the Field

Congratulations to BECMA

Persistance and data have sparked a change in how the Governor's office awards state contracts, as this story in the Boston Globe notes. In January, BECMA, the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, urged changes in how state contracts are awarded. They made a...

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Public Banking is taking hold across the country!

Across the nation, more than 25 initiatives for public banks are actively being pursued, by progressives and conservatives, 30 of 50 states have proposed legislation in support of publicly-owned banks, and over 50 organizations are promoting public banks.

Our Partners and Allies Across the Country

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