The Lancaster Stock Exchange concept is intimately related to the concept of sustainable economic development. It emphasizes the economic, social, and environmental impacts of business at a visible local level. While individual businesses will come and go, a thriving and vibrant local economy is a site of innovation, entrepreneurship, and competitive business development. Such an economy creates and retains a healthy supply of good quality jobs in ways that do not rely on exploiting workers, externalizing business costs to the community, or extracting resources in an unsustainable way. The successful local economy will be rich in innovation and quality production, characterized by strong social and community ties, and provide a healthy and nurturing setting for a wholesome and fulfilling life.
Supporting a thriving, local economy requires financial infrastructure appropriate to the nature of competition in that local area. If small businesses are competing with larger chain stores from elsewhere, they need to have a parallel toolkit of investment capital to open new locations, hire more people, purchase or lease new facilities and equipment, and so on.