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Crowdfunding as an economic recovery tool

Crowdfunding can be an effective means of generating support for small businesses and their employees. While not relevant for all business models, crowdfunding can both raise much-needed revenue, as well as a means for brick & mortar small businesses to stay connected to their local community. Crowdfunding can also be effective for business ventures with a social mission, particularly in this challenging economic climate.

With this in mind, we wanted to highlight a few new programs targeted to address economic challenges associated with the Coronavirus:

  • The online fundraising platform GoFundMe has seen a spike in small businesses seeking to raise funds donated in support of their ventures and staff. Through this platform, individuals can donate to their favorite local small businesses, and those businesses raising funds pay no platform fee to secure these much-needed funds. Check out the GoFundMe website for examples of other businesses raising funds and to start your own campaign

  • Online investment platform WeFunder launched a targeted product with loan ranges between $20,000 and $1 million and repayment deferred until 2021. Funding comes via investments of as little as $100 from a business’ customer base as well as the 400,000+ Wefunder investors, and repayment is based on a share of future revenues. Check out the WeFunder website for more info.

  • Crowd-lending platform Kiva has expanded eligibility for its 0% interest small business loan program, and also increased the maximum loan size to $15,000 while providing a grace period of up to six months. Check out the Kiva website for more info.

  • Crowdfunding platform MainVest has launched a Main Street Initiative, where existing brick & mortar businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible to receive a $2,000 loan at 0% interest. To receive the loan, small businesses must launch their capital raise campaign, where they can receive over $100,000 of investment from their community and make repayments as a percentage of sales. For more info check out the MainVest website.

Check out the crowdfunding page of our website for more information on crowdfunding options, and contact a Pace SBDC business advisor to explore relevant options for your business.

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