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  • Writer's pictureCalla Norman

Alternative funding options for local businesses in Atlanta

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

If you’re an independently-owned business in Atlanta, you may have hit some roadblocks when it comes to funding. Maybe a bank doesn’t think you’re ready for a loan (for silly reasons, like you’re too young a business), or maybe you can’t find private investors. Here are some alternative options to finance your small business’s next growth step, and some examples from the community.

How Bread is Good opened their bakery with Honeycomb Credit

Maybe you’ve heard of Bread is Good, a small sourdough bread subscription service in the Atlanta area. It was started by Sarah Dodge, who after working in some of of Atlanta’s best bakeries and chefs including Holeman & Finch Bread and Little Tart Bakeshop, while also experimenting with her own ideas at Octopus Bar, Preserving Place, and numerous pop ups and collaborations all over the country, decided it was time to make something of her own.

Soon, Sarah began selling her sourdough to individuals in the community and wholesale to other restaurants. Bread is Good grew so much that she decided it was time to open a brick-and-mortar bakery, which she will name Colette, after the French novelist. To build-out the new space in Atlanta, they hired a wonderful local architectural firm and are leasing a charming space in a mixed use building that used to house an old grocery store - all that was left was to get the funding!

Sarah turned to Honeycomb Credit to finance her new bakery. Honeycomb is a platform that allows small business owners to take out loans from their community through an alternative funding model known as loan crowdfunding. What this means is that Sarah’s longtime customers, family, and friends, can actually invest as little as $100 in her offering and earn a return!

With Honeycomb Credit, Sarah reached her maximum goal, raising $100,000 for her dream bakery’s build-out. For a business that has been unique from its inception, it only makes sense that they’d thrive on this alternative funding model.

For investors, they were attracted of course by Bread Is Good’s delicious loaves as well as their story - and also the 10.5% interest rate. While this might seem higher than a bank loan’s interest rate, the interest rate won’t fluctuate with the Federal Reserve’s whims. It also was much faster than a bank loan, which could take months, and Honeycomb loans come not only with the access to capital but also with added marketing and stronger customer relationships as a result of investments.

Other alternative funding sources in Atlanta

There are several alternative funding sources besides a bank that you can find in Atlanta. Of course, a small business in Atlanta can choose to crowdfund their business using reward crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter - but those are often hard to really reach one’s maximum or even minimum goal with. There’s also equity crowdfunding - but why would you want to give up ownership in your small business when you could raise the same amount of money as a loan?

Another resource for alternative funding is Invest Atlanta, a small business development organization that offers some small business grants and loans. This could be a great opportunity, but also doesn’t have the added marketing and relationship building aspects of loan crowdfunding.

Are you looking off the beaten path to fund your Atlanta small business?

If so, we’d love to talk with you! Fill out the form below to learn more about Honeycomb Credit’s small business loan program.


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