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  • Writer's pictureCalla Norman

Top Loans and Funding Opportunities for LGBTQ+ Owned Small Businesses

boba drinks from Bae Bae's Kitchen in PIttsburgh

If you’re a business owner and a member of the LGBTQ+ opportunity, did you know that there are some special ways you can get funding for your business? From loans to grants to crowdfunding and networking with investors, here are some ways you can get your LGBTQ+-owned small business funded.

Call upon the LGBTQ+ community with crowdfunding for your small business

The queer community is no stranger to mutual aid and community support, on both micro- and large-scale efforts. Crowdfunding, a means of gathering funds online through social networking, is one way this has manifested. Take the Lesbian Bar Project, a crowdfunding effort that raised over $117,000 for 21 bars across the country that were struggling with the coronavirus pandemics impacts.

However, crowdfunding isn’t just for mutual aid or charity! If you’re looking to raise money for your LGBTQ+-owned business, whether it’s through investors or loans, you can crowdfund it directly from your community.

Honeycomb Credit is an example of a loan crowdfunding platform. The way it works is that members of your community - your customers, family, and friends - can invest as little as $100 in your business, and you’ll pay them back, plus interest. This means you’ll get the funding you need for your business as well as help build wealth in your community.

LGBTQ+-owned Honeycomb alumni businesses such as Scoot Cold Brew, Pierogi Pantry, and Square Cafe have grown their businesses with loans from $30,000 to $250,000, raised by their community.

Get a traditional small business loan from the SBA

I mean, if you really want to go the boring route, you can get a small business loan from the SBA. The SBA actually isn’t a lender, but they connect you with banks who will potentially lend to you. Keyword: potentially. Small business funding from traditional financial institutions has been declining for decades, and sadly marginalized communities are often left out of that funding.

The most common SBA loan for small businesses is the SBA 7(a) loan, which can be used for working capital, refinancing high-interest debt, and purchasing furniture, etc. It is worth noting that if you do get approved for an SBA loan, it might not cover all of your needs - which is why you can combine it with other sources of funding - like crowdfunding!

Look for grants for LGBTQ+ owned small businesses

Numbers of foundations, large and small, have grants available to LGBTQ+ owned small businesses. Some are for nonprofits, some are for socially-minded small businesses, and others. It’s definitely a great option, especially for small startups who might not be ready to take on debt quite yet.

Let your community show their pride by investing in your business

Find out just how much your business matters to your community by running a Honeycomb loan crowdfunding campaign. You can get fast, fair access to capital, build your customer relationships, and boost your marketing cred all in the process. Fill out the form below for more information.


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