• Calla Norman

Types of Small Businesses to Invest in for 2022!

You might be expecting this list to include some of those notable names on the stock exchange, like Tesla or Apple. However, what if we told you that there are businesses that you can invest in which are actually on your street?


Instead of (or in addition to) sinking some of your investable income into trading stocks, you can invest in small businesses in your neighborhood for a fixed income rate. Honeycomb Credit makes this incredibly simple: you just decide on a business to invest in, how much to invest (as little as $100!), and then sit back and wait to potentially earn interest!


Read on to find out what kinds of small businesses are available to invest in the coming year, and see some examples of past campaigns that saw success.


As a disclaimer: this is not investment advice. These are financial investments and there is no guarantee of a return; small business lending is risky and investors could lose part or all of their investment.


Invest on Your Street, not Wall Street


One of the biggest reasons to invest in small businesses in your community is that you’re investing right in your backyard! You get to put your money where your mouth is and support the businesses in your neighborhood that you care about.


Explore live crowdfunding campaigns across the country that you can get started investing in today!


Types of Small Businesses to invest in for 2021


Restaurants


Restaurants in particular have had issues in the past year in finding funding through traditional sources like banks. Part of this is the risk involved with opening a restaurant (as we’ve seen throughout the coronavirus pandemic), but also just general trends in reduced funding towards small businesses.


So, many restaurant owners are seeing out alternative sources of funding, such as finding investors for their restaurants or through crowdfunding. Restaurants are actually really great places for investing in crowdfunding campaigns, because they are often such integral places in their neighborhood’s landscape, and by investing in them you can feel like a part of their community.


One example of a restaurant that crowdfunded through Honeycomb and is also an emblem of their community is Casa Brasil. This Brazilian restaurant in Pittsburgh’s Highland Park neighborhood raised $90,450 from 79 investors so that they could purchase a liquor license and introduce a bar to their booming restaurant.


“Without community support, we’d never be able to become a permanent establishment in Highland Park, become a successful business, or expand our restaurant idea,” says Keyla Noguiera Cook, co-owner of Casa Brasil.


Keyla and Tim, owners of Casa Brasil in Pittsburgh

Distilleries


From 2014-2019, craft distilleries were the darling of the small alcohol industry, seeing intense growth. Obviously, the pandemic caused a dip in revenue across the industry, but there is evidence that the craft distillery landscape is returning to the level of growth they saw in 2019.


Craft distilleries that choose to crowdfund are often interesting investments because they are usually seeking large amounts of capital for their growth. Usually this looks like expanding their barrel aging program, upgrading and expanding their equipment, and growing their distribution channels.


One recent Honeycomb campaign for a distillery was Lucky Sign Spirits in Millvale, Pennsylvania. They were raising funds to open a new production facility which would increase their operational efficiency and allow them to grow their business not only through their production but also their retail.


Even though they were a young company, Lucky Sign Spirits was able to raise $122,000 from 77 investors. This number would probably not have happened if they went to a bank, who notoriously don’t often lend to small businesses without a long history. Well, Lucky Sign Spirits to this day is growing their business.


Breweries


Like distilleries, breweries are also a capital-intensive industry, so when they’re looking to raise money, they’re often looking for quite a lot. Sometimes this is for equipment, or to build out a taproom to serve their brews, and all of this requires money for the buildout and implementation of the new equipment.


Swedesboro Brewing Company is a brewery in New Jersey which opened up in the middle of the pandemic, and they discovered that they needed funding for two reasons: increased construction costs because of supply chain issues, and the necessity of switching over their distribution strategy to a more takeout-friendly option.


This brewery raised $120,600 to fund this pivot, which allowed them to open up the first brewery in their community, funded by investors who were incredibly excited for a new watering hole in their neighborhood.


“The investors are now part of the business, and now they feel that it’s their brewery, which was the most important thing about investing today,” says Marvin Bowe, co-owner of Swedesboro Brewing Company.



co-founder Marvin Bowe in the Swedesboro Brewing Company taproom

Fitness Studios


It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the fitness industry forever, as people have shifted to at-home workouts, either self-guided or using online fitness studios. Also, there has been more of a trend towards a holistic approach to fitness, with gyms incorporating ideas of mental health into their curriculum of physical health classes.


We’ve noticed quite a few gyms that had built up an online following throughout the pandemic are starting to also integrate an in-person aspect to their business model. One such gym is Triangle Foundry in Pittsburgh. Owner Karyna grew her virtual cycling and yoga business to over 20 classes a week, and then decided to open up a physical space in 2021. To fund this, she raised $15,300 from 28 investors.


As gyms grow and adapt, they’re increasingly becoming a potential place to invest in, whether they’re operating online or in person, or both! People are always looking for ways to be healthy, after all, so demand for gyms isn’t going anywhere.


Green Small Businesses


Investing in green businesses is definitely a trend in more traditional forms of investing, looking at large clean energy firms or corporations that have a triple bottom line when it comes to their sustainability program, but you can also invest in small businesses in your community that are environmentally friendly!


Have you noticed the trend of zero-waste refill shops popping up in region after region? As consumers want to reduce their plastic use and use products that are good for their bodies and the environment, demand for these kinds of shops are growing. Little Spark Refill Shop in Cleveland is just one example. In only a few months after opening, owner Rachel Regula was ready to expand to a second location, and she crowdfunded $65,950 from 59 investors to do it!


There are many other green businesses that crowdfund through Honeycomb, from small farms like Blackberry Meadows Farm to tech platforms that support farmers like Harvie, who crowdfunded $236,635 to expand their distribution and marketing efforts.



employee at Harvie boxes a CSA order

Reasons to Invest in Main Street


Still not convinced? Man, you’re a tough sell! Just kidding, this is a good sign - it means you’re a discerning investor who’s trying to learn what you can about this kind of an investment opportunity. At a high level, investing in small businesses has many benefits beyond the potential of a return. Here’s what we mean:


You’re investing a little, and getting a lot


First of all, you’re probably wondering about the numbers. By investing in Honeycomb campaigns, you could potentially earn from 5-12% interest on your investment in a local small business.* Honeycomb also has an 83% success rate on our campaigns, and if a campaign you invest in doesn’t reach completion, you get your money back.


Also, all of our businesses are vetted and undergo a credit analysis and background check, so we do our best to offer up investment opportunities that are reliable.


Besides all that, you have the opportunity to form a deeper relationship with those businesses in your community you love by investing in them. Often, businesses that crowdfund with Honeycomb keep in touch with investors and invite them to special occasions and opportunities as thanks for investing.


You’re investing in a person, not a corporation


Investing in a small business means that you’re putting your money into someone with a business to run and a family to take care of, not some faceless corporation. You’re helping someone realize their dream of running a restaurant, brewery, fitness studio, or whatever the case may be. Also, by extension you’re helping them pay for college for their kids, or build a better quality of life for themselves, all while building your own wealth in the process. What’s more rewarding than that?


Are you ready to start your small business investing journey?


Now is a great time to do it! Small Business Saturday is coming up, and we’ve got some special plans to introduce growing small businesses with investors like you!


Get signed up and get started investing in small businesses in your neighborhood today!



* This statement assumes the offering is successful, securities are sold, and repays as expected through maturity. This is a financial investment and there is no guarantee of a return; small business lending is risky and investors could lose part or all of their investment.