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  • Writer's pictureCalla Norman

What Can I Use a Small Business Loan For?

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

Norraset Nareedokmai, owner of Kiin Lao and Thai Eatery in Pittsburgh with his young daughter

Restaurants like Kiin Lao and Thai Eatery have crowdfunded small business loans for their restaurants with Honeycomb Credit!

If you’re in the market for a small business loan, you might be wondering what kinds of projects you might be able to finance using a loan. The better question to ask might be, “what can’t you use a small business loan for?”

Small business loans are incredibly flexible, and allow you to finance most business operations or projects. Whether you’re starting a small business from scratch or looking to make the next step in your business’s growth, a small business loan can help you reach those goals.

Here are just eight ways that you can use a small business loan to build your business - and each one of these crowdfunded at least part of their capital needs with a small business loan from Honeycomb Credit, funded by their best customers and most loyal friends, not a bank.

Starting up a business - Gordo’s Tacos and Tequila

One way in which you can utilize a small business loan is by getting one to start up your small business!

Gordo’s Tacos and Tequila is a from-scratch restaurant in more ways than one. Located at the top of the Monongahela Incline, this gourmet taqueria will provide great Mexico City-style street food with one of Pittsburgh’s most iconic views.

In order to fund the start-up costs of the restaurant, including finishing the build-out of their second-story bar, Gordo’s Tacos and Tequila ran not one, but two Honeycomb Credit crowdfunding campaigns, and raised nearly $95,000 from both of them!

Expanding your small business’s distribution - Aurochs Brewing Company

If your small business is bursting at the seams in your market, it might be time to expand into new cities and states. This is a great opportunity for a small business loan, which can be used to improve distribution operations, marketing, or whatever you need!

Aurochs Brewing Company in Emsworth, Pennsylvania is a unique craft brewery in that they only brew gluten-free beers. Since opening, they’ve gathered a huge following and have grown to over 14 states in distribution!

In order to grow, Aurochs Brewing Company needed to purchase new brewing equipment, invest in marketing, and refinance old debt. So, they ran a Honeycomb campaign and crowdfunded a loan of $150,000!

a selection of Aurochs Brewing Company's gluten free beers

Rebranding your small business - Kiin Lao and Thai Eatery

Sometimes, you’re ready for something new, and rebranding your business can be a great way of freshening it up!

Kiin Lao and Thai Eatery in Pittsburgh rebranded from a beloved Thai restaurant, Bangkok Balcony because owner Norraset Nareedokmai fell in love with Lao food and wanted to bring the relatively underappreciated cuisine to America.

The rebranding of Kiin meant renovating the dining room and adding gorgeous graffiti-style murals made by a Lao artist, as well as including Lao specialties on the menu. To fund these changes, Kiin ran a campaign with Honeycomb and crowdfunded a loan of $33,658 from 30 investors!

Moving your small business to a new location - Square Cafe

Another great use for a small business loan is to finance the moving costs if you’re changing your business’s location to a new space!

Square Cafe, a popular brunch restaurant in Pittsburgh’s East End, moved from their small location in Regent Square to one three times the size in East Liberty. This move required, of course, renovations on the space, new chairs and seating, new kitchen equipment, and more. As a result, they needed funds in order to finance the move.

Owner Sherree Goldstein was no stranger to crowdfunding with Honeycomb, as she’d already had a successful campaign with her other business, My Goodness. This time around, she raised $250,000 in record time - one of the largest campaigns on Honeycomb yet!

Opening a food truck - Squash the Beef Vegan Catering

For many entrepreneurs in the catering industry, the next step is purchasing a restaurant, or if they want to be on-the-go, a food truck!

Squash the Beef is a vegan catering company out of Cleveland that was enjoying great success in the festival circuit, until COVID-19 cancelled all the festivals for a year! So, owners Candace Maiden and Kurtis Williams decided to pivot and purchase a food trailer that would allow them to safely take their vegan comfort food on the road.

They were able to raise a small business loan of $30,000 in 30 days for their new food trailer, and now Squash the Beef is consistently hosting and selling out food truck pop-ups across the Cleveland area!

Working capital for your small business - The Speckled Egg

Accessing the funds you need in order to more smoothly run your business, such as hiring employees, purchasing enough inventory, or more, is known as working capital and is a totally valid reason for taking out a small business loan.

The Speckled Egg is a brunch restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh opened by two longtime restaurant veterans who wanted to open up their own place. They found a place in a beautiful historic building downtown, and got to work renovating the space to fit their needs.

In order to get operational, The Speckled Egg took out a crowdfunded small business loan to finance the startup labor and food costs for their opening. They raised $49,500 from 42 investors, and are to this day serving up delicious brunch to Pittsburghers.

pancakes and avocado toast from the Speckled Egg

Some of the delicious brunch options available at The Speckled Egg, who financed their startup food costs with crowdfunding!

Refinancing high-interest debt - Iron Born Pizza

Often, small businesses take out high-interest loans from online lenders known as Merchant Cash Advances. These might seem okay if you’re looking for fast cash, but they can have rather predatory terms, and aren’t the best option for financing. However, you can take out a small business loan on these loans that will have a much lower interest rate in what’s known as refinancing.

Pete Tolman of Pittsburgh’s Iron Born Pizza took out a $100,000 loan from Kabbage, a now-defunct MCA lender. He was able to refinance that debt through Honeycomb and instead of paying 40-50% interest on that loan, he was now paying closer to 11%.

Iron Born Pizza was also able to use their Honeycomb crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to build out their second location in the Strip District, which has dine-in seating and a bar. They crowdfunded $107,000 for this restaurant expansion from 49 investors!

Buying equipment for your small business - Western Reserve Distillers

One more way that you can use a small business loan is for purchasing equipment you need to operate and grow your business. It could be a new bottling line for your brewery or winery, new refrigerators for your restaurant, new workout equipment for your gym, or anything else you can think of!

Western Reserve Distillers in Cleveland, Ohio, took out small business loans both from the SBA and from crowdfunding in order to expand their distillery’s distribution and production. They needed to purchase whiskey barrels and inventory to build upon their already existing craft spirits business.

With a Honeycomb crowdfunded small business loan, Western Reserve Distillers were able to raise over $100,000 for this equipment project from 57 investors.

Community Capital No Matter What Your Project Is!

At Honeycomb, we’ve crowdfunded projects from beehives to restaurant expansions, and everything in between.

Still wondering if your project is right for a Honeycomb Credit crowdfunded small business loan? Learn more at, and fill the form below out for more information!

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