Nearly six months after its launch, DC’s Rebuild Bond Program is hard at work building capital for local businesses.
The program, which arose from a partnership between the DC Deputy Mayor’s Office of Planning and Economic Development and community investor SMBX, just added two more DC businesses to its marketplace. Launched last summer, the Rebuild Bond Program offers small, local companies the chance to crowdsource funding from the community. Instead of borrowing from the bank or government grants, businesses can apply to borrow from interested local investors, who can pledge as little or as much as they like and get paid back monthly. DC government invested $500,000 in the program, which was designed to target Wards 5, 6 and 8, and said it would bring $5 million back to the district.
Businesses, for their part, submit their financials to SMBX in order to be considered. They’re then publicly traded on the Rebuild Bond marketplace and can raise anywhere $25,000 to $500,000 and beyond. According to Rebuild Bond, eight businesses have raised more than $775,000 on the platform since its inception.
In September, Deputy Mayor for Economic Planning and Development John Falcicchio told Technical.ly that the goal was to encourage community development for small businesses.
“We want to make sure, coming out of the pandemic, that we don’t lose that character that makes DC unique,” Falcicchio said at the time. “SMBX allows independent, small businesses to take capital from those who want to see them succeed anyway. If you’re already a customer, you’re more likely to want to be an investor because you understand the business and you like what the business does, so you want to see it grow.”
Two DC businesses recently became the latest to join the program, which is open to startups and small businesses from all over the country: Innovative Recordings, a music production company from go-go music scene stalwart Charles “Shorty Corleone” Garris , and Triune Solutions, a Black woman-owned cybersecurity company in Ward 8. Both small businesses are based in Ward8 and now seek capital from the local community.
At present, Innovative Records has raised $112,000 toward its $500,000 campaign goal for working capital, equipment, manufacturing and advertising. Triune, which supports both the Department of Defense and the intelligence community, recently launched its own campaign on the marketplace for $250,000, which will support hiring more staff.
“Our cybersecurity business is growing as online threats become more sophisticated,” said Teresa Gilchrist, Triune’s founder and CEO, in a statement. “The growth capital we’re raising from our community will ensure our company can meet growing demand while training the next generation of cybersecurity experts.”
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