Businesses looking for more personal investments - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Businesses looking for more personal investments

Tamashii offers sustainable seafood and hopes for some local investors. Tamashii offers sustainable seafood and hopes for some local investors.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The popular trends of going green and shopping local could see a new option following behind – community investing.

Several business owners pitched their stories Monday night in hopes of attracting some financial support. Mark Scharaga, owner of Tamashii, hosted the event and joined the discussion.

"Capital's always hard for a start-up," he said.

These business owners did not invite any major banks to Monday's meeting. Instead, Slow Money NC hoped to connect the businesses with regular people. Organizer Carol Peppe Hewitt said most people invest a couple thousand dollars.

"These are loans that are too small or considered not safe enough for most banks," she said.

About 50 of those ‘small' loans have added up to more than $580,000 invested into sustainable businesses across the state. Carol said her goal is $2 million.

"We have a lot more power than what we allow ourselves to take on," she said.

Businesses like Greenlands Farm Store in Bolivia hope someone will find a reason to support its effort. The owners want to expand but they need a working freezer to store their products.

"I'd much rather do that than send my money out to places where I don't know what it's doing," Carol said. "If they lose it, I have no control."

The control in local investment, she added, comes from community support. Anyone who invests in a restaurant will know when it could use some extra customers.

Click here to learn more about these businesses and how you can invest in their future.

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