Crowdfunding A New Way To Invest, Build Businesses

By Brie Handgraaf
The Wilson Daily Times, N.C.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Last year in the crowdfunding space, approximately $45 billion was raised which is about the same figure as all angel investments combined.

The Wilson Daily Times, N.C.

Since the recession, obtaining a business loan from a bank has gotten harder for entrepreneurs, but there is another option and crowdfunding was the topic du jour last Tuesday at the Wilson Chamber of Commerce.

“Crowdfunding is exploding,” said Mark Easley, publisher of CrowdfundNC.com.

“There is huge amounts of money being raised. Last year in the crowdfunding space, about $45 billion was raised and that is about the same investment as all the angel investors.”

Angel investors, individuals who are accredited following a check of assets and income, had been the only legal way to loan capital to startups and growing businesses.

“Traditionally, angel investors were the only ones who could invest in these companies,” Easley said. “With crowdfunding, everyone can be an investor.”

Easley recalled a 2013 conversation with Tom Murry, who was a member of the N.C. General Assembly, about putting together a state law to support investment crowdfunding.

“He told me how he is a pharmacist with a pharmacy in Morrisville and was trying to open a new one down in Raleigh. He said, ‘This week I’m going to my 23rd bank to try to get a loan,'” he said. “Think about that. He is a successful businessman already, an assemblyman and the chair of the commerce committee, but he couldn’t get a loan. That is how restrictive things have gotten, so he understood the problem and he took the ball and ran with it to create the N.C. PACES Act.”

The 2016 North Carolina law providing access to capital for entrepreneurs and small business legislation paved the way for Localstake NC and the online platform — https://nc.localstake.com/ — that pairs companies seeking capital with potential investors.

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