Perhaps it’s a sign of a recovering economy: entrepreneurs are opening new businesses. Lydia Shire and Jasper White’s new restaurant, Towne Stove and Spirit opened this summer at the Hynes Convention Center. Farmers Juan Mendez and Andrew Rebula, broke ground at their new farm, The Hammock Farmers in Western MA. You can find them selling produce at the Central Square Farmers’ Market on Mondays. More businesses are slated to open this fall, including Akimenko Meats Butcher Shop and Back Deck Restaurant.
As varied as these new ventures are, the one thing they have in common is that they are all seeking funding. Money is needed to secure a lease with a deposit, purchase equipment and cover operating expenses until the revenues grow to a sustainable level. And money is available. The entrepreneur has several options for funding ranging from traditional to unconventional.
Traditional funding can come from a bank loan or individual investors.
Farmers like Juan and Rebula can seek grants from the MA Department of Agriculture or loans from The Carrot Project. For more established farms looking to grow their business Farm Credit Bureau has a variety of funding options.
Restaurateurs like Towne and Back Deck seek funding from individual investors and banks.
And sustainable food ventures can seek funding from individual investors or bank loans. Slow Money can help connect entrepreneurs with funders.
CSAs – community supported agriculture – are a way for farmers to fund their business by getting the customer to pay upfront for a season’s worth of produce. In a similar vein, some crafty entrepreneurs have requested funding in the form of donations. The future business owner may offer some sort of in-kind return to the investor.
More so than ever, investors and lenders will want to know that the entrepreneur will be a good steward of their money. And a good business plan is crucial. This will include not only information about the business venture and operating plan, but also an assessment of risks and revenue and expense projections.
You can find business plan templates on the SCORE website.
If you need further assistance evaluating your financing needs or writing your business plan, we’re happy to help. Just send us an email.