fundlocal-logo1The Washington State Department of Commerce has partnered with Community Sourced Capital to connect local businesses with local investors. The result: businesses can raise up to $50,000 to grow and expand, add new products or services or invest in new equipment through microloans provided by members of their community.

Called Fund Local, the program allows residents to become “squareholders” in community businesses. Participating businesses do all their own marketing and make their pitches for the money, which is invested in $50 increments called “squares.” When a business succeeds in raising enough money, they get a 0% loan on the money and have three years to pay the loan back.

Pretty exciting stuff, since small businesses can find it difficult to access capital through traditional bank loans. The brainchild of the Department of Commerce’s Business Retention & Expansion team and Community Sourced Capital, this program is the first of its kind in the nation and is part of the Startup 365 strategy to grow communities organically by supporting local businesses.

Want more information? Visit the Fund Local page on the Startup 365 Washington website.