We shop local, we buy local, we eat local, let’s invest local too! Over the past year, the Old Takoma Business Association (OTBA) has been exploring ways to make it easier for people to use their investment dollars to help the small businesses they know and like. The OTBA Local Investment Committee has worked with partners in DC and MD to develop a platform for community investment, Neighborhood Notes and to develop a new MD law that will enable small businesses to borrow directly from average investors and pay interest on those loans. Learn more about Takoma Park Locavesting in this video HERE
Option 1 -Takoma Notes
The OTBA offers community members the opportunity to support local businesses through the Takoma Project Notes program. Under this program, local businesses will be able to apply for loans from OTBA, and both Maryland and DC residents are able to support those local businesses through the purchase of Notes. We will use the proceeds from the Notes to finance loans to participating businesses. The purpose of this program is to enhance the Takoma community and to connect local businesses with community members. Apply Here
Option 2 – New Maryland Micro-Lending
With support from the Maryland D20 delegation and community organizers based in Takoma Park and Silver Spring, the Maryland Legislature passed a law in 2014 allowing Maryland businesses to borrow directly from individuals, via notes that pay interest, without going through burdensome SEC requirements. This is a major step towards increasing community investment in local business, strengthening ties between individuals and the businesses that serve them, and providing need capital to small businesses around the state. The state has issued its guidance on the law. A small group, under the name of TPSSLocalvesting, have developed documents to help businesses understand the platform and raise loan capital this way. Learn more HERE.