(Washington, DC) – Today, at the DC Retail Summit, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) launched the DC Rebuild Bond Program, a partnership with SMBX through the Equitable Capital Access Fund Grant that will enable local businesses to build, expand, and innovate. The District’s $500,000 investment will use the SMBX marketplace to fuel $5 million in bonds from individual investors to small and local businesses, with a focus on historically disadvantaged businesses in Wards 5, 7, and 8.
“Local businesses represent the dreams of DC residents and are the backbone our city’s economy,” said Mayor Bowser. “This tool is one more way we can work together to create jobs and opportunity in all eight wards, support our favorite small and local businesses, and uplift entrepreneurs who are invested in our people, culture, and neighborhoods.”
By issuing Small Business Bonds™ through the SMBX marketplace, local businesses will have a new way to raise capital and achieve independence from conventional bank lending practices at competitive rates. By buying Small Business Bonds on the SMBX marketplace, the District community and lifetime small business supporters can become active investors in the businesses they want to see flourish in their neighborhoods. As part of the program, DC businesses listed on the SMBX marketplace will benefit from no private lending fees, zero origination fees, and no personal guarantees to secure their loans. They will also receive direct support from the SMBX marketing team to help them reach their goals.
“Throughout the pandemic, we saw DC residents step up to support local, small businesses, and with the DC Rebuild Bond Program they can help small businesses raise the capital they need to succeed, while allowing small investors to support businesses in their community,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “With Mayor Bowser’s focus on historically disadvantaged businesses in Wards 5, 7, and 8, we are leveling the playing field so that entrepreneurs and their workers can reach their full potential.”
“The SMBX marketplace was inspired by the belief that there was a better way for small businesses to access the financing they need to grow and succeed. We want to help local entrepreneurs advance their goals and aspirations in a community-minded, community-led fashion,” said Ben Lozano, CEO and co-founder of SMBX. “By turning neighborhood fans into active investors in their favorite businesses, we’re creating a financial system that benefits everyone in the community and helps keep the cycle of wealth and prosperity local.”
Today’s announcement was made at the District’s third Retail Summit, a virtual conference bringing together local retail and restaurant businesses, thought leaders from the private and public sectors, and community stakeholders. This year’s theme was “Forecasting Our Future” and the summit explored how local businesses have pivoted over the past year and what’s next for D.C. retail and restaurants. To learn more about how to invest in businesses in DC on SMBX, click here. To learn more about how to apply for the D.C. Rebuild Bond program for your business, click here.