A growing number of resources are available to help small, food-based businesses.
- Food Well Alliance invests in the local food movement in numerous ways. Visit our grants section for upcoming opportunities.
- The Foundation Center offers extensive databases on available local and national grants.
- Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE Loans) provides community economic development for established and start-up businesses to create sustainable economies that generate jobs. Its Healthy Food Financing Initiative provides financing for stores in food deserts.
- Community Sourced Capital is a registered Social Purpose Corporation that helps existing local businesses source short-term zero interest loans from their customers and supporters.
- The Slow Money investment circles work with traditional investors to craft strategies and deals that support local food businesses. Investors recognize the importance of local food and the often “slow” growth of these businesses. Contact Slow Money Georgia via info@SlowMoneyGA.org.
- US Small Business Administration (SBA) offers loans at very low cost, which are available to companies without enough credit history for a bank loan.
- According to this 2014 Forbes Magazine article, The Top 5 Sources for Small Business Loans, access to capital is getting easier for small business owners, yet they are not taking advantage of the traditional funding resources that are available.
Starting a local food business often involves expensive overhead for an office, kitchen equipment and staff. Luckily, there are ways to leverage shared resources and reduce costs.
- Shared kitchens are available across the Atlanta region. You can find a list of them at CulinaryIncubator.com, a site for helping entrepreneurs find a place to produce their food product.
- If you are looking for ways to connect and collaborate with other food service professionals, check out the Atlanta chapter of Chefs Collaborative. This national movement seeks to empower chefs and other food service professionals with knowledge about our food system. It provides a gathering place to discuss local issues and opportunities.
Navigating the rules for using local food can be difficult. Here are a few links to help you get started.