ReboundKC: Agency connects investors with local businesses looking for help

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Posted at 6:36 AM, Apr 30, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new agency hopes you’ll invest in the local companies you love.

As part of the 41 Action News's Rebound KC initiative, we're sharing resources available to help small businesses bounce back.

MainVest facilitates crowdfunding, so it serves two purposes. One, it's a way for businesses to get money. Two, it's a way for people to invest in a business they care about and make money back over time.

Nick Mathews, the MainVest CEO, says the community buy-in helps make participating businesses successful.

"They weren't just like launching a ketchup-flavored popsicle stand in Stowe, Vermont, and hoping people showed up," Mathews joked. "When they're doing their capital raise, they're getting that market validation for their idea and it's the community voting with their wallet. So when there are these times of struggle, these businesses have that support."

Since stay-at-home orders swept the country, MainVest's phone has been ringing off the hook.

It is now offering a small, no-interest loan to businesses which sign up to get them started because the crowdfunding portion of the concept takes about 40 days to collect money.

The MainVest CEO said ultimately, the goal is to keep local ecosystems turning, create more jobs, encourage people to spend and get returns on investments.

"The way that gets started is by building out that framework of local businesses that succeed, that are generating revenue, that are hiring their friends and families, and are providing return hopefully back to you and not to some New York private equity firm," Mathews pointed out.

People investing in businesses with MainVest can see exactly where their money goes because it stays local, but it carries the risk of losing money.

MainVest launched in the northeast United States just over a year ago. No businesses in the Kansas City area have signed up so far, but the agency is looking to expand here.

Visit their website for more information.