Free Educational Forum for Mercer County Small Businness Bond Program

Mercer County is encouraging small business owners to attend an educational forum on Wednesday, Sept. 27, about the new Mercer County Small Business Investment Program. The program is helping small businesses raise funding directly through retail investors locally and nationwide on the SMBX marketplace.

The free event is on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. at the Mercer County Fire Academy, 350 Lawrence Station Road, Lawrence Township. Mercer County awarded a $500,000 grant to SMBX to manage the program and drive retail investment to at least 30 Mercer County small businesses on the SMBX marketplace. The grant keeps the program free for small businesses as they raise funds to grow their businesses. Small business owners can apply to raise funds through the Mercer County Office of Economic Development, SMBX, and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.

Here’s how the program works: Businesses can raise money by issuing Small Business Bonds on the SMBX marketplace. Instead of borrowing from a bank, businesses borrow from investors in their community and across the country, paying them back monthly at fixed interest rates through SMBX. Small businesses are not required to provide a personal loan guarantee.

SMBX completes the underwriting at no cost, the business reviews it, and SMBX files it with federal regulators. The SMBX marketing team works with the business owners to offer and promote their raise. Once the raise is completed, the business makes monthly fixed payments to its investors so it knows exactly what to expect for its cash flow.

By purchasing Small Business Bonds in $10 increments through the Mercer County Small Business Investment Program, investors can earn a meaningful monthly return by lending money to their favorite local small businesses while gaining more control over their money.

Small business qualifications: Physical business located in Mercer County; For-profit business registered with the State of New Jersey, and formed on or before April 10, 2023; 30 or fewer employees, with part-time equating to ½ full-time employee; Less than $10 million in gross revenue; preference is given to those businesses that have not received specific business grant assistance from the federal, state, or local government entity; and, national franchises, real estate businesses, and independent consultants are ineligible. The Mercer County Small Business Investment Program will run through September 2024.

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