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Small Businesses Are Raising Capital Through SMBX and the DC Rebuild Bond Program
[August 04, 2022]

Small Businesses Are Raising Capital Through SMBX and the DC Rebuild Bond Program


Five new Washington, DC small businesses are giving local investors the opportunity to invest in them through SMBX and the DC Rebuild Bond program-a partnership with DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Deputy Mayor's Office of Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) to drive $5 million in investment in DC small businesses.

"Our first-in-the-nation partnership with Mayor Bowser's administration continues to bring investment to DC small businesses while giving local investors more control over their money," said Ben Lozano, CEO and co-founder of SMBX. "We're committed to bringing investment to small businesses in DC's underserved communities to keep wealth creation local."

The new DC small businesses listed on the SMBX marketplace include:

  • Aurora Market-The veteran-owned organic market near Howard University is raising $250,000 to add staff, new equipment and working capital.
  • Style Bar DC-The Black-owned Dupont Circle neighborhood salon is raising $250,000 to expand its staff and marketing efforts.
  • Arepa Zone-The traditional Venezuelan eatery with 6 locations in DC is adding a 7th by raising $500,000 to fund construction and new equipment.
  • Zeleno-The healthy café plans to expand to a new DC location by raising $250,000 for construction and working capital.
  • Toolbox- The Pilates studio and event space is raising $250,000 to build a second location in Union Market.



"Aurora Market is known as 'The Modern Mom & Pop Shop' and we believe that the DC Rebuild Bond Program and the SMBX marketplace can help others raise the capital needed here and in other underserved communities," said Pablo Ortiz, founder of Aurora Market. "SMBX Small Business Bonds empower communities to support local, buy local, and invest local. It's a win-win for all involved; DC improves the economy, small businesses remain open, and the community keeps their favorite places while earning a profit from their investment. Why donate, when you can invest?"

Through the DC Rebuild Bond program, businesses can issue Small Business Bonds with no origination fees. Their customers and local investors can invest in their business by purchasing their Bonds for as little as $10 each and be repaid monthly principal and interest.* Since it was launched in September 2021, thirteen (13) businesses have raised over $1.3 million in investments, with more small businesses joining the program and investors buying Small Business Bonds daily.


"Our partnership with SMBX is a valuable tool that allows residents to invest in our local businesses," said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. "It is so important for small businesses to have access to funding, specifically entrepreneurs of color, and SMBX provides a viable option to convert customers to investors."

SMBX is the Small Business Bond marketplace that connects qualified small business owners with everyday investors. By issuing a Small Business Bond, businesses can borrow money from existing customers and their community at competitive rates, raising the funds needed to expand their business.

SMBX was founded by Ben Lozano, Chief Executive Officer; Bhavish Balhotra, Chief Technology Officer; and Jackie Chan, Chief Operating Officer. They created the SMBX marketplace and the Small Business Bond after the SEC implemented Title III of the JOBS Act in 2016, making it easier for people to invest in startups and small businesses as non-accredited investors.

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*Investing in Reg CF securities includes financial risks, including loss of money invested. All estimated returns on principal + interest are not guaranteed. This statement is based on the following assumptions: 1) an offering successfully closes and an investor is allocated a Bond or Bonds, 2) that the investor holds their Bonds to maturity and 3) that there are no defaults made by the issuer on any of the Bond payments from issuance to maturity.


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