Law allows online seed money for new businesses

By Emilee Fannon | efannon@wcia.com

Published 07/31 2015 01:28PM

Updated 07/31 2015 01:28PM

More money will soon be available for small businesses in the state.

"How many great ideas died because someone didn't have enough money to start their project?"

A new law will used crowdfunding to allow owners to raise money for their own businesses. The change could mean more jobs.

"As we bring up and build up a business downtown and I feel like we can use all the help we could from customers and also investors."

Cassandra Ostermeier owns Urban Sassafras, in downtown Springfield.

"I feel like we are struggling. Everyone is struggling a little downtown. We want to build it up, but it's hard."

Once she heard about crowdfunding, Ostermeier says she thinks it could be the solution to her money troubles.

"I think there are a lot of young entrepreneurs out there that have some amazing ideas. I have so many friends that share amazing ideas with me."

Now, under Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding, people can raise money for their business online.

"Kind of like Kickstarter and it was fundraising for causes. This is fundraising entrepreneurs and small businesses."

It's as easy as a click of the mouse. People from across the nation can invest in your business by just looking at your online bio.

"So that people, individual citizens, can have an equity share in a business they feel passionate about."

The law is focused on increasing job growth.

"Illinois has the most competitive regulations so we actually are the most competitive state right now, making it easier for people to invest and crowdfunding."

Ostermeier says it can take years to grow a business, but believes crowdfunding will help.

"To be able to take it up, next you have to really save. It could be a year, two years, three years of savings to get one small thing."

The law goes into effect January 1. Businesses can raise up to $4 million.

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