By Eve Picker
A few weeks ago I spent an hour with Dani Gundlach and Heather Visnesky answering lots of questions they had for their podcast, Houses and Hills. It’s about people who are making a mark on the Pittsburgh landscape. It’s pretty cool that they included me.
We spent a lot of time talking about Small Change and how it works, and where it all began. If you don’t already know about the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) this podcast is your opportunity to learn. The JOBS Act, legislation that was finalized during the Obama administration, is all about finding ways to form capital for small businesses. And the JOBS Act is why Small Change exists.
The JOBS Act, through a series of moves that impacted securities regulations, gave birth to equity crowdfunding. Equity crowdfunding permits platforms like Small Change to connect developers with investors of all kinds, providing a new source of financing for businesses and buildings alike.
It can be very difficult to finance those neighborhood projects that Dani and Heather care about. Not because they don’t work, but because traditional financial institutions are focused on lending to real estate that they are very familiar with. A Dunkin’ Donuts in the suburbs is going to get a loan, while the first tiny house in your city is not. Small Change makes possible those innovative projects that make cities and neighborhoods better.