A community line of credit: when possibility meets potential

There’s something exciting going on with Community Sourced Capital. Two businesses which ¬†found success getting a loan from their community are at it again. Last summer, the Adrift Hotel borrowed $18,450 to finance a solar hot water installation for their sustainable hotel in Long Beach, Washington. They took on the loan, executed the project, held a party for their Squareholders, and perhaps best of all, they paid back the loan on schedule.

Adrift-2014-Campaign-Photos-Installed-Solar

186 people chipped in between $50 and $250 to create the capital for the entire loan. It’s a bit different than a single person or entity writing a check. It has more power to it. It has the feeling that there was an intention in financing this project that stretched beyond the dollars and the payback timeline.

When Adrift’s co-owner Tiffany Turner wrote to us last month and said “I think we can fit more solar on our roof,” we were beyond thrilled to go for round two of the loan. We were even more excited to see if Squareholders would go for it as well.

Already, over the past few days, a third of the Adrift’s original lenders have re-loaned their Squares to fund more solar energy. And Squareholders have told us that they like the experience. Here’s what one Squareholder had to say:

“I invested two squares so Adrift could do their hot water system solar. It felt very good to see their completed system.

With these re-loaned Squares, we think we’ve stumbled upon something new in the world of community finance — something that looks a little less like a crowdfunded loan and more like a community line of credit.

The relationship the Adrift Hotel established with their community is one of trust and integrity. The community has responded not just once, but twice, each time with the enthusiasm to propel a small business to do great things.

We know not everyone will loan their money twice — and that’s not our goal. Community lending offers terms that meet people where they are in their lives. Some Squareholders are happy to reinvest their money outside the CSC system after a business pays back. We’re happy to see these transactions as well. In fact, we think the experience of lending and withdrawing money is as impactful as re-loaning it. It still creates the conditions for someone to have a new experience with their money in their community.

I’ll speak for myself for a moment now, since I am one of the original 186 Squareholders and I was thrilled to be the first to re-loan my Square for the second. For me, this transaction represents a deeper relationship with my money than I’ve been able to achieve through traditional financial management options. In re-lending to Adrift, I gave myself the authority to fund the world I want to live in. I entrusted a business I admire and appreciate to use my money to grow something awesome. I’m proud of that.

I know that our communities have the potential to do amazing things. I believe that everyone wants to be proud of their community. And I hope that more and more people get to be a part of realizing that possibility.

Casey Dilloway

Author: Casey Dilloway

Casey is the President and COO of Community Sourced Capital. On a day to day basis, Casey is working on CSC's technology, back-end operations, and taking part in crafting the story of community finance. He really enjoys making presentations about sustainable finance, too.

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