DECATUR, Ala. (WAAY) – Entrepreneurs who are trying to get their business off the ground will soon have more funding options thanks to a new state law. It’s good news for a non-profit in Decatur that helps new businesses grow.
“Starting any business, whether your already existing or not new, there’s a lot of start up costs” said business owner Johnny Ocampo.
Ocampo is expanding his industrial service company from Houston, Texas to Decatur. With 5 full time employees, he’s cutting costs by joining 21 other small businesses at the Decatur Morgan County Entrepreneurial Center.
“They work with you on everything and not only that just the resources and help that they give you” said Ocampo.
But after 8 months, Ocampo is still trying to find a bank willing to fund his expansion.
“Even though I’ve been established 14 years, nobody wants to understand that the branch in Alabama is connected with Texas. They consider it a separate business” said Ocampo. “It’s been very, very difficult.”
But the Alabama legislature recently passed a law to help business owners like Ocampo who don’t have deep pockets or can’t find a bank loan.
“Options are good especially for small businesses because it’s very difficult to get funding” said Ocampo.
The crowdfunding exemption law will allow entrepreneurs to attract in-state investors through online advertising and fundraising. They can raise up to $1 million without using a broker but investments are capped at $5,000 for non-accredited investors.
“I think any options at all would be great” said Ocampo.
Entrepreneurial Center Director Larry Waye plans to share the new funding option with the other small businesses when details become available.
“I think it will really help all across the state of Alabama with small businesses not only to get started but to take that next step” said Waye.
And it’s an option Ocampo could possibly use to fund his ultimate goal.
“I’m hoping to make this a manufacturing facility and grow this to be one of our biggest branches” said Ocampo.
The Alabama Securities Commission is currently writing the rules and is planning to host eduction events across the state when the law takes effect in July.
Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 7:40 pm | Updated: 9:03 am, Fri Jun 13, 2014.
by Rachel Keith