- Thread Capital, established June 2018 as a subsidiary of the NC Rural Center, celebrated one year of assisting North Carolina's entrepreneurs in gaining access to the critical capital and resources needed to start, sustain, or expand their businesses.
"We decided to double down on our 30-year legacy of supporting rural entrepreneurship by creating a standalone nonprofit dedicated to delivering capital to small-business owners," said Rural Center President Patrick Woodie. "Looking over small-business lending data in North Carolina, we realized there was a lack of available funding for entrepreneurs and we wanted to do more to meet that need."
Thread Capital currently operates two lending programs: standard small-business lending and disaster recovery lending.
Thread Capital was launched to fill a gap in the lending marketplace by offering small-business loans from $500 to $50,000. "This gap is where small-business owners have the most difficulty finding affordable options," said Jonathan Brereton, Thread Capital executive director.
When Hurricane Florence made landfall in September 2018, Thread Capital launched its disaster recovery lending program to assist small-business owners in disaster-declared counties.
In their first year, Thread Capital distributed a total of 135 loans, with 39 of those disbursements being part of their small-business lending program. Thread Capital loan recipients were 56 percent female, 26 percent people of color, 13 percent veteran, and 34 percent low-to-moderate income.
"A North Carolina where all residents experience the power of inclusive entrepreneurship is a better North Carolina for us all," said Brereton. "All our state's residents should have access to the tools necessary to make their small-business dreams a reality."
Thread Capital's disaster recovery lending program includes two products.
Rapid Recovery loans offer expedited bridge loans up to $50,000 to immediately stabilize a business; this can include covering cleanup costs and lost revenue in the event of a disaster. Thread Capital distributed 71 Rapid Recovery loans in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, averaging $33,754 per loan.
The other disaster recovery product offers loans up to $250,000. Resilient Recovery loans are designed to meet the extended challenges of a business's disaster recovery efforts, including repairing physical damage and recouping from more significant economic losses. To date, Thread Capital has distributed 25 Resilient Recovery loans, averaging $75,551 per loan.
"Thread Capital is weaving a new era of inclusive entrepreneurship in North Carolina," said Woodie. "Over the past year, we have found new gaps to fill, and while Thread Capital is a small, but important step, we are passionate about continuing to evolve to meet the needs of North Carolina's entrepreneurs."