How you can invest in local businesses (without being a millionaire)

downtown greenville, sc
Downtown Greenville | Photo provided by Vicinity Capital

Table of Contents

You can invest in the stock market. You can invest in mutual funds. But did you know you can invest in local businesses in your own backyard? (And we’re not talking about the Shark Tank-style angel investing that’s traditionally reserved for venture capitalists + millionaires.) 

Vicinity Capital is introducing a new way for everyone to invest, regardless of income or net worth. The platform is all about making it possible to invest in the Greenville that you love + live in. (Think: You love shopping local and eating local. Now you can invest local.)

How does it work? 

Basically, Vicinity Capital connects local money with local businesses. It’s a regulated funding portal that helps businesses raise funds from anyone in their network and community.

The primary steps: 

  • Local businesses create and launch a campaign on Vicinity’s portal.
  • Anyone can browse the live campaigns to see information about individual opportunities (like the local company’s business/growth plans, what they plan on using the funds for, about the owners, FAQs, etc.). 
  • Users – a.k.a. potential investors (like you) who are signed up with Vicinity – get notifications about live campaigns and can interact with the owners and other users on the forum.
  • Once users find a business they believe in, they simply click the button to invest.
  • The platform makes it easy to find out how much you can invest and everything you need to know before investing.
  • Business owners can keep users updated through “Shop Talk” on their campaign’s page.

It’s that simple

Have additional questions? Here are some FAQs directly from the team at Vicinity Capital:


Who is Vicinity Capital?

They’re the place where anyone can fund their local businesses by investing where they live. This is where financial capital meets social capital. Users help finance their community with the hope of earning a return – financial as well as social.

Why invest locally?

Diversification. But “wait a minute,” you say. “My investments are spread far and wide inside of my 401K and IRA.” In a sense, yes. But let’s look at where all of that money is going. How much do you know about those companies? How much do you care about them? Where do they operate? And how many of your investments are actually in companies that reside in and around where I live?

Be a community champion. This may be Greenville, but Boston was onto something: Investing locally is more than a feeling. Locals can play a role in building their own community and everything comes along with that. How does adding “Economic developer, Investor & Creator of jobs” sound for a resume addition? This isn’t just the warm fuzzies of buying local, we’re talking movers, shakers, and change-makers.

Is this legal?

Yes. And good job asking responsible questions. Regulation Crowdfunding,” or Title III of the 2012 JOBS Act (aka “Reg CF”), became law in May 2016, allowing everyone 18 years and older to be able to invest in private companies through a regulated intermediary. A big part of Vicinity’s job is to comply with the rules and regulations set forth by the SEC and FINRA for Reg CF.

See additional FAQs and learn more about investing with Vicinity Capital.