Ross Chanowski has created a new way to help launch local businesses. And it couldn’t come at a better time.
Earlier this year, the Boston-based entrepreneur unveiled NuMarket, a social crowdfunding platform that lets customers invest in companies they love. Since starting in February, NuMarket has now helped nearly twenty businesses launch campaigns, fundraising almost $1 million in the process.
NuMarket’s premise is relatively simple: People who want to support a business offer what they can. In exchange, they receive a 120 percent credit back when the campaign’s goal is achieved and the business opens. So a $100 contribution is credited back as $120. Those credits are doled out over the course of a year, so the customer has a reason to keep coming back.
The first campaign was ambitious: trying to raise $180,000 to open a second storefront for Kendall Square stalwart Mamaleh’s Delicatessen. But it proved wildly successful, and the new deli opened in Brookline this summer.
In the latest edition of the Globe’s Bold Types series, Chanowski sat down with business reporter Janelle Nanos to talk about the launch of NuMarket, and what it has meant to be able to support small businesses as they try to survive a global pandemic. They met in the new EBO & Co. Grocery in East Boston, which just recently opened after a NuMarket fundraising campaign.
“How can we create a meaningful way for everyday customers to support the places that they love and really get something back for doing it?” Chanowski said. “And that’s where a NuMarket came from, the idea that we can all fund super vibrant independent businesses and see them grow in our communities.”
Bold Types is a newsroom series presented by Cross Insurance. The advertiser had no role in the content or production.