Since election day, I have been thinking about best ways to support a sense of community, especially locally community right here in Pittsburgh. I wrote a blog post the week after election day with ways to support local community, number 1 on the list was shop local. I would like to update that list to include lend local and I think that Kiva loans are one of the best ways to support small businesses by investing and reinvesting funds in local communities. Kiva.org started as a platform to make loans to business owners in developing countries. A few years ago Kiva expanded their platform to allow loans to small businesses in the US. Over the past 2 years, I have made loans to support 8 local businesses.
I have just made a loan to Cut N’Run Studios, which is a video production company that needs funds to restore a historic building. This loan is being supported by the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (PMAHCC). The $10,000 will be repaid monthly over 36 months.
A loan of $10,000 helps me restore a historic landmark that I will use to house my video production business.
Cut N’Run Studios is currently funding a loan on Kiva and has 3 more days to get $4700 in commitments.
Five reasons why I think you should join me in lending to Cut N’Studios:
- Loan not a grant – this is a loan, funds will be repaid to the borrowers on a monthly basis and can be reinvested in other businesses. (See below for more on how Kiva works)
- Beechview – support a small business in Beechview, one of Pittsburgh’s neighborhood that has been working to rebuild the business district.
- Historic Preservation – support the renovation of a historic movie theater building
- Building Ownership – Support a local business which owns their building. Jordan started his business in an attic and has expanded to the point where he was able to purchase his own building.
- Immigrant Owned Business – Jordan is originally from Venezuela, but now calls Pittsburgh home, this loan is just one little way you can show support for immigrant owned businesses in Pittsburgh.
You can read more about Cut N’Run Studios and help to fund Jordan’s Kiva loan here.
How Kiva loans work:
- Borrower’s loan is sponsored by a local Trustee
- Lenders make a donation to Kiva, donations are tax deductible and choose which loans to fund
- Borrowers get a zero interest loan
- The borrower repays the loan in increments, usually monthly
- Lenders can then re-lend the funds to another loan
If you are interested in learning more about Kiva’s work in Pittsburgh, join the Kiva Pittsburgh Facebook group here.
Join Our Pittsburgh Kiva Team!
One of the features that I really like about Kiva is the statistics. I can see all kinds of information about how much I’ve lent, relent, what has been repaid and more. Kiva has feature called teams where groups can contribute together and see their collective impact. If you are interested in supporting Pittsburgh based loans, I hope you will join the IheartPGH Kiva Team here.
It is my goal to have 100 people join this team and make a loan of $25. I look forward to seeing what impact $2500 can have on supporting local businesses.
Two other Pittsburgh area Kiva loans to check out:
- Dance And Be Fit – A loan of $4,000 helps us produce high quality videos so that Dance and Be Fit can help more people lose weight and have fun through soul line dancing.
- TC Candy & Chocolate Art – A loan of $5,025 helps to finish the renovations to our new TC Candy retail location.
Historic Preservation Kiva Team
I have just created a new Kiva Team for lenders who are interested in supporting loans specific to historic preservation projects. If you are interested in historic preservation, please join the Historic Preservation Kiva team here.
- Beechview businesses fight to stay on track after Red Line construction (triblive.com)
- Kiva Partners with Pittsburgh on Crowdfunded Loans for Businesses (crowdfundinsider.com)
- Random Acts of Pittsburgh Kindness (iheartpgh.com)