By Laine Doss | BrowardPalmBeach.com
Sure the economy is getting better little by little, but if you’re a small business looking to upgrade, there are still few funding options on the table. Banks are still wary of lending to even the most stable of small businesses, and going public is not a viable option.
– Favorite Dishes: The FCAT at P.S. 561
So when Aaron and Stefanie Merullo decided to upgrade P.S. 561, they went outside the box and started a campaign through Smallknot. Their goal? To raise $2,500 in 45 days to help fund a new food truck to replace their trailer. So far, they’ve raised over $1,000 in just a few days.
Smallknot is a small company out of Brooklyn that helps small businesses raise small amounts of capital for business improvements. Unlike Kickstarter, which tends to fund artistic projects, Smallknot concentrates on local mom and pop businesses that are looking to expand or improve a project.
Aaron Merullo told Clean Plate Charlie that he’s outgrown the current P.S. 561 trailer and the $2,500 he’s raising will help purchase a new food truck.
“The food truck itself will cost a lot more than that investment, but this is a small grant that will give us a boost and that’s what this program is all about. The current P.S. 561 has a leaky roof and it’s not big enough to allow us to expand into Broward County and get into the late night service we’d like to get involved with.”
Your monetary investment to P.S. 561 brings returns in the form of food or your name on the new truck. If goal isn’t achieved, your money is returned. For instance, a $25 investment gets you lunch for four at P.S. 561; a $50 investment gets you lunch for six; a $100 investment gets a lunch party for ten; invest $250 and the truck comes to your house for a grill party. $500 gets your name etched on the new truck.
While many food truck owners are finding the business difficult due to permitting issues and a glut of competition, Merullo’s future is bright. “It comes down to what we’re selling. We sell gourmet hot dogs. It’s a good product that people enjoy. Restaurants always have a high failure rate, but we started out by not going into heavy debt with an expensive truck and working hard. We’re looking forward to the future and sharing our hot dogs with more people.”
If you want to invest in P.S. 561, check out their Smallknot page here.