Jul 22, 2015 - Things to Do

Want to invest in The Brass Tap? Here’s how

Apple-Pie-Brass-Tap

Apple-Pie-Brass-Tap

As we reported last month, the Brass Tap is now open in the heart of South End. It’s a great bar in a fantastic location, but the plot thickened when Agenda HQ was recently contacted by the company that provides this Brass Tap franchise a unique and local source of capital.

Brass Tap ownership has secured a loan through a San Francisco-based startup called Apple Pie Capital (APC), a “financial marketplace dedicated to the franchise industry.” In finance nerdspeak, Apple Pie Capital essentially crowdfunds a portion of the senior debt they’ve already committed to lending and taking a 4-5% origination fee from the borrowers who participate.

patio brass tap south end

To those of you who bank at your mattress, this means that APC lets anyone in a community get a piece of the financial action of a neighborhood business.

However, unlike say Kickstarter where the money isn’t provided until a fundraising goal is met, APC has already agreed to lend the business the money they need. And unlike Microventures or similar platforms where you provide equity and get an ownership share, the investment you provide APC is rolled into the loan for the business where you’ll get paid back at the same time as everyone else who invested with you through APC (this is less risky than investing as an owner because you get paid back first).

brass tap draft

For Apple Pie Capital, it’s all about getting communities involved in the businesses next door. “We try to get as much of each loan as possible funded by individual investors for a variety of reasons,” Erin Reynolds, Senior Marketing Manager for Apple Pie told me via email, “not least of which is the fact that it’s great for the specific location to get more publicity and unique supporters.”

brass tap charlotte inside

What this all means for the South End is that Charlotte-area investors can have the chance to participate in the financial success of a business in their own backyard in a way that is more accessible than private funds that normally invest in stuff like this, but are difficult to be a part of as an investor. New local franchises get the capital they need and build a team of community supporters that has a financial interest in the success of the enterprise beyond it just being another cool place in the neighborhood to grab a drink on a Saturday afternoon.

I love the spirit behind this idea.

brass tap patio charlotte nc

When citizens have monetary “skin in the game” in the success of their community, good things happen.

Much of the reasoning to promote home ownership in America is based on this concept. While participating in an Apple Pie Capital loan is only open to accredited investors (those of you with an investible net worth north of $1 million or who have pulled down at least $200k each of the past two years), the idea of providing citizens access to the financial success of the businesses in their area is one that deserves our support and I hope continues to grow.

For Apple Pie Capital this is their first opportunity in the state of North Carolina and they expect to open another opportunity in the Charlotte area soon, so keep an eye out on their site.

If you’re an accredited investor, why not give the prospectus a look-see*, and if you’re an accredited beer drinker, know that the next time you settle up for your Birdsong Higher Ground at Brass Tap, there’s a fair chance a portion of your tab is going right back to the person sitting next to you.

*This does not mean anything close to an endorsement or investment advice. If you do anything with your money based on something I wrote in an article, you need to tell your accountant to secretly change all your online account passwords immediately in order to save yourself from yourself.

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