Crowdfunding Help Save American Small Businesses
Treefort Music Fest, a popular music and arts festival in Boise, Idaho, was set to open for its ninth annual event two weeks after the COVID-19 crisis hit full force. It was forced to postpone, initially until September 2020 and then until 2021. It could have meant the death of the iconic community event. But Treefort is still planning on moving forward next year, thanks in part to a crowdfunding campaign that has brought in more than $200,000 to date.
Unlike the more well-known versions of crowdfunding—rewards-based or donation-based—Treefort is using “equity” or “investment” crowdfunding through the platform Wefunder to secure investment funding.
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Investors in Treefort are able to purchase preferred stock, with no dividends or voting rights. According to the investor Q&A section of Treefort’s campaign page, “Until the pandemic came, we were closing in on our best year yet and poised to take the next step of profitability to allow us to have more margin of cash flow for the rainy day fund, pay our team better living wages, and to expand on the business model.”
“We really liked that people get ownership,” says Eric Gilbert, co-founder and festival director. “We’ve always had a level of transparency with our community. This allowed us to up the transparency and involve more of the community.”