Hudson River Exchange Fund
Hudson River Exchange cultivates creative community by activating spaces for creativity and commerce in the Hudson Valley. Since its founding in 2013, HRE’s innovative initiatives have supported hundreds of independent small businesses. From riverside market festivals featuring the best regional handmade to rotating pop up shops highlighting local artists and designers; from gatherings where creatives meet and support each other to workshops that give them the tools to grow their businesses, HRE is constantly providing ways for people to connect with local creatives and makers.
In an effort to expand the impact these businesses have within the local economy, HRE is creating the Hudson River Exchange Fund, a microloan program for maker-owned businesses.The Hudson River Exchange micro loan program will give the small businesses in our network access to low interest loans starting at $500. The fund has been seeded by a grant from the Spark of Hudson, and will continue to be funded with a portion of sales from our online shop. We are committing 5% of all sales to the fund. For this first phase, loans will be made available to the makers selling through Hudson River Exchange website. Going forward, the fund will be accessible to makers in the HRE network. To learn more about membership, sign up for updates here.
The vision for the fund is to be self-sustaining. As the fund grows, our vision is to offer more resources and funding opportunities to those in our local communities in Upstate New York.
Over the years, we have learned that small businesses in our community are looking to build sustainable businesses in which they can make a living doing what they love, and honoring their own values and ethics. These businesses are looking to make slow steady growth working on their own terms. Maintaining quality, choosing ethical suppliers and sustainable materials over less environmentally or socially responsible options.
Our aim is to support these businesses with small loans to help them take the next step. Whether it be purchasing more supplies to keep up with demand, updating their website, hiring some help at a critical juncture, buying a new piece of equipment. We want to help them with the closest thing that feels just out of reach.