New hope for local small businesses


CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The portion of the economy hardest hit by the recession also happens to employ 96% of Charlotte's workers: small businesses.

So it's no wonder the Queen City's unemployment rate is lagging behind the national average.

When the banking crisis hit, big financial institutions slashed their money flow to Main Street.

But if you've been trying to reinvent your career - if you're thinking of starting your own business - but you've been daunted by the economy, there's hope.

That was message at a Charlotte Chamber of Commerce event today.

"Money is short and times are tough, so all the more reason that activities like this are so important," says Sadruddin Abdullah, who started a dessert business eight months ago, in the midst of the recession. Capital, of course, has been hard to come by.  Check out his site, and you'll see he's done a lot on his own, but today he was able to tap sources he'd never even heard of - like an aptly called angel network.

David Moore works for Wed3, a regionally focused group of investors and representatives of investment corporations. "We bring together individual angel investors and entrepreneurs or early stage start-ups that can't really qualify for lending from Bank of America, so part of its seed funding, part of its access to capital that's outside of traditional lending," Moore says.

"A lot of entrepreneurs that have checked out, sold a business, displaced executives, just really people who have an interest in growing the entrepreneurial spirit in Charlotte."

Greg McMillan of UNC Charlotte says it's worth checking out - angel investors can really be like a gift from God, when so many big banks are cutting small businesses off.

"An angel investor can be a high net worth individual," McMillan says, "but a lot of times, it doesn't have to be. It can just be a relative.

If you're interested in finding out more about Wed3, send an email to