A recent New York Times Dining and Wine section included an article about the trend of crowd-sourcing to help finance new restaurants.
Spurned by tapped-out investors and tightwad bankers in challenging times, restaurateur-wannabes are turning to their neighborhoods, and the wider community of the Internet, to finance their dreams. It is part of the same movement toward community-supported financing that has capitalized farms, independent grocers, bookstores and other small businesses. Many primarily philanthropic Web sites like Kickstarter and Kiva.org have sought small sums in support of high-risk ventures, arts groups and charities under the rubric of microfinancing and crowd-sourcing. (To Raise Cash, Restaurants Turn to the Crowd, November 8, 2011, by Glenn Collins)
The article also mentions by Slow Money, “a national nonprofit that supports community businesses”, inspired by the Slow Food movement.
For any aspiring food or farm business owners in Utah, this might be a new avenue for financing. Leave a comment if you know of any such projects in the area.