We’ve wanted to buy new chairs and tables for egg for years–tables that aren’t scarred by 10 years of abuse, chairs that don’t squeak and sway even before you’ve eaten your grits. We’ve just had a hard time gathering together the money to do it. It’s a problem thousands of small businesses face, and usually they solve it by resorting to credit cards or bank loans.

A group of entrepreneurs in New York have started a new way for small businesses to raise capital by turning to their communities and customers. a vehicle for companies and their customers to work together through “social loans.” Like other small-scale financing vehicles (e.g. Kickstarter), Smallknot helps businesses raise money through small contributions from many people. Unlike Kickstarter, Smallknot pledgers are paid back–so they get a 3-fold return. They get their money back, they get the option of incentives at various pledge levels, and they get the satisfaction of helping to support a business they already belong to and believe in.

We’d love your help replacing these chairs and tables: pledge any amount on to help us reach our goal of $10,000. It’s an investment you’ll be able to dine on–literally–for years.