NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Pawning dad's gold watch or grandma's broach may not be the first thing that comes to mind when seeking financing for a business, but a growing number of small-business owners are turning to this option because of a lack of financing available elsewhere. "The demand is getting stronger and stronger every day," says Todd Hills, CEO of Pawngo, an online pawn shop. "Small-business owners have a pretty direct plan: 'I need this money for X and this is how I am going to play it back.' Whereas a consumer comes to us because they've had some sort of unexpected life event happen."
With the economy still struggling, more small-business owners are turning to pawning valuables to supplement cash flow. Pawngo offers an online pawn option.
The company typically accepts small valuables and jewelry such as watches and gold coins in exchange for a three- to six-month loan. Common uses for the money by small-business owners includes payroll, equipment purchases, repairs or to grow their businesses. "In the past these business owners have had lines of credit, easy credit cards, home equity loans -- more formal banking relationships that with everything that has gone on with the economy, the credit is just incredibly tight and those options just aren't available," Hills says.