Small businesses turn to customers and peers for loans

It's a tough time for many businesses to get loans, especially small businesses that don't have the same assets that larger businesses can use as collateral.

This trend is sending more business owners looking for alternate funding, but unlike the business founders before them who turned to parents, friends and rich uncles; they are turning to a new group of investors to fund their expansion.

TheStreet.com recently profiled the Milk Thistle Farm in New York, which with the help of an organic investing group is asking customers to lend the farm money to double its herd.