Our local newspaper is writing a series of articles on local businesses that have received Gov’t backed loans.
We’re not mentioned, although we might be the “one” loan that was mentioned that wasn’t obtained locally. Hmm. So. Since everyone seems to read my blog (hi lurkers – I see your IP!) I can add an addendum here.
You can find out who/what/how much on the SBA website here. Gov’t backed loans aren’t a secret.
With that, please picture me on a stage, screaming at a microphone for all to hear:
We weren’t given this restaurant. We didn’t inherit this restaurant. We earned this restaurant. And we won’t actually own it for years!
Whitey worked for over 15 years in this industry, including 9 years at pizzerias. Our recipes are our own (just ask the people who had to “test” our menu items in the years before we opened), our concepts are ours (take a look at my 300+ page business plan) and our mistakes are just that.
We were kicked out of banks when shopping for a loan locally. We had one particular local banker who wouldn’t even look at our business plan; who was so condescending to us, I cried in the car after he said, “Good luck with that.”
US Bank, out of Portland, finally READ our business plan (that had taken me eons to write) and invested in our small idea in our small town. And even then, it took THREE loans to do it right. Property + Equipment + Remodeling.
Three loans. Listed above. You can do the math on what our monthly payments are.
This, in addition to our own savings and money lent to us by family members. It wasn’t cheap to open this place. We’re paying out the nose to make it work. But we believe in it. We believe in our product, we believe that this town can support it, wants it, and will continue to make it work. We obviously can’t do it alone.
We aren’t the richies from Bend. We work incredibly hard and we are true to everything we do or say. First and foremost is our marriage. Second is our family. Third is our restaurant. Fourth? Our community. I have yet to say “no” to a local charity raising money for something. I firmly believe in how we’ve prioritized our lives.
I’m venting. I’m also testing the honesty waters. This morning we discovered that certain things that I write about has become fodder for discussion amongst other local business owners and “journalists”. Please, take what I say and share it with others — just don’t embellish. I have nothing to hide, no secrets on this blog. I have to click on a little button that says “PUBLISH” before it’s on here. It’s not a diary with a little, silver lock that you have to work on to read the juicy tidbits inside. I know you’re reading this. That’s what a blog is.
So I’m right here. Questions? Just ask. I promise full disclosure.