Another big week in the bag. TABC and TTB applications complete. We also picked up a few guarantors to our loan, which will hopefully put an end to the excruciatingly slow banking process. It sounds crazy to say, but we’ve been on the hunt for a lender since November of last year. Most banks simply say, “we don’t loan to startups,” which really means they don’t posses the brainpower, a somewhat acceptable excuse. At least they’re fessing up to their inability to make a good loan decision and not wasting our time with senseless requests. Finding another bank is manageable, but getting back wasted time is impossible.
The Next Prohibition is Coming
It’s those banks that drag their feet for months that have been driving me up the wall. The excuses have even grown comical – fear of double dip recession, possibility of another prohibition (true story), and my personal favorite, the fear that we won’t sell a drop a beer. These excuses are borderline ridiculous, but since we’re not gagillionaires, these are the hurdles we have to clear. Its even gone so far as one bank asking for a pro-forma with zero sales for the first two years of operations (not reduced sales, zero sales). Even after complying with the request, and showing that we’ve got the cash to handle such a ludicrous scenario, this particular bank has still yet to render a decision. And this is the first bank to receive our plan – over six months ago.
Haven’t you heard – Bad Beer is Better
I guess there is some truth to what they are saying. I mean what if the earth opens up and starts eating people? Or, pigs start flying and hell freezes over? Could this all just be a fad? What if one day people wake up and decide that drinking bad beer is actually better? It could happen, right? I’m going to go out on a limb and say “no,” but try explaining that to our bank. Unfortunately, there’s a much larger issue at hand. Where the SBA program was originally designed to be the guarantor in these “hard to underwrite” startup scenarios, it’s now become a hinderance and a tougher loan to obtain. Banks have become so worried about losing their SBA privileges, that they’ve stopped making these loans all together.
Give Us Your Money – Just to Be Safe
Anyway, enough about my love for banks. I could probably rant for days on the banking industry, but it’s time to put it to rest and start making beer. As it’s looking today, the hammers should be banging in the next couple of weeks and the beer will be flowing sometime late summer. In the meantime, our lender has requested that a few more Units be sold “just to be safe.” So, unless you believe that flying pigs from a frozen hell are about to start ascending from cracks in the ground, we could use a few more beer loving people to join the team. Either way, we’re on the homestretch. Just a few more hurdles to go.
Deep Ellum Brewing Co