The Duluth Grill has been a regional staple for locals and visitors alike for years, so when owners Tom and Jaima Hanson were looking to embark on a new endeavor, public excitement was palpable. Everyone waited with bated breath to learn more about the new restaurant opening in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.
With personal assets and bank financing tied up in a real estate purchase, how can an ambitious entrepreneur cover additional startup costs?
Flexible gap financing from the Entrepreneur Fund made all the difference, allowing the Hansons to spread startup costs over two years so they could:
- Develop a unique restaurant concept and an astounding menu
- Finance necessary equipment purchases for high-quality BBQ
- Invest in recruiting and supporting a top-notch staff
Hanson credits the success of his restaurant enterprise to his outstanding team. With over 50 employees on the payroll (and more to come as the busy summer season approaches), OMC Smokehouse pays out over a million dollars in payroll. Owners are committed to paying a livable wage with great benefits packages for qualifying employees. “Our team can make a career with us,” explained Hanson. “That’s really important in our community.”
We often work in partnership with traditional bank lenders to create financing packages that allow regional entrepreneurs to start, expand and grow on their own terms.