Opening a bar takes a lot of startup capital. For most entrepreneurs, this means getting a loan from a traditional lender. Unfortunately, many banks and lenders are hesitant to fund bars as they are seen as a high risk enterprise. Here are a few important avenues that bar owners can explore to find the funds they’ll need to help their businesses succeed.
Emphasize the Food
What is a bar anyway? As far as banks are concerned, a bar is structured similarly to a restaurant. You could say that a bar is almost a restaurant that serves alcohol. However, banks are more likely to loan money to restaurants that serve liquor than bars that serve food. When applying for a loan emphasize the restaurant-quality of your bar in your business plan, like the food you’ll serve instead of the drinks to improve your chances for funding.
Women Business Grant
If your bar is female owned, you could apply for a grant from Digital Women. This organization has helped women start small businesses since the 90s. In order to qualify, the business should be 51 percent women-owned. Visit their website for further requirements. The deadline is Oct. 31 of the current year.
State and Local Programs
SBA guarantees business grants available through local and state programs. Investigate your municipality’s chamber of commerce for local startup grants. Be sure to read the fine print before applying for any grants.
Small Business Development Centers
Look into your local Office of Small Business Development Centers for grants in your area. Ensure your business plan is solid and addresses key points that show why your bar is a solid investment. Be prepared to address your business’ legal structure, have all of your financial documents together, and include personal financial statements, a projected balance sheet, income statement, and principal owners.
First American Merchant (FAM) is the online lender that gives bars and other small businesses the funds necessary to launch business or keep their doors open. FAM specializes in business cash advances for high risk companies, even those with bad credit. First American Merchant is the lender that will work for you and with you.