Thanks to a new Sun Prairie connection, I was recently able to talk with a woman who works at the Small Business Administration. She was surprised that my latest loan application was rejected without being submitted to the SBA. When I told her the bank's primary concern was a lack of collateral, she basically told me that was crap because the SBA isn't a collateral lender. The SBA is currently guarantying 90% of each loan they approve, and they've waived their guaranty fees until at least the end of the year. What that means (I think) is if a bank loans RePublic $850K and the business fails, the SBA will give the bank $765K. The $85K in bank losses could easily be recovered by selling the brewing equipment, which is in high demand these days, and the building. Buzzards will take the restaurant equipment.
Following the advice of a banker, I went on a lender-contacting bender last week. I'll be meeting with two of them next week, another two are reviewing my business plan, and I'm waiting to hear back from a bunch more. I need to be careful, though, because the SBA will automatically reject multiple applications for the same business. Hopefully I'll have to sign some government documents to authorize any applications to the SBA. Too many banks wanting to work with me would be a funny way to fail.