With the help of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (UGA SBDC), Mike Martin was able to fulfill his dream of creating a taproom that served more than just beer and wine in his community of Jefferson, Georgia.
“When researching the needs of Jefferson, I was expecting to hear about homelessness, poverty and food insecurity. While those needs exist, the biggest need I heard was to create a place for people to gather to establish that sense of community,” said Martin.With his parents prepared to cosign for a loan, Martin and his wife, Jessie, took this idea to the bank. They left without a loan, and instead had a referral to meet with the UGA SBDC to learn about financing options through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
The Martins met with David Stob, business consultant for the UGA SBDC in Athens. Stob encouraged the Martins to apply for an SBA loan, which eliminated the need for a co-signor. To prepare for the application, he helped them put together a business plan with full financial projections and a proposed budget.
“When we met with David, it changed our whole direction. It was so incredibly helpful,” said Mike Martin. “When Jessie and I went to the bank and presented the plan that second time, we felt really confident. We knew the numbers were right. It gave me a high degree of confidence and I felt proud of what we had put together with the UGA SBDC.”