In a sign of the tough times even one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in the country, 5 Guys Hamburger Restaurant, has had to delay the grand opening of their Kent store due to the challenges of securing the business loans necessary to transform the old Susans Coffee and Tea House into a new 5 Guys on SR 59 in Kent. It turns out that even when you’ve got a solid well-proven business plan it’s still tough in today’s tight lending market to find the funds you need to get started.
Originally the owners of the new 5 Guys in Kent planned be flipping burgers and serving fries in the Fall of 2009, then they pushed the date to January 2010, and now I’m hearing March 2010. I’m guessing that March is still an ambituous goal but hopefully the City helped speed things up last week by approving a new business loan from our revolving loan fund.
The City’s revolving loan fund is one of a number of tools we have available to fill gaps when good businesses need a little help. As businesses pay the low interest loan back we are able to recycle the funds into new loans, like the one for 5 Guys.
The exterior of the 5 Guys restaurant looks great, now I’m hoping they’ll have the cash they need to get the inside ready for business by early Spring. 5 Guys has an almost cult like following among hamburger connoisseurs and as soon as word spread of their intention to open in Kent I was getting a lot of excited testimonials so I’m sure the news of the financing will be as well-received as a one of their specialty burgers and a plate full of fries.