Cape May Brewing Co. receives $63K economic development loan

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LOWER TOWNSHIP – A scant three months after its official opening at the airport here, Cape May Brewing Company has landed a $63,000 economic development loan to help grow the business further.

“This is exactly the kind of business we were looking to support when we revamped the loan program,” said Mayor Michael Beck, referring to the 20-year-old loan program that lay dormant for two decades.

Earlier this year, Lower’s council unanimously approved an update to its Revolving Loan Fund, establishing new criteria to get and use the money provided by a state Department of Community Affairs Small Cities grant.

The loans, which cannot exceed $130,000, are for 10-year terms to eligible small businesses. Eligible businesses must be independently owned and operated; organized for profit with a business location in the township; operated primarily within the township; have less than 100 full-time employees and have not raised $10 million or more in total equity.

Fresh off their debut at the Atlantic City Beer and Music festival last weekend, the local brewery continues to enhance its reputation for high quality, small batch craft beers and for its commitment to all things local.

"We're trying to keep the bigger picture in view. We want people to ‘think globally, but drink locally,’” said the brewery's president Ryan Krill, in a previous interview.

By the end of 2011, the local brewers had contracts in place with three Cape May restaurants and had just signed on with Good Night Irene's in Wildwood. Cape May Brewing Co. beers are available at Cabana's, Lucky Bones and Sea Salt, al in Cape May.

The loans are for existing businesses or new businesses that “commit to increasing its full-time employment level within four years by no less than 10 percent employment, or one full-time employee, whichever is greater, above its full-time employment level at the time of the application,” according to a revised ordinance.

Interest for the loans is to be set at one percent less than the Prime Lending Rate. The loans are to be secured by a first lien on the receivables of the business. The loan program requires that businesses receiving the funds be solvent, and not in bankruptcy. Applicants for the program have to certify that the business is not in bankruptcy.

Krill, the company's president, still works in banking, but the company’s other two principals, Chris Henke and Bob Krill, Ryan’s father, work at the brewing company full time.

None of the three claim any professional brewing experience, although Bob Krill's biography on the company website boasts that he "has been drinking beer for 65 years and finally decided to make some." Henke and Ryan Krill experimented with home brewing for several years before deciding to go into business.


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