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Great Harvest Bread Company still looking to open second location despite uncertain economy

Published: Jan. 16, 2021 at 5:04 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -For small businesses working to stay open, expanding might not be an option right now. But Great Harvest Bread Company in Cedar Rapids are still working to open a second location without sinking their current one in the process.

Great Harvest Bread been slicing with a purpose for seven years.

“The fact that we made it through December and made payroll and no overdrafts, you know, we did really well. So that’s fantastic.” said Laurel Williams, Owner of Great Harvest Bread Company.

Federal PPP loans, along with their sales since the spring have kept Great Harvest Bread Company’s ovens on during the pandemic, but the search of financing has led to only crumbs.

For four years, they’ve looked to expand but tell us banks are hesitant to help make that expansion happen. A second store would go near the Westdale Mall on the southwest side.

On the lenders side of this question, Brett Nagel, Chief Credit Officer for Community Savings Bank in Cedar Rapids, says other businesses have had a tough time.

“If you own a hotel, motel, it’s been a struggle. If you own a restaurant, it’s been a struggle.” said Nagel.

Nagel said lenders look at credit score, equity, and the amount of cash on hand a business has. But loaning really depends on what type of business is asking.

For example, Nagel said lending money to businesses with fewer customers right now-such as a newer hotel-presents more risk.

“Unless it was a great bargain you probably wouldn’t want to do that right now, and I think a bank would look at you and say that’s not the best thing to be considering,” Nagel said.

For now, Great Harvest Bread looks to keep the second space until financing does become available, but Williams said she is nervous about whatever is ahead.

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