WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- Georgia Bob's newest Warner Robins location is pretty impressive. It's got a gift shop, a bar, a banquet room, and of course, a cozy dining room.
Co-owner, Jennifer Cox, says the size of the restaurant isn't even the best part.
"It allowed us to do something that means a lot to us in the middle Georgia community and that is employee 73 people and give them the opportunity for a job," said Cox.
She and "Georgia Bob" himself, Robert C. Evans, III, say converting a former Mexican restaurant in a barbecue haven, was in part, thanks to the government. The two used the Small Business Administration's 504 Loan Program to open up shop.
"I thought it would be a big paper work trail nightmare that it would go on forever, but I'm telling you, it was actually handled very smooth," said Evans.
The program allows borrowers to get loans at low, fixed-interest rates, and also put a lot less money down. The businesses can use the loans to expand, buy new equipment, renovate, or in Georgia Bob's case, purchase new real estate.
JJ Kirk is opening a Georgia Bob's franchise. He also qualified for the loan program, and says being able to afford to buy a building, is a big perk.
"Actually the mortgage is less than rent that I would be paying at a building, you know a similar building of that size, I mean so it really helps the cash flow every month," said Kirk.
Kirk, Evans, and Cox all worked with Amy O'Cain of CB&T Middle Georgia to get through the process that many people think is difficult.
"We've tried to make that easy for them and show them the benefits of how they can get into the property for a less down payment," said O'Cain.
It's all made possible thanks to private companies like Georgia Small Business Capital. Vice President of the company, Cory Stewart, helps the borrower get approved for the SBA loan program.
"There's a lot of access to capital that people aren't utilizing, and we want to make that known... We always want to help more businesses grow," said Stewart.
To learn more about the SBA loan program, click here.