NewTown Macon hopes to help downtown bar with finances

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A popular downtown Macon bar is having financial trouble that could lead to its closing.

NewTown Macon approved them for a loan, but there could be problems.

There’s been some misinformation floating around about the way a popular downtown Macon bar is getting help with their bills.

Josh Rogers at NewTown Macon wants to make something clear.

“It has not cost the taxpayers a single penny,” said Rogers.

NewTown’s Business Development Investment Fund takes applications for allows businesses access to money to help grow–but not at a cost to taxpayers.

“NewTown raises all the money to support the administration of the program privately,” said Rogers.

In fact, Rogers says it’s been hugely successful, making money for the county.

“Property tax value from the properties we loan on would be $328,000 per year to government and schools,” said Rogers.

Because of these loans, businesses can grow, and as they grow, they make more money which can increase SPLOST money and property tax return.

That’s what Rogers hoped a loan agreement with popular downtown bar Crazy Bull would do as well.

There are two people who guaranteed the loan to pay for the Crazy Bull’s building on Second Street in Macon.

One recently dropped out, and forced a default on the loan in two weeks.

The remaining owner, Ricky Hill, went to Newtown for help.

“The short timeline means a traditional lender is not able to complete the underwriting necessary to meet that timeline, so the business partner that wants to stay there, even though the business is profitable, the mortgage has been paid on time every month and is not in default, they still have two weeks to sort out a solution,” said Rogers.

NewTown approved Crazy Bull for a new loan, and could make it happen within the two weeks Hill needed.

Newtown simply needed approval from the Macon-Bibb Commission on terms of the loan.

“The reason the commission’s involved at all is because we do have a public guarantee which means we are able to borrow more money and at a lower cost,” said Rogers.

But that misinformation after the commission passed it in the committee meeting Tuesday led to confusion about where the money was coming from.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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