Starting a business is an experience filled with so many emotions, both good and bad. The level of excitement when sharing the story on how the business came to light, and to see and feel this energy being reciprocated from others who share your joy and believe in what you are doing is a powerful feeling. You feel invincible. But then, suddenly, doubt sets in. What am I doing? Is this a good idea? Is the risk worth it? Where do I start?

If anyone has opened a business or has helped open a business, these questions are continuously running their heads during the startup process. But something tells them to keep going. For us, that “something” was family, friends, colleagues, fellow brewery owners, people we just met, as well as Tonia from the Nebraska Enterprise Fund.

When we met with Tonia for the first time to discuss initial funding for our brewery, we thought we had a good idea of what we needed to open. But we did not know how to get it. Tonia showed us a path to get to where needed to be both in the short run and in the long run. Keep in mind, we were talking with her in May 2020 – right in the middle of a pandemic – so we were just thankful that someone was willing to take a chance on us when the global economy was shaky at best.

Once we settled on a number and lined up our collateral for closing, the process was seamless from there. Anytime we had a question about disbursement, payments, marketing, etc., Tonia was easy to reach and always had an insightful answer. In fact, she was the inspiration in getting our beer garden done quicker and more cost-effective than what we had originally planned for.

If anyone is thinking about starting a business and needs advice on how to get started or needed to explore where the initial funding source is going to come from, I would highly recommend reaching out to the Nebraska Enterprise Fund!