ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Some local entrepreneurs are getting help through the BE in Abilene program.
“We won the full amount this year, so that will be $100,000,” says Keith Sanders, CEO of Belt Buckle Distillery in downtown Abilene. “That money is mainly going to be used for PPE, which is property plan and equipment. That will allow us to open on a much broader scale much faster than we were planning.”
Once the distillery is up and running, it will be the only wholesale producer of alcoholic spirits in the City of Abilene.
“We’re in the process of starting right now. We’re hoping to have products on shelves and be in operation by October,” says Sanders.
Abilene’s only manufacturer of ice cream, 2 Profs Ice Cream, also won $100,000 through the program.
“Its a game changer for us. To be able to develop our wholesale side we needed new equipment, we needed more people coming in so we could move our product, not just in Abilene, but to all of West and Central Texas, and North Texas, and beyond,” says Carley Dodd, of 2 Profs Ice Cream.
Carley and his son/business partner, Matthew Dodd, says just applying for the program helped them to develop their business.
“It’s almost in some way a friendly competition just because they are so helpful. They’re so inviting, and they work with us, and they help us understand, and look at what we didn’t know we needed to know,” says Matthew Dodd.
The program is funded by the Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA), and they say each winner will receive ongoing support, including regular meetings with the Small Business Development Center to make sure they have what it takes to succeed.
DCOA says this is the first year they are awarding 3 businesses, as Moose Mountain Goods also won $50,000 and is Abilene’s only producer of coffee.
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