New restaurant for Newry City centre
On Monday 17th June 2013 a new project will launch on the crowd funding site www.kickstarter.com to help in the opening of a new French Bistro, The Sugar Supper Club, on Sugar Island in Newry city centre, headed by local chef Neil Bradley.
Although Kickstarter is hugely successful globally, Sugar Supper Club will be one of only a few businesses to utilise crowd funding in Northern Ireland and the only restaurant to do so, so far.
With only 30 days to raise the £12500 needed to launch the restaurant in an all or nothing scenario, kickstarter offers a platform for start up entrepreneurs to raise the money needed while bypassing the usual funding avenues such as banks and external investors.
In return for their financial support backers are offered perks and rewards from the businesses, usually either discounted products or exclusive experiences.
Speaking to Newry Times, Neil commented, “With bank lending no longer an option for a lot of start ups and small businesses too high a risk for investors we are having to seek alternative methods for funding.
“Crowd funding gives the businesses a better chance of success by not having them paying the bankers bonuses and by giving them the support of the local community before they open.”
Along with crowd funding, entrepreneurs are taking to bootstrapping to start their new ventures, wherein start up costs are kept to a minimum, largely by making all available money stretch as far as possible and carry out as many tasks as possible themselves rather than outsourcing.
Neil revealed that along with his family and friends, much of the work he has carried out himself in a bid to keep costs to an absolute minimum. “I have had to take on a lot of the refit and refurb of the building myself, with help from my family, to keep the costs down.
“I have reused and recycled as much as I can from the building I have leased. When I took over the premises we couldn’t access the back door from outside because of junk, but instead of just clearing and dumping the junk we took it to a local scrap yard, the money we got paid for tiling in the kitchen.
“We have reused old mirrors, the old lighting and reused plastic cladding in the kitchen. Of course the help and support from my family and friends has been incredible and I owe a good few free meals when we open,” Neil added.
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