How SCGWest Facilitated Project Financing for Waters Edge Wineries’ Rapid Franchise Expansion
Waters Edge Wineries at a Glance
In 2012, Waters Edge Wineries (WEW) was established to create the first-ever urban winery franchise system in the United States. Their philosophy is focused on helping people learn about wine and removing the barriers that keep people from enjoying the winery lifestyle.
Since then, WEW has carved a niche for itself with its unique business model, marked by consistent growth milestones and successful expansions.
They continue to open new locations throughout the country but have come across several challenges to secure the funds needed to support this rapid expansion.
As WEW sought to onboard franchisees, they struggled with an absence of standardized procedures. Before collaborating with SCGWest, WEW had interacted with local banks and found difficulty navigating the loan process.
Additionally, their financial requirements were extensive. Opening a new WEW location required a unique type of loan to encompass winemaking, operations, design, construction, and often times real estate. WEW’s winemaking also demanded substantial equipment, prompting SCGWest to later propose separate equipment financing and leasing.
Armed with vast expertise in project management, SCGWest was primed to offer comprehensive solutions to support WEW’s expansion plans. Our first move involved an in-depth assessment to understand their unique challenges.
We knew our robust network, with connections to over 300 different lenders and a select few preferred ones, would provide a foundation for new franchise owners to receive funding. We advised them to engage with lenders we have previously worked with, and as a precautionary step, we also recommended going through the lending process with two different lenders simultaneously, providing a fallback option in case of any discrepancies.
SCGWest acted on behalf of WEW franchisees, coordinating with lenders and ensuring a thorough collection of all necessary paperwork. We diligently verified the validity of each document and offered underwriting support. Additionally, we served as a closing agent for the loan and collaborated with various stakeholders to ensure a smooth and cohesive process, providing the client with customized financial solutions.
Post-approval, banks followed their fund control protocols for disbursement to WEW franchise owners. SCGWest continued to offer support by managing lien releases, filling out the AIA payment application, and facilitating loan drawing.
Our commitment to providing financing support to our clients remains unwavering. Businesses facing similar challenges can look to this successful partnership as a model, with SCGWest standing by to assist and guide others in the same way.