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Big Whiskey’s forms lending partnership in OakStar Bank

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When franchisees take the leap with Big Whiskey’s, OakStar Bank may be their preferred lender.

The two companies formed a lending partnership through which Big Whiskey’s franchisees can development financing and certain benefits, according to a company spokesman.

“That’s one of the reasons for forming this partnership,” Big Whiskey’s Vice President of Marketing and Franchising Dan Allen said via email.

Allen referred questions about specific financing to OakStar Bank. Officials with the Springfield banking company could not be reached for comment by deadline.

In a news release, Big Whiskey’s Franchising LLC CEO Austin Herschend said the lending relationship with OakStar would accelerate plans for franchisees considering multiunit markets.

“We’ve had several good potential franchisees meet with us,” he said in the release. “Many are looking at long-term, multiple-location strategies and options on financing that growth — now we have the resource in place.”

Separate Big Whiskey’s franchisees are scheduled to open restaurants in Bentonville, Arkansas, in mid-February and Kansas City by early April, Allen said. Currently, Big Whiskey’s operates three corporate restaurants in Springfield, as well as one each in Ozark and Branson. Allen said plans for new corporate and franchise restaurants should be released this month.

Big Whiskey’s franchisees’ expected investment for a single restaurant is $636,500-$998,000, including a $50,000 franchise fee. Royalties are 5 percent, with an added 3 percent in required local and systemwide advertising costs, according to BigWhiskeysFranchise.com.

OakStar leads the Springfield metropolitan statistical area in U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loans. For the SBA’s fiscal year ended Sept. 30, OakStar lent $22.5 million via 44 loans at an average loan amount of $511,260, according to Springfield Business Journal research.

OakStar also ranked ninth on SBJ’s list of the area’s largest banks and savings banks published Nov. 21. The list ranked on deposits as of June 30, 2016, put OakStar at $360.2 million. For the list, company officials reported 2016 local assets of $435.3 million, local loans of $382 million and local net operating income of $1.9 million.

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