Friday, July 12th, 2019

A new brewery planned for Rockford

By William Kincaid
CELINA - A new brewery and taproom called Second Crossing is expected to open in downtown Rockford by the end of the year.
If everything goes as planned, this will be the fourth brewery to open in Mercer County in the last few years.
County commissioners on Thursday approved issuing a $49,000 revolving loan to Mercer County Brewing Co. doing business as Second Crossing at 142 N. Main St., Rockford.
The revolving loan is to be spent on equipment, according to county community development director Jared Ebbing, who led a state-mandated public hearing on Thursday morning before commissioners moved to approve the revolving loan.
An environmental review was completed on June 3, and the revolving loan fund committee recommended in favor of the loan on June 21. The state approved the release of funds late last month.
Under the agreement, the loan must be paid back in seven years at 3% interest, Ebbing said. The company vows to create two full-time equivalent jobs that will be made available to low- to moderate-income people.
The total project is estimated at $124,000, which would be financed by the $49,000 revolving loan, $24,000 in equity and $51,000 from a private lender, according to court documents.
The company's principal officers are Luke Stephenson, Todd McKee and Luke Clouse, documents state. They aim to remodel part of the building at 142 N. Main St. and purchase equipment to start a brewery.
Stephenson owns the building, which also contains his other business, The Fix Functional Massage Therapy, according to Ebbing.
Stephenson told the newspaper he's been home brewing for a handful of years and decided to turn his expensive hobby into a business.
The revolving-loan program started almost three decades ago and is funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that are funneled through the state. The local economic development office reviews, approves and distributes the funding.
The low-interest county revolving loans can be used to buy fixed assets such as land, buildings, machinery and equipment and as working capital to expand an existing or start-up business.
Unless used for local infrastructure needs or removal of blight and slums, the loans are repaid to the fund with interest to provide funding for future loans.
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