Looking at other funding mechanisms, Sowder decided loans were not an option. With limited collateral, he said finding reputable lenders is difficult.
“The idea of going to a bank is just not a reality. A bank can like your idea and think it’s the greatest idea they’ve ever heard, but banks are banks and they can’t change their rules,” he said. “Everybody seems to think that there’s massive amounts of money available and there’s not, especially for restaurants.”
As new businesses are added and more redevelopment opportunities become available to the area known as NuLu — on and around East Market Street in Louisville — Sowder thinks Taco Punk will flourish. Until then, he said the business would survive with or without the Kickstarter funds, despite reports to the contrary. But, without the new revenue, changes would need to be made, which could include cuts.
“We can’t continue on with this business model. At some point, something’s got to give. If the business model is not working I can either create business or make cutbacks,” he said. “That’s the last thing I want to do.
Despite the hubbub, Sowder said he hopes customers can see the positive programs and changes his local fast-food restaurant has brought to the community.
“My motivations are very sincere,” he said. “I want you to go out there and find another independently owned fast-food restaurant that has our record. You’re not going to.”