Carton Brewing in Atlantic Highlands is being highlighted as an example of how the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) can help small businesses grow through its Premier Lender Program. 

Flickr User Jridgewayphotography
Flickr User Jridgewayphotography

Tim Lizura, EDA President and Chief Operating Officer, recently visited the independent craft brewery to raise awareness of the program.

"As any business owner knows, when you grow, it's difficult to manager your growth and capital needs at the same time," said Lizura.

Augie Carton, owner of Carton Brewing, received a $1.25 million line of credit through the Premier Lender Program, which lowers the cost of borrowing for small businesses with the EDA's partnership with more than 30 banking partners.

"We underwrite the business' activities, the collateral value, but our underwriting is a little more flexible, a little more lenient, than the bank's would be, Lizura said. He added the EDA can go up to a 100 percent loan to value, where the bank might only be interested in going up to 65 percent loan to value.

Carton Brewing, which serves on-premise beer and self-distributes to over 250 bars, restaurants and liquor stores in New Jersey, New York City and Philadelphia, will benefit significantly, according to Lizura.

"By providing our guarantees, the bank was able to provide a lower rate and actually more capital to the company, which of course allows then to invest in the community and hire more people," Lizura said.

Lizura noted the EDA has the public purpose of trying to create jobs and invest in communities, where the bank is primarily involved in making money.

"So, we're that public piece to the equation," added Lizura.

Since 2010, the EDA has assisted 78 New Jersey companies, leveraging more than $200 million in public-private investment through its Premier Lender Program, according to Lizura.

The EDA plans to continue raising public awareness in the small business community through its "EDA Was Here," campaign over the next 12 months, highlighting where they've been helpful to companies, like Carton Brewing.