After visiting the Department of Planning & Development approximately 4 weeks straight, and getting bits and bits of misinformation, and being slightly discriminated against because I'm not an architect, we finally coerced them into giving us the golden Intake appointment! I had to resort to bringing in some muscle in the form of my tall hubby, but in the end we ended up with a very very helpful permit specialist who gave us the green light to make our Intake Appointment. He warned us it would be about 6 weeks before we could resume the buildout (my heart did a little backflip). but then in the end we totally lucked out and got in NEXT Tuesday to submit our plans for review. Getting the Intake appointment is the first big step, its the part where we submit our plans and pay our fees and get 1-1/2 hours to show them our stuff before they take a couple of weeks to review our plans and give us the Royal Permit!
Also, we contacted another bank and things are looking good. I'm just so suprised that the first bank only wanted to finance us for part of our startup costs. That means we'd have to put the remainder on credit cards which would rack up finance charges and make it pretty darned hard to pay back our loan. We'll meet with them next week, but of course the focus is on permit permit permit. My heart feels normal again. I think I'm going to bake something tonite.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
My husband and I spent the greater part of yesterday adding up all the bills that were due tomorrow. Our credit cards are maxed out. The plumber decided to subtract another 800 bucks from the refund we desperately needed while we wait for the permit for the city. We got shorted on the loan. Our situation is a bit dire; luckily we still have food in the pantry. We've resorted to barley in the summertime, folks!
Thank the heavens for sex when you need a little relief from the stress of how you're going to pay bills and how you're going to survive for 4 weeks on the small change in the jar that is mostly pennies. When the medical bills are so out of control and nobody will give you a break, even our home mortgage company won't let us just defer ONE measly little payment. My husband is selling every little piece of audio equipment bless his heart. I've put most of my art books up for sale on Amazon.
We really need to open the shop so I can start baking again and bring some money in. But for now, I'm going to spend the evening baking bread and thanking my husband for the great partnership he's given me. We're saving the bottle of wine we got from Paris for a special occasion, but we can certainly enjoy a few other carnal pleasures that are thankfully still free.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
When you undertake any large multi-component project, it's very difficult to keep track of every little detail. I'm sitting in the kitchen right now thinking about what has gone on the last few weeks since we signed the lease.
We finished most of the demo of the space, ripping out stinky old carpet and removing ceiling tiles. I've fixed up the upstairs loft area and moved my office in, which is phenomenally great because I can focus on work without being distracted with laundry. I must say working from home is not what you think it is.
The plumber has started digging ditches for the fixtures we will install, but since we have to wait for Department of Health to approve, he had to stop, which means I don't have a toilet. Luckily, the neighbor has been graciously letting me use his, and I've been feeding him cake to keep him on my good side. The plumbing inspector down at the Department of Planning and Development is not being very helpful and is making me fulfil all these super stringint regulations that other places never had to. Like for example, making me put extraneous walls to section off the restroom from the kitchen space, whereas other bakeries are able to use a partition wall, or even just a fan. Of course we want to keep the toilet as far away from the kitchen as possible, however we're running out of room for our equipment. I am sure it will all work out.
The bank has only approved us for $28,000 as a business line of credit, which in 6 months will be almost 12% interest. We need about $75,000 to do our buildout and about $25,000 working capital for the first 6 months. They are basing it on our previous year of gross sales, which was a little lower than average because of my husband's cancer. I mean, we paid our bills and made a profit. Our rent was low so we could definitely afford to reduce our sales so I dont' see what the problem is. I don't know how restaurants get their usual $250,000 in startup costs. I just don't know how to convince the bank that our cash flow projections are conservative. It's bogus. I guess we are going to look into other options. I am trying not to ask my dad because after all, I am 40 now and should be able to handle my own expenses.