Buffalo Boss - Brooklyn, N.Y.
“EGF rescued us and is helping us pay off those high interest loans at rates that are almost half what we were paying. Just as importantly, EGF pointed out pitfalls in the way we were doing business.” - Jamar White, co-founder and owner of Buffalo Boss.
Sometimes, even the hottest business can use a little help.
Founded in 2010 with the help of some friends and family, Buffalo Boss has been a Brooklyn-based success story. The quick service restaurant serves organic buffalo chicken wings, all natural chicken tenders and other varied fare and has been growing fast. With the help from a 2013 loan from Excelsior Growth Fund affiliate The 504 Company, they had quickly expanded into two additional spaces after their first storefront opened on Fulton Street in Northern Brooklyn. Then they were approached about becoming the official chicken wing vendor at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“Of course we jumped at that and maybe without taking into account how it would impact us,” said Jamar White, co-founder and owner of Buffalo Boss. “As an entrepreneur you have the vision and the drive to take the risk of opening a business but that doesn’t mean that you have all of acumen you need to sustain the business.”
They jumped at the Barclays opportunity but the costs of the contract and their fast expansion soon began weighing them down.
Looking for answers, the company entered into an agreement with an online loan provider that promised cash within 24 hours, but did so at a very high interest rate. “We were desperate and got caught up in it as a lot of small businesses do. These online lenders…they didn’t really care about us and I feel like they took advantage of us.” With daily withdrawals directly from their bank account and outrageously unfair terms and high interest rates, Buffalo Boss turned to the Excelsior Growth Fund for the funding necessary to refinance their debt and the training needed to better forecast and plan for the business.
Jamar met with EGF staff and learned that Excelsior Growth Fund’s SmartLoan could do more than just get them the capital they needed quickly. EGF’s business advisors could also work with him, at no cost, one-on-one on the issues important to move the company forward into the future.
“Businesses like Buffalo Boss haven’t felt like they had a trusted place to turn for quick online loans. They end up working with online lenders who have little concern about the health of the business, says Steve Cohen, president of Excelsior Growth Fund. “EGF provides our clients with the fast access to capital that they need but then we continue to work with the borrower to help get them to a better place in their business.”
“EGF rescued us and is helping us pay off those high interest loans at rates that are almost half what we were paying. Just as importantly, EGF pointed out pitfalls in the way we were doing business.”
EGF’s Business Advisory Services consultants have worked with Jamar and his management team to better understand business planning and forecasting and how to work with QuickBooks accounting software. That helped reduce costs and expand their knowledge of actually running a business.
“Now, we have a really strong business foundation and we are going to soar in the coming year. EGF has given us the capital we need to stay in business and the knowledge and support for us to succeed.”