Planning to add a drive-thru and make building improvements, Loadout Liquors awaits city’s approval for small business grant |

Planning to add a drive-thru and make building improvements, Loadout Liquors awaits city’s approval for small business grant

Loadout Liquors was approved for a $10,000 small business grant to add a drive-thru and improve the exterior aesthetics of the older building.
Amber Delay/Craig Press

The city’s small business grant cycle is close to wrapping up for the year with one final application scheduled to go in front of Craig City Council this week that, if approved, would help Loadout Liquors add a drive-thru and give the older building a facelift. 

Loadout Liquors, 1800 W. Victory Way in Craig, submitted a request for a small business grant to Craig’s Economic Development Advisory Committee in October, and the committee approved the funding unanimously with two committee members absent.

In the application, business owners Neil and Jessica Binder requested $10,000 for the $42,033 project that will add a drive-thru to the Loadout Liquors storefront. The Binders purchased Loadout Liquors in December 2021 from one of Neil’s distant family members. 

Now that the pair has a year running the store under their belt, they are getting ready to make some exterior improvements to the building. The proposed project will some repairs to the building facade as well as add a drive-thru, which Jessica said will make purchases more convenience for customers, especially during the winter months. 

If approved, the $10,000 small business grant will go toward Loadout Liquors adding a drive-thru and other exterior cosmetic improvements.
Amber Delay/Craig Press

The goal with adding the drive-thru service will be to also add either one full-time position or two part-time positions. 

“There’s no way we could run a drive-thru with just one person with the size of the store,” Jessica said. “We would definitely be able to add more jobs for both day and night shifts.” 

The Economic Development Advisory Committee reviewed the application on Oct. 24 and has recommended City Council give it final approval at the regular council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 8. 

In the meantime, the Binders have a contractor on standby getting ready to start the project and are finishing up a lease with their neighbor to utilize a portion of the adjacent driveway for customers to turn around. Once approved, the owners anticipate construction to begin quickly. Loadout Liquors will still be open during the construction. 

Purchasing the store was a chance for the Binders to move from California, back to Neil’s hometown in Craig. Jessica said that the first year in business has been really good, though they don’t have hard numbers to compare it to since the previous owners utilized a paper system and they’ve changed over to a computerized system. 

“(Neil) is just happy to be home,” Jessica said. “It’s cool to be able to see family walk into the store, where in California we were there by ourselves.” 

Loadout Liquors is the final application that will be considered for funding in 2022 now that the application window has closed.

The small business grant program has funded eight improvement projects with local businesses this year with $58,035 awarded including the most recent proposal.

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