Retail & Food Service

East London pub scene star rises with crowd loan

A fast-growing East London pub chain is set to open its fourth pub after receiving a £43,000 refurbishment loan from peer-to-business lender, rebuildingsociety.

Electric Star Ltd, which operates The Star of Bethnal Green, The Star of Kings and The Star by Hackney Downs, is opening the doors of The Jackdaw and Star in Homerton later this summer, following a bespoke refurbishment.

rebuildingsociety works by allowing hundreds of individual lenders to pledge varying amounts towards a loan request posted on its website. It administers monthly capital and interest repayments on behalf of its borrowers.

So far over 60 loans, totalling more than £3m, have been created by rebuildingsociety for firms in a variety of industries across the UK.

Rob Star, owner of Electric Star, explains: “I’ve always had a strong relationship with my bank, but the last time I went for a loan, it took them five months to turn me down. With rebuildingsociety it was less than four weeks from our initial application to receiving the cash in the bank, and I’ve raised awareness of our business to hundreds of potential customers.”

Throughout the loan process, Rob interacted with members of rebuildingsociety’s lending community, who wanted to find out more about Rob’s business plans and financial projections.

“I enjoyed answering questions about the business. It made me think hard about certain aspects and was a valuable exercise. We believe we’re doing the right thing in a changing market. People want an experience now, not just a pint.

“We’ve embraced this by franchising our kitchens to chefs who are passionate about their food, which combined with our penchant for craft beers and a packed events schedule is really appealing to people in East London”, says Rob.

Nick Moules, Marketing Manager at rebuildingsociety adds: “Our lenders could see the clear growth trends in Rob’s business. He now has hundreds of new stakeholders with an interest in the success of his business. When Rob expands again, he will probably have a crowd of lenders ready to help him achieve his plans. We believe there is true value in raising loans from individuals ahead of the banks, and by that we don’t just mean the faster turnaround, competitive rates and waived repayment charge that we offer.”

New domain name ‘.bar’ launched for the bar and club industry

.BAR recently launched to provide the Bar & Club industry with a bespoke digital platform, as part of the recent roll-out of new internet domain names, otherwise known as Top-Level Domains.

The international industry, worth $24 billion in the US (Bars and Nightclubs in the US, IBISWorld, 2014), continues to expand, with the global spirits alone seeing a rise of 10% in sales last year (Ipsos Market Research, 2014). This development now allows public houses, bars, nightclubs, manufacturers, and consumers within the industry to engage, and celebrate everything that nightlife has to offer in a secure online environment.

Now, alcohol-related corporates, businesses, SMEs, communities and consumers will have the ability to differentiate themselves through improved internet marketing capabilities, boosted Search Engine Optimization, and recognition from elite peers. Global Corporates seeking to guard against cyber-squatting will also benefit from buying into .BAR; the .BAR URL ending serves as stamp of integrity for Bar & Alcohol businesses.

The Internet address has already attracted world renowned players on the bar and nightlife scene such Wynn Resorts and Harry’s Bar.

The domain, which launched to the general public yesterday and celebrated in style at London’s Sanderson Hotel, sponsored by luxury vodka brand, Beluga.

“.BAR will connect the bar and club industry with customers online,” says Aaron Grego, CEO of Punto 2012.

“This is a perfect opportunity for businesses to grab a simple and easy-to-use domain name that describes their bar or club with a descriptive name. Our industry needs to stand out online and be found — with .BAR they can.”

Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic and domains.bar, says: "After meetings with our partner Punto 2012 in bars in New York City, Mexico City, Denver, Las Vegas, Munich, Singapore and the Bar municipality in Montenegro, it is a long-awaited pleasure to launch the .bar domain name in London's Long Bar in the company of many leading lights of the adult beverage profession as well as renowned bar flies from the domain name industry."

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