Veteran Loan Program Helps New Business Fuel Growth

Slickfin Brewing

The Local’s Brewhouse – A Community Where Everyone Belongs

The moment you walk into Slickfin Brewery, you’ll feel at home. Here, Kris and Heather March pour their passion into every beer served.

Slickfin’s brews are infused with little pieces of Kris’s memories, feelings, and stories from his travels as a Marine Corps EOD Technician – which includes having a beer with the CEO of Boeing in a shack in the far east. Slickfin’s warm, generous spirit is created by Heather, who used to waitress before joining the Marine Corps. 

“We want people to feel like they’re a part of the family,” Heather says with a smile. “To feel like you’re appreciated and fit in.” 

For this fresh and real couple, Slickfin highlights the strength of their marriage, family, and friendships within their Fort Edward, NY community.

“We’re very persistent,” says Kris. “We’re not scared to put in a little elbow grease to make it happen for us, for our family, and for our community.”

Slickfin’s rapid success within its first 12 Months leads to a great growth opportunity with Pursuit

Kris and Heather’s new business had tremendous success within its first year. To continue to meet increasing demand and grow their business, the couple needed larger brewing equipment that would produce more beer in less time. This would give Kris extra time to dedicate toward other important parts of the business outside of microbrewing.

The couple first looked to small conventional banks for loan options. Despite their success so far, they weren’t able to qualify for a loan since they were less than two-years-old.

That’s when Deanna Derway of Washington County Local Development Corp. directed them to Nicole Scribner at Pursuit.

A Pursuit Veteran Smartloan provides the resources Slickfin needs to expand and thrive, even during a pandemic

As a Washington County local, Nicole enthusiastically agreed to meet with Kris and Heather over a beer to discuss their funding options.

“Kris and Heather were ready to expand,” says Nicole. “The business was producing solid results in the almost 12 months they had been open and they needed bigger brewing equipment.”

While the couple started the discussion expressing that they felt as if no one believed in them, Nicole reassured them of their young business’s accomplishments and growth by offering them to be a part of Pursuit’s Veterans Smartloan Program.

“They are both veterans and were the perfect fit for our Veterans SmartLoan Program,” says Nicole. “We met several times to be sure we had all of our ducks in a row. I presented the package to David Hanold and he was really happy with the deal.”

Within three weeks, Nicole closed the loan.

For Kris, this was the easiest loan he’s ever gotten. He says, “Pursuit was very fast, efficient, and kind throughout the process.”

Pursuit’s Veteran Loan Program gave Kris and Heather the financing they needed to reach their goals. With additional capital on hand, their business was also able to stay open for crowler take out and curbside pickup during the pandemic.

“They look at your business as a whole, not just a number. They see a bigger picture,” says Heather. “They look at you as people.”

Raising their business to be as strong as their family

With a successful patio and outside seating reopening during phase three, it’s clear how Heather and Kris’s hard work and familial love translates into every aspect of Slickfin.

The couple prides themselves on using their business to pay it forward as much as they possibly can for their friends and community, who’ve been a huge part of their success.

“We try to do our part to bring back that village, Pursuit is a part of that as well,” says Kris.

If you ask the couple what their favorite beer is on tap, Heather will (without hesitation) name Gator Bait, an unfiltered fresh raspberry sour, and Splash Out, an unfiltered cucumber puree sour. Why?

Because both drinks involve hard work, something Kris says he and Heather aren’t scared to do when it comes to business and family – “and doing something that you love.”

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