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Georgia Cities Foundations gives loan to local distillery
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The Georgia Cities Foundation (GCF) recently closed on a low interest loan for the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery project that is located adjacent to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and Dawsonville City Hall.

This distillery is clearly a tourist destination for downtown Dawsonville, said Downtown Development Authority of Dawsonville Executive Director Charlie Auvermann. In addition to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and Motorsports Park, this project signals Dawsonville becoming a very serious point of interest for tourism. It helps the entire region up here.

GCF provided a $107,468 loan to the Downtown Development Authority of Dawsonville, Georgia on July 27 to assist with acquisition of equipment for the legally operating moonshine distillery. The Authority made a simultaneous loan to FREE Spirits Distillery, LLC, the projects developer. The total project cost is $268,671. FREE Spirits Distillery, LLC used proceeds from the GCF loan to purchase distillery equipment for the new business.

GCF Managing Director Perry Hiott said GCF is pleased to have played a role in bringing the craft distillery to fruition. This project combines economic development, in the form of new business and job creation, with the communitys rich history of moonshine production and stock car racing, he said.

Auvermann said the type of low interest loans like GCF provides are critical to job creation.

In this day and age, where project financing can be extremely difficult to come by, the GCF program helps these types of operations to grow and flourish, Auvermann said. Everybody talks about jobs but it takes a coordinated effort by a lot of different entities to allow for businesses to grow and jobs to be created.

The Moonshine Distillery is set to begin production now that it has received state approval to do so. The distillery will sell its spirits to wholesale distributors, who will then offer the product to consumers. Eventually, consumers will be able to enjoy tastings at the distillery and watch the production process.

Since 2002, the Georgia Cities Foundation has provided loans totaling more than $13.8 million for 82 projects in 43 cities across the state, generating more than $73 million in new private investment.