The Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation anticipates that Black Meg 43 will start claiming a portion of a $40,000 forgivable loan sometime in the near future as work to receive compensation is already being done.
“(Black Meg) will receive the money when work is done and they present us with an invoice,” said Polo Enriquez, executive director of the corporation.
The Copperas Cove City Council finalized the Cove EDC’s efforts to supply the local hamburger restaurant chain with the loan, on Jan. 3, by approving an agreement between the two entities.
The EDC and Black Meg entered into discussions about receiving funds to help relocate in November when the business discovered its previous leased property was being sold to construct a CVS Pharmacy.
The store owners are allowed to use the funds to help remodel portions of their new facility, the old Kettle Restaurant, just across U.S. Highway 190. Some of the items include refurbishing the site’s parking lot, signage, adding a drive-through window and repainting the building.
“Without (the EDC’s) help, there was no way we could have stayed here,” said Allan Vasseur, co-owner of Black Meg. “This was the only location that we could find that would meet our needs without having unlimited financial resources. With the money we have and the money from the EDC is providing, it has allowed us to stay in Copperas Cove.”
Black Meg isn’t the only one to benefit from lending the money, Enriquez said. The city also will benefit as it will be retaining and expanding the “thriving business.”
“This is a very classic business expansions plan that fits right into what economic development is all about,” Enriquez said. “Their sales should logically increase and the result of that is more revenue for the city.”
Polo said if Black Meg reaches several benchmarks outlined in the agreement, the city should receive its money back from increased sales tax revenue and having more wages paid to Copperas Cove residents in less than three years.
For Black Meg, which expects more business because its seating capacity is increasing by about 100 people, those benchmarks are definitely obtainable, Vasseur said.
“As it stands right now, we are meeting those goals,” he said.
The new store will have more kitchen space and a new look, Vasseur said.
“Brand new booths, tables and chairs, they are all going to be new,” Vasseur said. “It’s going to look like someone just built it, when you walk in. I think it is going to look a lot of better than the old store did.”