Wynwood Brewing Gets Government Loan
Wynwood soon will be home to a locally owned micro-brewery that is pledging to hire 12 employees and retrofit a building in the gentrifying Miami neighborhood.
And the consultant responsible for helping the start-up Wynwood Brewing Co. receive the city’s first Community Development Block Grant loan in more than a decade is Barbara Gomez, who six years ago lost her job in Miami directing the office of community development during a conflict-of-interest scandal. She was ultimately cleared.
Gomez earned $40,000 from the deal, which gives the father-and-son team who own the private brewing company a $420,000, seven-year interest-free loan with no payments the first two years. The loan funds come from the federal government.
Wynwood Brewing Co., which would be the neighborhood’s first micro-brewery, is owned by Luis C. Brignoni and his father, Luis G. Brignoni. They have promised to use the money to purchase equipment, including a truck, and to upgrade water lines. In its application for the loan, the company said it needed the money because of “unforeseen rehabilitation expenses to the main factory.”
The company, which is retrofitting a building at 565 NW 24th St., has also agreed to meet specific hiring conditions. It must hire 12 employees with salaries up to $14.42 an hour within two years, and more than half of them must be local residents.