Shane's Rib Shack Removes Final Obstacle to Selling the American Dream With New Financing Program

Named Top 10 Franchise Deal, Shane's Forecasts Aggressive Growth Plans for Southeast

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - Aug 18, 2011) - According to the 2011 International Franchise Association (IFA) Credit Survey, franchisors report that more than 50 percent of their franchisees and franchise prospects are still unable to obtain needed financing to open their own business, even with the economy on the mend. Shane's Rib Shack, a Petrus Brands concept and national barbecue chain, brought in former Church's CFO, Carl Jakatis, to architect a new financing program to fund franchisees in their pursuit of the ultimate American dream of business ownership. So on the eve of its 10th anniversary, Shane's Rib Shack announces plans to add a minimum of 100 stores in the Southeast as part of its regional growth strategy before moving west to establish the first true fast casual national footprint.

Recently recognized as one of the Top 10 Franchise Deals in America, Shane's Rib Shack has established a comprehensive financing program with The Brand Banking Company as its preferred lender. With years of experience and a full department dedicated to government-guaranteed lending such as Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, The Brand Banking Company is a full-service community bank headquartered in Georgia with a dedicated franchise practice to aid franchisors in helping franchisees as they make the steps to business ownership.

"The benefit of working with The Brand Banking Company is its expertise with SBA lending and their commitment to serving Shane's Rib Shack franchisees who qualify for a loan," explains Carl Jakatis, CFO of Petrus Brands. "Typically it can take months for a franchisee to go through the process of getting an SBA loan themselves. Since The Brand Banking Company understands Shane's Rib Shack's business model and concept, their knowledgeable experts are able to guide our franchisee through the process typically within 30-45 days."

Franchisees often struggle when it comes to finding a lending partner that will help ease the process. The Brand Banking Company is the ideal partner since they understand that small business owners have a lot on their plate during the initial franchising stages. Sherry Kinard, Vice President and Manager of the Government Guaranteed Lending division says, "The difference between The Brand Banking Company and other financial institutions is our knowledge of the SBA program and our hands on customer service. Currently, the number one way for franchisees to secure funds is by utilizing the SBA. SBA loans offer longer terms which help with cash flow and lower down payments when compared to traditional business loans. An SBA loan through The Brand Banking Company can benefit the franchisee if they are opening their first or fifth location."

"We feel our most promising days are ahead with an exceptional management team in place today, our financing at a point of strength and our marketing and PR partners aligned," explains Chris Morocco, CEO of Petrus Brands. "Package all that around a dynamic founder in Shane Thompson who has the potential to be the next iconic restaurant personality and a concept whose positioning is evolving to a broader, more consumer appealing BBQ brand, and we couldn't be more optimistic about the future."

About Shane's Rib Shack

Shane's Rib Shack, a Petrus Brand company, is a true American rib shack, known for its slow-cooked baby back ribs, hand-chopped chicken and pork, and many southern sides to complement each plate. The original shack was founded in 2002, in rural McDonough, Ga. by Shane Thompson, who started the restaurant with his grandfather's secret BBQ sauce. Since becoming a franchised restaurant in 2004, Shane's Rib Shack has grown to become the country's fastest growing fast casual barbecue concept. Named to QSR Magazine's 2011 Top Franchise Deals, Shane's Rib Shack was selected based on its recent growth despite the nation's economic woes, stable leadership that ensures a consistent strategy and consumer satisfaction ratings highlighting consumer interest. Shane's Rib Shack was selected as #20 on the Fast Casual Movers and Shakers list of 2008, highlighting the very best of the Fast Casual industry's over 600 restaurants. Shane's Rib Shack currently operates more than 65 locations. For more information, visit www.shanesribshack.com.

About The Brand Banking Co.

The Brand Banking Company is a full service bank serving the needs of individuals and businesses in Gwinnett County, Georgia and North Metro Atlanta. Brand Bank was chartered in 1905, and is the oldest locally owned bank in Gwinnett, combining old fashioned personal service with the benefits of modern technology. The Brand Banking Co. is led today by founder E.M. Brand's great-great-grandson, Bartow Morgan Jr. In addition to operating branches in Lawrenceville, Grayson, Snellville, Flowery Branch, Buford and Duluth, Georgia, Brand Bank also has a loan production office in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, and mortgage offices throughout Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

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