Delaware’s Iron Hill Brewery wins national award

Tip a glass, in this case a pint glass, to Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, named one of the Small Business Administration’s top 100 companies in the nation.

The SBA 100 recognizes 100 companies throughout the country that have received SBA support in the form of capital, contracting, counseling or investment before going on to create at least 100 jobs.

The announcement was made Thursday at the Iron Hill located on the Wilmington Riverfront.

“Restaurants have a real hard time getting bank financing,” said Kevin Finn, one of Iron Hill’s founders. “And the SBA was really able to fill that gap for us. They provided us that capital to start and grow our business.”

Finn, along with his partners Mark Edelson and Kevin Davies, opened up the first Iron Hill in Newark in 1996. The company now operates eight restaurants in three states with more than 800 employees. About 185 of those jobs are in Delaware.

“One of the biggest reasons we’re successful as a company is that Mark, Kevin and I are still friends,” Finn said. “And that’s been a big part of our success. We’ve been able, for the most part, to stay out of each other’s ways and work at what we’re good at.”

Gov. Jack Markell was on hand for the announcement.

“First of all it’s a great business, we love Iron Hill,” he said. “We love this site, we love the site in Newark. I have to admit I actually went to the one in West Chester (Pennsylvania) once, but that was before I was governor.”

Markell pointed to Iron Hill as a model for businesses across the state and the country.

“This is a really important industry here in Delaware,” he said. “And I think the work that you guys have done, as well as others, shows what is possible when really talented entrepreneurs figure out a way to work together.”

Iron Hill’s plan is to open up a ninth location by the end of the year in Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia.

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