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Saturday, December 7, 2019

Top Stories > Business

‘We're open!'

Catskill Distilling Company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Nov 27, 2019

By Patricio Robayo - staff writer

By: PATRICIO ROBAYO | DEMOCRAT
Catskill Distilling Company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but owner Stacey Cohen plans to stay open and looks forward to the future.
BETHEL — Stacy Cohen, the owner of the Catskill Distilling Company, vows to stay open, despite a recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
“We're going to be open all winter. We're open; we're open, and we're open,” said Cohen. “I appreciate the customers, my employees, and the people who are supportive. We need the support more than ever.”
Catskill Distilling Company, Ltd.
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy according to a filing dated November 19.
Catskill Distilling Company is a New York Farm Distillery that produces spirits from grains and fruits grown regionally and is in the heart of Bethel at 2037 Route 17B.
Along with the micro-distillery, Cohen operates the Dancing Cat Saloon and the Stray Cat Gallery.
“The future is going to be wonderful. We contribute to the community,” said Cohen. “We have to reorganize because of a very, very bad divorce.”
According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Catskill Distilling Company, doing business as the Dancing Cat Distillery, can still operate while trying to rehabilitate its finances.
According to the filing, the distilling company has two significant business loans, one with Jeff Bank in Jeffersonville for $2.6 million and one to Cohen herself for $2.3 million.
The distilling company also has a revolving loan with the Sullivan County Planning Loan Administration for $18,680.57.
According to Sullivan County Spokesperson Dan Hust, “Given the bankruptcy, we are still determining what our course of action will be.”
Furthermore, Hust said, “It's a community development loan, and repayment of loans ensures we have funds available for future businesses. The county will attempt to recoup as much as possible, but we have worked successfully with businesses in the past to negotiate terms.”
Moreover, Hust said if any potential writeoff of debt is considered, it would need to be vetted by the Revolving Loan Fund Advisory Board and approved by a resolution from the Legislature.
IDA

The distilling company has a loan with the IDA and is part of a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program.
The IDA loan, according to the filing, is $114,379.33.
“We're doing our very best, and we want to pay our creditors,” said Cohen.
Cohen said some people have a negative view of her business because of the IDA benefits her company receives.
“That's always been a misunderstanding; it has hurt this business [sic] by what people think,” said Cohen.
Cohen said her business supports agriculture in using New York State grains.
“We're great for tourism. Our success is a very important thing for the county,” said Cohen.
The distilling company is in its eighth year of a 20-year PILOT program and was scheduled to pay $520,000 this year alone for its 2009 project. The PILOT program started in 2011.
The 2009 project involved the building of the structure that houses the micro-distillery and rebuilding office space.
In 2015, the distilling company asked to amend its IDA project to include more office space.
According to Executive Director for the IDA Jen Flad, a project that files for Chapter 11 has no immediate impact on their agreement.
Flad said, “Depending on what changes the company makes through a reorganization under Chapter 11, IDA approvals would likely be necessary, and there could be other changes to the project's status.”
Cohen said, “We're gonna make this right. [We'll] move on and be successful.”

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