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To Say the Leased

Ownership is overrated. Could leasing be the answer to the tough economy?

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This story appears in the February 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When Kai Adams opened Sebago Brewing Co. with partners Brad Monarch and Timothy Haines in South Portland, Maine, two years ago, he leased $30,000 worth of computers for the brewery and restaurant's point-of-sale system and a $4,000 dishwasher for the kitchen. Now that the 95-employee company is opening its third location, the 29-year-old brewmaster is opting to lease even more of the equipment necessary to get up and running.

"Now is a good time to be doing that," Adams says. "We don't have to buy all this equipment, so it frees up some cash for us." Adams bases his decision, in part, on some of the perennial advantages of equipment leasing, namely, lower upfront cash outlay and the ability to offload maintenance tasks onto the lessor. But, based on the increasing volume of inquiries from financial institutions interested in setting up leases for him, he also thinks the current environment creates something of a lessee's market.

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