Ben Arnold says he had some cash-flow issues at the end of 2017, but he says a tax lien against his A.V.I. Seabar & Steakhouse has to be a mistake. File photo The Wichita Eagle
Ben Arnold says he had some cash-flow issues at the end of 2017, but he says a tax lien against his A.V.I. Seabar & Steakhouse has to be a mistake. File photo The Wichita Eagle

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Restaurateur and caterer Ben Arnold explains cash-flow issues and tax lien

By Carrie Rengers

crengers@wichitaeagle.com

January 02, 2018 03:07 PM

The end of the year can get a little tight financially for most people, and it’s pretty much a given if you have a catering company.

So says Ben Arnold of Corporate Caterers of Wichita and AVI Seabar & Chophouse.

Arnold and his businesses have faced a few financial hurdles recently – as they have in the past – even though December is his best month of the year.

First, Arnold was surprised to learn late last week that he has a sales tax lien against AVI in the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview for almost $20,000.

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“The tax issue is something really simple,” he says.

Arnold says the state recently notified him that he has a $68,000 credit.

“I don’t send the government an extra $68,000,” Arnold says.

“Something’s not applied somewhere. This has happened before,” he says. “There should be no tax liens on AVI or any current tax liens at all.”

Second, Arnold has bounced some checks to a liquor store. He says it’s a cash-flow issue.

Four large companies owe him the bulk of $88,000 he has in receivables.

“All these companies take 60 days to pay, and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Arnold says.

He says at one point, the number was at about $140,000 out of about $300,000 in sales during the busy holiday season.

At the beginning of December, Arnold says he moved $25,000 from a savings account to his catering account to cover expenses.

“Usually, the end of December, it all catches up, and it didn’t this year.”

Arnold says an out-of-town trip coincided with the issue.

“We got caught, blindsided.”

Arnold says in the end, it’s not a huge deal. Eventually, he says things return to normal, which he expects to be soon.

“This is the one time the cookie jar is raided,” Arnold says. “This happens to us every single year.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers