Ten years after founding Heartland Breweries in 1995, Jon Bloostein’s company became a victim of its own success. Profit was so strong that the Internal Revenue Service was collecting more than 40 percent of earnings, leaving Bloostein unable to tap his own cash flow to fund new restaurants.So when he learned an employee stock ownership plan could lower Heartland’s tax burden and free up cash for growth, he was thrilled.“We were growing well, but going to the bank too often to borrow money,” ...

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