(As announced in the Siskiyou Daily News on Monday, September 24, 2018 and in the Mt. Shasta Area Papers on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.)
Great Northern Services (GNS) announces an award from the USDA Rural Micro-enterprise Assistance Program (RMAP) of a $375,000 loan to capitalize a revolving loan fund. This is the second time GNS has been granted RMAP funding and the money will help strengthen, expand, or create small businesses in Siskiyou County. Past recipients of these loans have included The Gifted Horse Lodge, Shasta Valley Pest Control, and Enjoy Weed.
Existing businesses and startups can receive up to $50,000. “Every approved loan for this program thus far has been a success,” says E. Seata Madison, GNS’ Economic Development Program Manager. “Two of the outstanding loans have been paid off in full, prior to maturity, and those funds are now available to re-lend along with this new funding.”
Businesses can use RMAP loans as working capital to assist with license and permit fees or marketing. The money can also be used to purchase equipment or inventory, refinance debt, acquire a business, or purchase or lease a new location. “One of our previous loan success stories is helping Enjoy Weed set up a second shop,” says Madison, “Owners hired new staff management and a total of four employees. The loan was scheduled to mature in May 2024, however, their success allowed them to pay their loan in full on January 22, 2018.”
“The RMAP loan was a great opportunity for us,” says Robert Tesch, COO of Enjoy Weed, “It helped us open and stock the new store and expand on a faster basis. We’ve been doing well and we’re moving forward with the brand.”
According to the USDA, RMAP loans “help build stronger rural communities by supporting rural microentrepreneurship, keeping and creating jobs, lessening outmigration, and working toward universal inclusion in the business sector.” The Gifted Horse Lodge in Fort Jones used an RMAP loan to expand their business. “It gave us the money to build a kitchen and add lodging in the back,” says Diane Postma, owner of the deli that doubles as a lodge and gift boutique, “It was the only lodging in Fort Jones at that time.”
For-profit corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships with 10 or fewer employees are eligible to apply to the Great Northern Services loan fund program. “RMAP loans can be more flexible than other types,” says Madison, “Our loan committee can make considerations a bank might not be able to and can help businesses that might not have otherwise received a loan.” Interest rates range from 5 – 7% and all loans must be secured by real estate.
Those interested in the program should contact E. Seata Madison , GNS’ Economic Development Program Manager at (530) 938-4115 ext. 113. Great Northern Services is a community based nonprofit focused on helping increase economic self-sufficiency in order to boost sustainability for the rural communities of Siskiyou County.
Learn more about the GNS Loan Program.