The opening of Serge Margot’s Bistro 107 earlier this month in downtown Mount Shasta is due in part to the city’s Community Development Block Grant program.

“It’s great that the city is assisting business owners who are trying to make Mount Shasta a better place,” Margot said.

Bistro 107, located in the old Billy Goat Tavern building at 107 Chestnut St., was made possible when Margot qualified for a microenterprise loan through Mount Shasta’s CDBG program, according to a press release from Great Northern Services.

GNS, through its contract with the city, served as underwriter for the loan, doing “all the legwork,” according to GNS Business Development Manager Seata Madison.

She explained that the CDBG funding for businesses is provided by the federal government but administered by the state; each of its programs has strict guidelines and requirements for each of its programs, and GNS makes sure all are met.

“Income certification is a big one. Great Northern gets all the third party documents, including credit reports and applicable bank records, and secures collateral for the loan. We present all the documentation to the Mount Shasta Loan Committee and, if they approve the loan, we prepare the agreement, promissory note, deed of trust, and set up a payment program,” Madison states in the release.

Because loan funds are not distributed all at once, GNS says it continues its work with the recipient over time, compiling invoices to submit for reimbursement, and vetting requests for ongoing working capital to cover allowable expenses under the terms of the loan.

Once the city’s loan committee has approved a project, Mount Shasta Finance Director Muriel Terrell works with Great Northern throughout the life of the loan, handling all approvals for reimbursements and working capital, and distributing the funds, according to the release.

“We’re thrilled that Serge was able to get this loan and open his new restaurant here,” Terrell states in the release. “Making this program available to as many businesses as we can is a great way for Mount Shasta to leverage the CDBG funds.”

“Providing economic incentives to businesses like the Bistro fits the City Councils strategic goals of both assisting businesses and enhancing the economic vitality of our downtown,” states Mount Shasta City Manager Paul Eckert.

Terrell explained that both financial and technical assistance are part of the program’s guidelines. The city contracts with GNS to handle the financial work and with Jefferson Economic Development Institute to provide technical assistance for businesses utilizing the program.

Margot expressed thanks for the work Great Northern is performing on his behalf and said he is also “very thankful to JEDI for helping me articulate my vision in the business plan.”

He said it took him “months to crunch the numbers” once he determined which of four possible business opportunities he would pursue.

“I had to make sure what I was considering would work out. Getting the money is just the beginning – you have to pay it back. Having a sound business proposal that also serves the community is critical,” Margot states in the release.

The microenterprise low interest loan program is just one of the components of the CDBG program offered by Mount Shasta City to its business community, according to Terrell. “Among the possibilities for business owners or prospective owners are low interest loans for business expansion and small grants to fund ‘soft business costs’ such as website development and marketing, as well as the microenterprise program for start-ups,” she explained.

Other services offered through the CDBG program and run by Great Northern benefit the Mount Shasta community at large, she said, including snow removal for seniors, fresh food availability, and help with security deposits.

Call Great Northern Business Development Manager Seata Madison at 530-938-4115, extension 113, for more information about opportunities available for Mount Shasta businesses through the City’s CDBG program.