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Loomis awards first-ever business loan

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Town of Loomis officials have awarded their first-ever business loan to Black Bear Outdoors. The Loomis council approved the $50,000 loan at their Nov. 21 continued meeting. According to Perry Beck, town manager, the business plans to use the 5.25 percent, six-year loan to pay for improvements and inventory. Beck said that approximately 12 applications were given out, but Black Bear has been the only business to complete the process so far. “The rest just seemed to drop off along the way. No one has been denied a loan,” Beck said. According to Beck, $450,000 in business loan money is still available. “The application process is a lot like going to the bank, except our rate of 5.25 percent is very good for a business loan,” he said. Beck said he expects the loan to fund in the next few weeks. Dan Abdon, president of Black Bear Outdoors, said receiving the loan is “wonderful.” “It will enable us to increase our inventory and make improvements to the building, like making some interior improvements, painting the outside of the building and finishing our landscape in spring. “It shows that the town is really interested in supporting the businesses,” he added. In February 2009, the Town of Loomis established an assistance fund of $500,000 for low-interest loans available to businesses in town, as well as those looking to relocate here. The fund was designed to “help retain, improve and recruit business” for Loomis. According to a town staff report, loan applications are made to, and evaluated by, Sierra Economic Development Corporation. After evaluation the group makes recommendations to the town. All loans must then be approved by the town council. The report states loan preference is given to businesses that generate sales tax, that are private entities operating within Loomis for five continuous years, or sales tax generators wanting to relocate to Loomis that have been in business for five consecutive years. An additional loan regulation is that the funds can only be used for paying Loomis development fees, public works on public roads and on property or equipment acquisition. Black Bear Outdoors is run by Abdon and his two sons Tate and Blaine. The three men share a love of the outdoors that, between them, encompasses camping, cycling, backpacking, rafting, fishing, hunting, disc golf, mountain climbing and rock climbing. They carry products for most of those sports. Their store also sells items and gear for disc golf, kayaking and canoeing. They carry rentals for backpacking and camping gear, kayaks, canoes, rafts and associated gear, rock climbing equipment, snow shoes, crampons and ice axes. Bicycle repairs performed at the store, and repairs on inflatable boats and dry suits have proven popular for the Abdon men. For more information on the Loomis business loan program, contact the town at 652-1840.