Sara Miller is ramping up to start a new high-end bakery in the Calle dos Cinco in Historic Capitol Hill business district before Valentine’s Day, 2018.
She was the beneficiary of the Commercial District Revolving Loan Fund which issued its first loan as of Tuesday’s council vote.
“It’s exciting to have this opportunity,” Miller told Free Press after the vote Tuesday. “The next step is to find a suitable space to lease in Capitol Hill along SW 25th street.”
Miller is the first to receive such a loan because of her strengths and experience.
Vocational training in baking and food service, then working for Vast and the Cowboy Hall of Fame as well as other establishments has provided unique experience and skills for launching her own shop.
Her new bakery will be called “Confections.”
She will receive a $35,000 loan from the fund, established as a new project of the federal Community Development Block Grant program.
In this video we talked with her about her experience and what it means to start her own business in her home neighborhood.
She originally thought she had a landlord committed to a space, but then she got word the space had been leased.
When she talked to us, she was on her way to meet with two other commercial property owners in Capitol Hill.
Amanda Alewine, Associate Planner for the city, said the program has taken this long to find the right fit for the first loan.
“We specifically look for an applicant that a bank will not look at for a business loan because they seem high-risk,” said Alewine. “But a good risk for us is someone who has a strong business plan.”
Miller is a good fit for the program because she has training and experience in the type of bakery work she is doing, as well as experience in other areas, said Alewine.
The program’s goals are (1) job creation, and, (2) stabilizing commercial districts around the city, but outside of downtown.
The loan must be secured. In Miller’s case, she put up her home as collateral.
The interest rate is 2 percent and must create at least one job that creates one job per $35,000 increments of the loan.