Carrboro City Council discussed a loan program to support local businesses and nonprofits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at a meeting on Tuesday.
The meeting was held virtually and Mayor Lydia Lavelle said the City was looking for ways for citizens to make public comments in this setting.
Helping small businesses and nonprofits
The majority of the meeting time was spent approving a short-term loan and grant program for small businesses and nonprofits in Carrboro. The program offers loans of up to $ 25,000 for interest-free applicants. Orange County launches a similar program.
One of the concerns raised by board members such as Damon Seils was the desire to ensure that loan program funds were used primarily to cover salary expenses in order to avoid layoffs. Seils said many people in Carrboro have already been made redundant.
The program will be funded by an existing revolving loan fund available to the City, which Seils says has been underutilized in the past.
Board member Barbara Foushee said she wanted to make sure the process for getting loans is fair. She said the group that will decide who gets the loans should be diverse and no business should be left out of the loan information.
“These nominating decisions can’t be made, they can’t go forward until we have that representation at the table because that will level the playing field for everyone,” Foushee said. .
Carrboro Fire Chief Dave Schmidt presented a review of Carrboro’s emergency protocols and the divisions responsible for handling certain aspects of emergencies in the city.
Schmidt said his department was working on contingency plans for the shortage of personal protective equipment affecting emergency and health care workers across the country during the crisis.
Lavelle said she recommends all residents of Carrboro to stay home if they can before county-wide stay-at-home order will take effect on Friday.
“Every town and village is a little bit unique, every county is a little bit unique, and we want to make sure that if and when we issue some kind of county-wide stay-at-home order, it’s done right and it doesn’t cause confusion, ”Lavelle said.
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