Accountability needed for loan fund |

Accountability needed for loan fund

The Carbondale Board of Trustees took a worthwhile gamble Tuesday in funding a $100,000 revolving loan fund for start-up businesses.

The aim is for the Carbondale Economic Development Council to offer loans to entrepreneurs who might not qualify for conventional financing, and to bring more economic diversity to the town’s mix of businesses.

Revolving loan funds have worked elsewhere, although there are always some loans that tank, due to the risky nature of start-up businesses.

Carbondale’s trustees need to tighten the reins on the EDC subcommittee that will review and approve loan applications. Although the subcommittee members are themselves lenders and businesspeople, the program must be accountable to the trustees.

This newspaper urges at least one trustee to serve on the subcommittee.

And while the financial statements of applicants need not be made public, the amount, recipient and purpose of each loan should be made public within a week of sealing the deal.

Taxpayers will benefit if the loan fund is successful, and lose if it’s not. Either way, accountability is a necessity.

– Heather McGregor, managing editor

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