The Free Press editorial published June 5 was misleading and an attack on our local small businesses. The editorial leads the reader to believe that the government is using taxpayer dollars to lend millions of dollars to businesses at low interest, basically hoodwinking the taxpayer out of their money. If I didn't know any better, I would be boycotting our local grocer and arts supply store.
The fact is that the businesses listed received Small Business Administration-backed loans through the 7(a), 504, or other programs offered from their local bank. The government does not give any money directly to these businesses; it only provides a partial guaranty to the bank in the event the business fails. To receive such a loan, the businesses had to pay the government. In many cases, the owners had to pledge their personal residences as well.
The SBA serves the function of helping banks lend to small businesses that might not otherwise be "strong enough" to receive a conventional loan. In the banking world, "strong enough" can mean several different things. Take for instance Enzo's Market that was named in the editorial.
To a bank, a startup independent grocery store is not "strong enough" to lend to conventionally. This is where the SBA steps in and lends their partial guaranty. Enzo's actually paid the government upward of $90,000 to receive its loan. I believe Enzo's Market has been a success on the Southside creating 53 new jobs, not to mention all the construction jobs during building, which would not have happened without the SBA.
I applaud the owners of Enzo's, Art Creations and the other businesses listed for taking a risk and doing everything they could to open their respective businesses. We should all support our local small businesses, not attack them.
This paper has been doing a fantastic job covering the news.
Remember, if you are ashamed of what you do, don't do it. Only the hit dog will holler.
Something I cannot understand is why Christian people don't get involved and vote these people out of office. There is a lot of corruption in our police department.
There are more of us bottom-of-the-barrel (financially speaking) folks than top, and we love to hear you report on what the mountain folks are doing.