By RODNEY MANLEY — firstname.lastname@example.org
With banks lending less these days, small-business owners downtown could find financial help for things such as expanded inventory or equipment through a new “micro-lending fund” approved Thursday by the Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority.
Loans will range from $500 to $1,000 and will be interest-free, as long as the money is paid back within six months, Mechel McKinley, manager of Macon’s Main Street program, told the board.
“We hope this will provide some help for our small- business owners,” McKinley said.
The loans require that borrowers put up a 50 percent match of their own money and that they provide verification of how it is spent.
“You can’t use it to pay the water bill,” McKinley said.
The seed money for the program is $16,000 in proceeds that Macon Money, a citywide social game created by the Knight Foundation, won in an award from Future Everything, a British organization that celebrates art, technology and social innovation.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.