Carrboro reboots business loan program to reflect 40 years of change


By Fraser Sherman

When Carrboro launched its business loan program in 1986, most businesses that applied could put up land and buildings as collateral, but that’s no longer true, a city official says.

At Tuesday’s town council meeting, Carrboro Economic Development Director John Hartman-Brown said that in the 2020s, Carrboro businesses are more likely to lease their premises. The loan program requires real property as collateral, which poses an obstacle to local companies taking advantage of the program.

The town council voted unanimously for a revised loan policy. The loans range from $1,000 to a maximum of $80,000 and are available to Carrboro businesses with less than 50 employees and no outstanding taxes or fees owed to Orange County or Carrboro. Depending on the size of the loan, it may be unsecured, or the applicant can use personal property as collateral rather than real estate.

The revamped loan program is open to “social businesses,” which the town defines as non-profits that raise funds through business-like operations, such as the sale of goods, as opposed to grants and donations.

Also Tuesday:

  • The council reminded the public that the county Board of Elections is holding a free voter ID event at City Hall on Friday, Feb. 2, from 2-5 p.m. No appointment is necessary; all you need to qualify for ID is your name, address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • The council approved a street-closing permit for East Weaver Street on April 12, for the Sladesign fashion show.
  • The council set June 10 – July 5 as the filing period for a special election to fill Mayor Barbara Foushee’s former council seat. The filing fee is $10; the election is Nov. 5.
  • The council approved plans for a four-way stop at W. Poplar Ave and Davie Road.
  • The council voted for the mayor to contract with Lamar Joyner as the new town clerk.
  • The council voted to approve a list of legislative priorities for the coming state session ahead of a legislative breakfast.

Fraser Sherman has worked for newspapers, including the Destin Log, the Pensacola News-Journal and the Raleigh Public Record. Born in England, he’d still live in Florida if he hadn’t met the perfect woman and moved to Durham to marry her. He’s the author of several film reference books and has published one novel and several short story collections.

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