Commission moves on loan program using federal dollars not local ones


Augusta, Ga. (WJBF) – The brand new plan is already going through some changes.

Last week, Mayor Davis proposed taking three million dollars out of the General fund and hand it out to non profits and small businesses, except Georgia law doesn’t allow governments to give away gifts.

“And whether state statute allowed it from a constitutional stand point where you can take General Fund dollars and give them out,” said Mayor Hardie Davis.

But Augusta leaders still want to help small businesses, so the plan is to use a little more than one million dollars from the federal coronavirus relief act and use that to make up to fifteen thousand dollar grants and loan to small business.

A review committee made up of commissioners Fennoy and Frantom, officials from the chamber and Community Foundation, would review applications to determine who gets the funding to ease concerns over who is getting the dollars.

“I think some people are concerned that friends and families will try to get this money, as well as you know people who are close to commissioners or employees, employees of government,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Sean Frantom.

Some commissioners saying the program has not been reviewed by the law department and using the federal dollars, HUD approval is needed.

But others are saying it is time to act. And city leaders approved submitting a plan for approval.

“The CARES act, we can use it for a number of things I think we need to approve it. We need to stop talking and go ahead and start walking we need to approve this,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.

Commissioners are taking a step that could help help small businesses toe the line.

In Augusta, George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6.

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