January 09, 2011

Micro bust

Telegram today--good story by Sutner.    I knew about these micro-loans but never realized that they are, more or less, unsecured credit lines.    These are even better, since if you don't pay there are no ramifications??  Instead the city relies on "negotiations and persuasion to attempt to get recipients to make payments."

Like any credit card company then why doesn't the City take people to court who have not paid their loans?   Better yet how does someone get their loan deferred?  Maybe the City should add terms like you can not get a permit or any other type of license from the City of Worcester if you are behind on your micro-loan.

I do agree, however, with the one part "micro-loans, which are required to be paid, make up only a small portion of the 4 million to 5 million in federal housing and community development grants and loans the city distributes each year."    Lets hope Shaun does many follow-up story in these monies.  

Hooka hot spot got $30,000????   Seriously the City of Worcester invested $30,000 into the Hooka hot spot--you can not make this stuff up.     Better yet Augusta-Coleman Furniture??  I have never heard of them and tried a search and can find no record.   Anyone out there ever heard of Augusta-Coleman furniture. 

The micro-loan can be a good program, but the city needs to put some teeth into the repayments so that the loans and repaid and the monies can be lent out again.  How about reporting late payers to credit agencies/taking them to court or no permits/licenses, if you are not current.  Right now the micro-loan program looks more like  a micro-grant then anything else.


Sprout said...

100 Grove Street? http://massachusetts.cityvoter.com/augusta-coleman/biz/353483

Rings no bells with me.

Bill Randell said...


I tried the number listed there and it is answered by Hardcore Fitness

Evidently they are out of business by now.


jpm01609 said...

Who are the geniuses at City Hall/Front Street giving out these loans?

When and why is the City in the banking business?

What does the application look like?

I can understand and respect the City's efforts to build small business an creative enterprise, but I question the wisdom of choosing entertainment(hookah bar, nightclubs) and restaurants.

Granted, restaurants tend to be big employers and can hire people with low skills, but the location factor is a big deal.

Where is the accountability?

A group that impresses me is SCORE (small business mentoring and training), a group of retired businessmen eager to help and businesses. It would have great if there was cooperation with a group like SCORE and the folks who handed out City money.

How about forcing the recipients to post prominently signage that state they were recipients of the loans too? That would have allowedd the rest of us to know what was going on as well.--

Sprout said...

Having fun with google searches now...

Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s mother is Pauline Augusta Coleman Gates...


Bill Randell said...

What I dont understand is the creat a job standard? Technically wouldn't any new company qualify since they "create a job"?

I can see how the micro-loan could be a good program these loans are not what I would have in mind.


Jahn said...

Bill said:

"The micro-loan can be a good program"

William, surely you Jest?

City s/n be involved in the loan business. PERIOD. CASE CLOSED.

I took one 30 second look at that article and I almost puked up my sesame seed bagel w/pnut- buttaaah on the guy sitting next to me this morning. Put down teh T&G and picked up my Herald

I WILL go back and read it fully tonight.

But Hey.........MLK Empoweremtn Center topped the dead beat list with $55,000 ??? unless i missed any higher amts of deadbeats in my 30 second perusal. Now dont they teach entrepenuerism over there? That place should get off the govt teet and be shuttered.

Was there any mention of JJ's status?

How long do you think Duddie or Bank America would put up w/this kinda subprime BS

Theese are more in the nature of hybrid grants. Wonder if the city has any personal guarantees?

Then there is the mess another player in the city left up at the airport industrial park a few years.


Bill Randell said...


My vision of a micro-loan would be a existing credit worthy business who wants to buy a new machine to expand their business.

The loan itself would have terms, hwoever, that are enforced like reporting to credit agencies and no licenses/permits unless your loan is current.

In its current form, I would agree with you Jahn. We should get out of the micro loan business.


Jahn said...

I still say no to The Bank Of Worcester.

Seems to me many of these loan/grants are to retail outlets and anyone with a minimal understanding of small bizz knows that non franchise new retial ventures have chance of success that is somewhere just north of a snowballs chance on hot stove. I mean come on... barrooms, eateries, and smoke shoppes...all too often have tendencies to down in flames (or go up in smoke)...

When I 1st heard the term Hooka bAr on this blog I had to ask what is it? Shows my age I guess?

And dare I ask who gets to decide who gets how much money........gov't bureaucrats who probably have zilch real world experience. Can you DoBoyz?

How much u wanna bet there was no one in city hall who could tell someone how much and far behind each debtor was, until asked BY the T&G, at which point hours of work had to be expended to come up with the numbers In other words no one is watching these loans.

Now the real estate tax or water bill payor had better pay up timely or it's penalties and interest which is statutory....which means no one at city hall can waive them.

I once got hit with $5.00 penalty, plus interest, plus another $10.00 penalty on a late water bill b/c I was over 30 days late due to my own carelessness.

I gove u credit for Sutner writing thsi piece...prob b/c of your rants about Phara, Home unds, etc.......but newspaper ink stained writeres will not give the bollggers of the world any credit by writing about a topic first featured in a blog......makes em look bad.

Jahn said...

Also do u suppose anyone ever checks to see that the private money invested in these deals ever really happens

Sorry to pick on a Village of Piedmont entity, whose existence I question the need for, but I wonder if MLK Center ever did the req'd 1/2 million $$$$$ "buildout" for their as yet unpaid Micro $530,000 loan and dare i also ask.... since when & where is a $530,000 loan deemed MICRO I mean these folks have paid nothing back....i.e. the loan status is "deferred".

I'll scream if someone tells me it was a loan to set up their Entrepenurship Division.......then....then..am I correct that they also maybe looking for Facade program money?

The only thing micro about these loans is the size of the paybacks....to take an old phrase and give it new meaning:

payback really is not a B+TCH when its the city youre supposed to be paying back

Off topic wild +ss prediction....look for Mr LaVanJailitis's orange henchmen on Pleasant St. at Meadow BRrok soon...an idea touted by a T&G blooger

Anonymous said...

That is the problem with the city... As discussed the city welcomes with open arms the nobody's
Out side the city but never mind the ones who have suffered through the years...let's get a new business going. For example the restaurant at the garage. Or at union station. Give them a break on the backs of he ones who are established. I pushed for NSRA money to go in the direction of existing businesses with much resistance from the city. I E. Ken jones