I followed with great interest Councilor David Post’s KIVA briefing to Salisbury City Council two weeks ago, having applied for funding for my bookshop through KIVA just a week earlier. My project was successfully funded through this platform, but I was not able to get corresponding funding from the city as I had hoped.
I was not aware of any publicly available information to contact Councilor Post directly regarding the availability of City Matching Funds, and was deeply disappointed to discover that these Matching Funds – the only resources the City apparently provided to help small businesses during such a pivotal moment in our economy – were unavailable after a year of campaign promises and just days before I might have put them to good use myself.
I hope that the Council will find a better and more efficient way to allocate future funds as inflation continues to rise along with interest rates; I know that many other companies are in dire need of funding to continue operating in such an environment. I was hoping that by raising KIVA’s profile through my social network, the city could act quickly do moreno less, for our small businesses, especially after watching county commissioners return thousands of dollars to the federal government that were earmarked for small business development last year.
The money being spent to establish KIVA and Self Help Credit Union’s administrative ties with the city of Salisbury – at least $20,000 – appears to be about 20% of the city’s total small business support budget, which in my view represents poor management of public funds . Regardless, with a modicum of thought, innovation, communication, and damn it, a decent website with a brief explanation, the remaining funds would be enough to transform several companies that exist within my earshot – each jumping to a sensible suggestion would for their acquisition.
I hope this pause in future Council action will be short-lived, particularly in favor of the other three or more local businesses that have applied for KIVA funding in the last year and have not successfully funded their proposals.
– Alisa Redmond
Editor’s Note: Alissa Redmond owns and operates the South Main Book Company in downtown Salisbury.