The Knoxville City Council held a discussion regarding the city’s revolving loan program at the regularly scheduled meeting on July 15.

According to Knoxville City Manager Aaron Adams, the program has not been used for a significant amount of time. The city of Knoxville holds the program’s funds, but the Chamber of Commerce serves as the program administrator.

“Historically, that fund was set up to help predominantly larger businesses, specifically industrial,” said Adams. “So a 3M, Weiler, Hormel, those types of businesses.”

The Chamber of Commerce has made changes to the existing revolving loan program, predominantly to make it more accessible to smaller businesses.

During the council’s discussion of the revolving loan program, council member Megan Suhr asked questions in regards to what happens if someone were to default on the loan. Suhr wanted to know information such as what happens when someone defaults, who would any pay fees that would occur as a result, and if the city would be drawn into the process.

“This isn’t a grant,” says Adams, “so there is an expectation that these funds will be repaid. So if somebody defaults, there will have to be a procedure.”

The council, which only had three members present at the meeting, voted to table the discussion until the August 19 meeting. Chamber Director Hannah Vander Veer, who was present for the discussion, will research the legal aspect of the program and return with more information for the August 19 meeting.

The council is anticipating on appointing a new member at the beginning of the August 19 meeting, following the resignation of Cal Stephens earlier this month. The full council will then hold a discussion and potentially take action on the revolving loan program.

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