Can we create a community loan fund to redirect COVID-19 payouts?

BRATTLEBORO — If I found $1,000 in the street, I'd grab it and be a happy camper. Now, the wizards in Washington plan to send me $1,000, maybe more.

I'm certainly not rich, but I don't really need the money. I'd like to see some entity in town - the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, Strolling of the Heifers, or another nonprofit - serve as vehicle to which I (and others like me) could donate all (or part) of our COVID-19 checks to offer modest (say, $2,500) no- or very-low-interest loans to those people whose lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic.

While there would certainly be defaults, loan repayments could be bundled and repurposed for community and economic development projects (for example, housing through the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust).

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