Treasury is currently recruiting unpaid summer interns to help administer the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF).  Qualified undergraduate and graduate student volunteers “will be working closely with investment managers on the SBLF’s Application Review Team and will be expected to make a meaningful contribution to the program.” 

While we are all happy to see Treasury develop talent and conserve its resources, we think this may send the wrong message.  At a time when Subchapter S and mutual application guidelines are still unpublished, and over 600 SBLF applicants (all “healthy” and in a position to increase lending to America’s small businesses) are still waiting for disbursement of funds in “early 2011,” we would much rather be hearing about additional paid staffers who can actually get the program implemented.  We wonder whether the added responsibility of training and supervising interns will improve existing personnel’s ability to roll out the SBLF. 

On the other hand, perhaps the interns can provide the program with the spark it needs.  Just don’t tell them about Senator Snowe’s plan to ruin their summer, too.