May 17, 2020

Senators Hassan, Shaheen Call for More Funding to Support Small Businesses Through Community Development Financial Institutions

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) sent a bipartisan letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calling for $1 billion for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) Fund as part of the next COVID-19 funding package.

 

CDFIs magnify the impact of the funds they receive through innovative partnerships with the private sector, making resources available to businesses that most need additional support in under-served communities. The Senators wrote that additional funding for this program would help keep small businesses afloat during the pandemic, and help them rebound once the economy reopens. 

 

“CDFIs not only have a proven track record of making the most of federal resources, but they also have an existing infrastructure in place to deploy much-needed financing quickly to small businesses throughout the country,” the Senators wrote. “While it is important to continue the newly established Paycheck Protection Program, we should also take greater advantage of these pre-existing CDFI channels so that more of our small businesses receive the necessary resources to save jobs and get their companies through to the other side of the pandemic. 

 

New Hampshire currently has four CDFIs: NH Community Loan Fund, Resident Ownership Capital LLC, Rockingham Economic Development Corporation, and Strafford Economic Development Corporation.

 

Senators Hassan and Shaheen have been working to help small businesses and non-profits stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senators supported bipartisan legislation that Congress recently passed and the President signed into law to expand the Paycheck Protection Program by $310 billion. Additionally, the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation previously urged the Small Business Administration and U.S. Treasury Department to provide better guidance to lending institutions regarding the Paycheck Protection Program.

 

See below for the full letter:

 

Dear Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer:

 

We write to request that you include $1 billion for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) Fund as part of the next COVID-19 legislative package in order to help more small businesses stay afloat through the current public health emergency and enable them to rebound once it is over. 

In normal times, CDFIs fill a critical need by taking appropriated funds and magnifying their impact in neglected rural, urban, and Tribal communities that are not sufficiently served by our nation’s financial institutions.  For example, in fiscal year 2019, CDFIs took $250 million in appropriated funds and amplified their impact by making loans or investments totaling nearly $21.5 billion, including over 23,000 loans to small businesses.

 

Indeed, CDFIs not only have a proven track record of making the most of federal resources, but they also have an existing infrastructure in place to deploy much needed financing quickly to small businesses throughout the country.  While it is important to continue the newly established Paycheck Protection Program, we should also take greater advantage of these pre-existing CDFI channels so that more of our small businesses receive the necessary resources to save jobs and get their companies through to the other side of the pandemic. 

 

In response to the coronavirus, the Senate has demonstrated its ability to come together and pass legislation to help our constituents because we have a common bipartisan interest in saving our economy, supporting our small businesses, protecting jobs, and saving lives. 

 

It is in this spirit that we respectfully ask that you include $1 billion for the CDFI Fund, including the appropriate funding for the Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program, in the next COVID-19 legislative package.

 

We thank you for your attention to this important matter and look forward to continuing to work with you to support our nation’s small businesses.

 

Sincerely,

 

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