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PRESS CONTACT: Alia El-Assar |

ABIC applauds Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin & Small Business Champions on $10 billion PPP Set-Aside for CDFIs to Reach Underserved & Small Businesses of Color

Coalition continues to push for MDI inclusion, extension of the processing period to Dec. 31st, the move from 8 weeks to 24 weeks for forgiveness, and automatic forgiveness for smaller loans

(Chicago, IL) – In a win for underserved and minority-owned small businesses and nonprofits across the nation, today U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced a new $10 billion set-aside in funds through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in order to increase access to the Program for businesses of color, sole proprietors, growers, and other underserved communities. To date the Paycheck Protection Program has helped over 50 million American workers stay connected to their jobs and more than 4 million small businesses get much-needed relief.

The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) thanks our small business congressional champions that made this victory possible, including Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-NY). ABIC continues to push for the inclusion of Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) in the set-aside; an extension of the processing period to December 31st; move from 8 weeks to 24 weeks for forgiveness; and automatic forgiveness for smaller loans.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Chairman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee: “CDFIs have played a critical role in expanding access to the Paycheck Protection Program, especially for small businesses that did not have a prior banking relationship. By setting aside $10 billion for CDFIs, the Trump Administration will help ensure underserved small businesses have access to critical funds as our economy begins to reopen, recover and rebuild.”

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer: “For weeks, Democrats have been fighting to make sure the PPP funds reach truly small businesses, and specifically minority-owned businesses, and today’s announcement is a major step forward in that effort. Community Development Financial Institutions are a lifeline to so many traditionally underserved and underbanked communities. I want to thank Secretary Mnuchin for heeding our calls to set aside a pool of funding specifically designated for lending by CDFIs, and now we’re urging him to move on and include Minority Depository Institutions as well since they, too, are critical to expanding access to communities of color.”

U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee: “Recognizing that big banks were catering to the needs of clients with pre-existing banking relationships, Congress acted to set-aside funding to harness the power of local, small lenders to make PPP loans to small businesses in underserved communities. Thanks to tireless pressure from minority business advocacy leaders like ABIC, the Trump Administration has followed Congressional intent by issuing $10 billion in set-aside funds for community lenders—a crucial step toward rebuilding America’s hardest hit communities from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The announcement comes after weeks of advocacy efforts from a broad coalition of advocates calling for adjustments to the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure the funds reach the underserved small businesses and nonprofits in the most vulnerable situations. Many of the smallest and minority-owned businesses have found themselves left behind as big banks prioritized larger, wealthier existing clients.

“Time and again, we have seen that colorblind relief policies only act to perpetuate and exacerbate existing disparities between communities. For this reason, I applaud Senators Rubio and Cardin, Leader Schumer, and Representative Velázquez for recognizing the urgent need to prioritize the communities in the most vulnerable situations, including the Black community, in the COVID-19 response through this $10 billion PPP set-aside,” said Sam Scott, retired CEO & Chairman of Ingredion Incorporated and ABIC Co-Chair. “Not only do Black people make up a disproportionate share of COVID-19 infections and deaths, but Black business owners are also shouldering the economic fallout of the pandemic, with the number of working Black businesses dropping by a startling 40%— a rate much higher than other racial groups. This $10 billion set-aside is a start to helping our underserved Black and Brown communities survive through this pandemic.”

“This $10 billion PPP set-aside is a big win for the small businesses and nonprofits that are the backbone of our communities, but have been left behind in previous rounds of relief. While large banks approve loans sought by Latino and Black small business owners at a much lower rate than their white counterparts, 80% of loans from CDFIs go to minority-owned and underserved businesses,” said Raul Raymundo, President & CEO of The Resurrection Project and ABIC Co-Chair. “We thank the small business champions in Congress that have pushed to level the playing field for small businesses of color by ensuring that big banks cannot drain PPP funds before they are able to reach the small businesses that need them the most.”

“Today’s Treasury announcement, thanks to Senator Rubio, Senator Ben Cardin, Representative Velázquez, and Leader Schumer will help ensure that PPP lives up to its legislative intent to reach the most underserved communities, and strengthen our nation’s ability to recover from this unprecedented health and economic crisis. There is still much work to be done, and we look forward to doing it together,” said Rebecca Shi, Executive Director of ABIC.

ABIC will continue pushing for more equitable implementation of PPP along with our partners, including NALCAB, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, the NAACP, National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), the National Urban League, the Illinois Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association, The Resurrection Program, NACEDA, Opportunity Finance Network, UnidosUS and others, will continue providing technical assistance to underserved small businesses and nonprofits in the PPP loan application and forgiveness process to ensure they are not left behind in this essential federal relief.

The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes commonsense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides American companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs and citizens.