04.20.20

Peters Presses for Coronavirus Relief Legislation to Support Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions

DETROIT, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) is pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to include specific funding for small community-based lenders, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) in any additional Coronavirus relief legislative package. In a letter to Senate leadership, Peters stressed the need to support these underserved urban, rural, and Native communities markets impacted by the Coronavirus through additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.

“I heard from minority-owned small businesses all across my state that they were unable to access PPP funds. Unfortunately, the PPP funding has lapsed and many of these businesses and nonprofits have unfairly been denied much-needed relief. We must ensure equitable access to the PPP and we cannot shut out minority-owned businesses,” Senator Peters wrote. “…One of the best ways we can better serve our minority-owned small businesses and nonprofits is through CDFIs and MDIs that are already working with them. CDFIs and MDIs address the needs of underserved urban, rural, and Native communities markets that traditional financial institutions cannot. Over the last 25 years, CDFIs and MDIs have provided the flexible, patient capital and financial services that consumers, small businesses and communities need to grow and thrive.”

CDFIs and MDIs have played a vital role in providing capital and financial services to small businesses all across Michigan. According to the Treasury Department, only 78 of 950 CDFIs participated in the PPP, largely affecting minority-owned businesses including those in low-income neighborhoods. Peters is pushing to ensure CDFIs and MDIs have the resources to provide this much-needed support to their communities throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

The full text of the letter can be found below, or by clicking here:

Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer:

As you discuss additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and move toward a fourth coronavirus stimulus package, I ask that any small business relief legislation related to the coronavirus include specific funding for small community-based lenders, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs).

Some small businesses are at risk of having to close their doors or lay off their employees, if they have not done so already. They are the backbone of our economy and they need support, now more than ever. This danger has been notably heightened for minority-owned small businesses and nonprofits, particularly in my home state of Michigan. Throughout the first two weeks of the PPP, I heard from minority-owned small businesses all across my state that they were unable to access PPP funds. Unfortunately, the PPP funding has lapsed and many of these businesses and nonprofits have unfairly been denied much-needed relief. We must ensure equitable access to the PPP and we cannot shut out minority-owned businesses.

One of the best ways we can better serve our minority-owned small businesses and nonprofits is through CDFIs and MDIs that are already working with them. CDFIs and MDIs address the needs of underserved urban, rural, and Native communities markets that traditional financial institutions cannot. Over the last 25 years, CDFIs and MDIs have provided the flexible, patient capital and financial services that consumers, small businesses and communities need to grow and thrive.

However, according to the Treasury Department, only 78 of 950 CDFIs participated in the PPP. That is unacceptable, particularly because CDFIs frequently lend to minority-owned businesses, especially those in low-income neighborhoods. Therefore, I am requesting that any small business relief legislation related to the coronavirus include specific funding for small community-based lenders, including CDFIs and MDIs, so they can better serve minority-owned small businesses and nonprofits in their communities.

I once again thank you both for your efforts in response to this national pandemic and for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of additional assistance.

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