Senate Community Development Finance Caucus

STATEMENT: New Bipartisan Community Development Finance Caucus Underscores Vital Role Nonprofit Lenders Play to Economy

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Kristin Williams
kristin@emccommunications.com
617-794-4525

Statement by Joshua Miller, VP, Research and Policy at Accion Opportunity Fund, one of the nation’s leading community development financial institutions, on the creation of the Senate Community Development Finance Caucus

San Jose, Calif., Aug. 1, 2022 — Accion Opportunity Fund (AOF) applauds today’s announcement of a new Senate Community Development Finance Caucus, a bipartisan effort to boost access to capital in low- and moderate-income communities. The caucus was announced by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), and endorsed by a wide range of community finance leaders. AOF adds its voice in support of this new caucus, and looks forward to working with congressional leaders to advance our common goal of financial inclusion.

Small businesses remain heroes of the U.S. economy, even as they are hit hard by economic pressures, labor market dynamics, and supply chain constraints. But our research has found that every day, banks decline 8,000 small dollar loan applications, creating an $87 billion gap in responsible capital for small businesses. The creation of the Senate Community Development Finance Caucus is a recognition that community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs) are our most successful tool for filling this gap. 

The last two years have proven this to be true. Bipartisan cooperation helped sustain small businesses through the pandemic, enabling CDFIs like AOF to deliver billions of dollars that kept businesses afloat and workers employed. AOF alone provided nearly $34.5 million in PPP loans to 2,100 diverse small business owners. 

It’s vital that the funds, partnerships, and policies that emerged to support America’s entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 crisis continue to grow and innovate. We commend the 14 members of the Senate Community Development Finance Caucus for committing to work together to ensure that the energy and investments of the last two years continue over the long term.

To request an interview, contact Kristin Williams at kristin@emccommunications.com or 617-794-4525.

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About Accion Opportunity Fund

Accion Opportunity Fund works to create an inclusive, healthy financial system that supports the nation’s small business owners by connecting entrepreneurs to affordable capital, educational resources, coaching, and networks. Through innovative partnerships and outreach strategies, we reach entrepreneurs of color, low-income entrepreneurs, and women, who often lack access to the financial services they need to build and grow their businesses. Accion Opportunity Fund Community Development is the lending arm of Accion Opportunity Fund, California Finance Lender license #6050609.

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