VP Kamala Harris Announces $ 1.25 Billion for Community Lenders | Richmond Free Press
Vice President Kamala Harris announced on Tuesday that the Biden administration is distributing $ 1.25 billion to hundreds of community lenders in an effort to help boost the economic recovery of the coronavirus for small businesses in underserved and minority communities .
“President Joe Biden and I knew that more than fixing, we need to re-imagine our economy,” Vice President Harris said at a White House event. “Small businesses, of course, are at the center of this reimagining. “
The funds go to more than 860 community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, across the country. CDFIs offer loans to small businesses and those who may be denied loans from large banks, a problem that studies have shown particularly affect minority business owners.
Vice-President Harris has focused on small businesses since starting her vice-presidency and in particular highlighted the need to support minority and women-owned small businesses as the key to a strong economic recovery.
On Tuesday, she lamented that “traditional banks haven’t always seen or understood the vision of women, small business owners, small business owners of color, small business owners who serve low-income communities.” . CDFIs, she said, “add value to these communities and, by extension, to our entire nation.”
This fund comes in particular from the work she did as a California senator. Funding for the program comes from $ 12 billion provided to community lenders as part of the 2020 stimulus that was enacted by President Trump last December. This money was also to help open up new credit opportunities for black, Latino and low-income communities. At the time, Vice President Harris lobbied to include CDFI funding in the final package, along with U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia and House Financial Services Committee chair Maxine Waters of California.
The two Democrats joined Vice President Harris at Tuesday’s event. A spokesperson for Senator Warner said the funding would provide millions of dollars to more than a dozen financial institutions in Virginia.
The vice president praised the work of Senator Warner and Representative Waters, as well as the support of a number of other senators, calling it a “complete team effort” to secure the funds in the final bill. .
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also joined the event and said the CDFI fund has delivered on President Biden and Vice President Harris’s campaign pledge to tackle systemic racism and build an economy “That works for everyone”.
CDFIs, she said, are “exactly the right place to focus our attention, because these issues – who can access credit and capital and who cannot – are at the root of many long-term structural problems. in our economy “.