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Community Development Funds Get More Support to Relieve Minority Businesses

todayFebruary 15, 2021 2

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A silver lining reveals itself to minority business owners in a pandemic, as support for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) grows at a steady pace.

What We Know:

  • Michael Miller is one of many minority business owners that didn’t receive any pandemic relief funds under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Miller reached out to a CDFI in particular during the time his Landscape/Snow Plow business was shut down in the middle of March. Unfortunately for Miller, the Opportunity Resource Fund was also having trouble getting federal funds for their clients. The Opportunity Resource Fund is a Michigan-based CDFI that is geared and catered to minority business owners.
  • Ideally, this kind of support would prove to be efficient, but institutions cannot plan for a worldwide pandemic. CDFIs across the country are certified to draw capital and credit from our government’s CDFI fund. This year, the program struggled to meet demands as funding requests were doubled from what the government had originally allocated.
  • Statistics show that the country’s most well off areas got 12 percent more in terms of dollar amount than economically distressed communities. In light of the multitude of revealing statistics like this, the Small Business Administration (SBA) asserts that they’ve made every effort to ensure minority businesses receive funds. The SBA also reports that over 1,000 community advantage lenders were in situations where they could not access funds.
  • It should be noted that CDFIs have to rely on local SBA contacts for any and all updates regarding funds. They never were directly notified about changes to PPP by SBA headquarters. The press director for the SBA, Carol Wilkerson, states, “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to improving equitable access to federal relief programs, and CDFIs and MDIs [Minority Depository Institutions] will be critical to achieving our goals.”

One year ago, during the pandemic’s infancy, Michael Miller would never believe he’d be receiving phone calls from the Opportunity Resource Fund on additional funding that he’s eligible for. The 3rd round of PPP loans has CDFI executives more confident than they were in the beginning days of the pandemic. It appears that minority business owners are now receiving timely updates and efficient resources for their practices.

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