SEATTLE, March 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Washington State Legislature today passed E2SHB 1015, the Equitable Access to Credit Act, which will provide loans to historically underserved communities hit especially hard by COVID, according to FMS Global Strategies, one of the champions of the bill.
FMSGS President/CEO and Washington Build Back Black Alliance (WBBA) Founder Paula Sardinas said this has been a four-year effort to pass this legislation. “We led the communities of color coalition to ensure this legislation would be created and passed. We have heard from over 1,000 women, minority, and veteran small business owners—that COVID-19 has decimated their businesses, and they face a very uncertain future. We need all possible ways to access credit and capital to protect and assist small business owners.”
It is estimated that 624 businesses have closed across Washington since March 2020. This legislation is intended to assist small business to reopen and revitalize their communities.
The program is funded through a business and occupation tax credit capped at $8 million annually for five years. It will provide at least 65 percent of the grant funds each calendar year to native CDFI’s or for grantees to provide services or invest in counties that have fewer than 100 persons per square mile. CDFI’s typically work in economically distressed markets underserved by traditional financial institutions and provide financial products such as mortgage financing for low-income homebuyers and not-for-profit developers, flexible underwriting and risk capital for community facilities, and technical assistance and commercial loans to small businesses in low-income areas. We thank Rep. Jacqueline Maycumber, (R), 7th for her advocacy on behalf of small businesses.
Ollie Garrett, President and CEO of Tabor 100, the other organization championing this legislation said, “Organizations like Tabor 100 are rooted in the community, and we understand how to service the financial needs of small minority businesses. We are grateful the legislature saw this need and acted on it. It will help our communities tremendously.”
Specifically, the legislation will fund grants through the Department of Commerce to community development financial institutions (CDFI’s) who will then work with communities to ensure those who need it the most are getting the much-needed financial assistance. The bill is now on its way to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s desk to be signed into law.
Andrea Caupain Sanderson, CEO of Byrd Barr Place, said, “Minority and Small Business owners often hit the wall with conventional lenders like banks and credit unions. This will create an alternative lending source for organizations like Craft3. They, by design, provide additional access to capital and credit for so many of these businesses that work in our communities of color. This is fantastic news.”
WASHINGTON BUILD BACK BLACK ALLIANCE (WBBA), a division of FMS Global Strategies, was formed in the fall of 2020 when a group of Black and other POC non-profit executives and business leaders decided to consolidate their influence to speak on behalf of the black community across Washington State. Led by a leadership team of non-profit executives, and business leaders, the group is committed to connecting the black community (young and established) by advocating cooperatively for shared generational prosperity in an unprecedented move. Their mission is to harness the power of black advocacy to speak with one voice – to local Mayors, City Councils, the Legislature, and the Executive Office regarding the need to fund a sustainable, scalable plan for the black community while always maintaining its integrity and focus for WBBA members and those it serves. https://www.fmsglobalstrategies.com/wbba
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SOURCE FMS Global Strategies