Press Releases

 WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced that $29,856 in federal funding will be awarded to three credit unions in Virginia. The funding, classified as Digital Service and Cybersecurity grants, will go towards strengthening the credit unions’ cybersecurity systems, acquiring technology that allows employees to work remotely, or implementing digital services for members like mobile or online banking. The grants, awarded through the National Credit Union Administration’s 2022 Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, are specifically designed to support low-income credit unions and underserved consumers.

“Credit unions help ensure all Virginians have access to the financial resources they need to save for their families, buy a home, or start a business,” the senators said. “This funding will directly support these organizations’ operations so that they can continue to reach out to underserved communities in the Commonwealth.” 

The funding is distributed as follows:

  • $10,000 for the Virginia Educators Credit Union in Newport News, VA.
  • $10,000 for RVA Financial in Richmond, VA.
  • $9,856 for the Richmond Heritage Federal Credit Union in Richmond, VA.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have long worked to ensure that underserved communities have better access to financial services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sens. Warner and Kaine secured funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) in pandemic relief packages modeled after Sen. Warner’s Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act.

Most recently, Sen. Warner launched the bipartisan Senate Community Development Finance Caucus to serve as a platform where policymakers can coordinate and expand on public and private-sector efforts in support of the missions of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs).

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) announced the creation of the Senate Community Development Finance Caucus (CDFC), a bipartisan caucus dedicated to supporting the missions of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) to scale their activities and fuel more lending in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities.

The 14-member caucus is bipartisan and evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans including Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Tina Smith (D-MN), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Mike Rounds (R-SD).

CDFIs play a critical role in providing responsible and affordable credit to underserved communities. During the pandemic, CDFIs demonstrated their ability to deliver billions of dollars to underserved businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), totaling approximately $34 billion.

On a bipartisan basis, Sen. Warner worked with Sen. Crapo, former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and other colleagues to introduce the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act, which passed as part of the December 2020 COVID relief package. The bill made a historic $12 billion investment in CDFIs and MDIs, which included $3 billion for grant funding and $9 billion for tier-one capital investments in CDFIs and MDIs, which could be leveraged 10 to 1.

“CDFIs and MDIs play an essential role in providing access to capital in underserved communities. While Congress took significant steps to support community-based lenders over the last two years on a bipartisan basis, CDFIs continue to need more long-term patient capital, operating capital, and resources to modernize their systems and compete in an era of rapid financial innovation. I am happy to announce the creation of this caucus with Sen. Crapo to improve communication between industry and policymakers and continue working in a bipartisan fashion towards robust investments in CDFIs and MDIs,” said Sen. Warner.

“I have consistently heard positive news and success stories about CDFIs in Idaho and across the country, and their responsiveness to the small business community, particularly during these last few challenging years of the pandemic,” said Sen. Crapo. “Sen. Warner and I are proud to launch this caucus to educate members and staff about the important role CDFIs play in their communities, and to create a forum to share ideas and policy proposals that foster strong economic growth in local communities.

A summary deck describing the caucus can be found here. More information on the caucus can be found on its webpage here.

The Community Development Finance Caucus has the support of a number of organizations and financial institutions.

“The National Bankers Association is proud to endorse the bipartisan U.S. Senate Community Development Finance Caucus, which will develop legislative efforts to support MDIs and CDFIs while providing direct lending opportunities. We commend Sen. Mark Warner for his leadership and commitment to ensuring MDIs have the resources to serve our nation's low- and moderate-income communities,” said Nicole Elam, President and CEO, National Bankers Association.

“The Community Development Bankers Association is excited about the formation of the Community Development Finance Caucus.  The CDFI sector has emerged as a critical component of the financial services sector because it works to ensure access by underserved markets.  Addressing growing income disparity, promoting racial equity, and building financial wellness are important national priorities and the need for the Caucus is great,” said Jeannine Jacokes, CEO of CDBA.

“Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) applauds the leadership of Sens. Mark Warner and Mike Crapo in launching the Community Development Finance Caucus. Providing affordable, mission-drive financing to underinvested communities is the special expertise that community development financial institutions (CDFIs) offer. The CDFI industry looks forward to working with the Community Development Finance Caucus on strengthening public sector understanding and support of CDFIs and the positive community development impact they have in low-wealth communities,” said Jennifer A. Vasiloff, Chief External Affairs Officer, Opportunity Finance Network.

“Inclusiv, the largest CDFI network representing near 500 community development credit unions providing responsible and sustainable financial products to over 18 million predominantly low income and minority consumers, expresses its strong support for the formalization of a congressional caucus that will be focusing on community development, financial inclusion and the economic revitalization of minority communities through CDFIs. This body will provide a platform to engage the CDFI industry and inform the development of public policy that’s both impactful and sustainable. We are grateful to Sens. Warner, Crapo, and all caucus members for spearheading this important initiative and call on other senators to lend their support,” said Cathie Mahon, President and CEO of Inclusiv.

“The African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC), is proud to partner and collaborate with INCLUSIV on ensuring that there is equitable financial futures for all people – especially the marginalized and underserved – usually the Colored Majority.  A Community Development Finance Caucus would provide the appropriate forum for ideas and strategies to be discussed and executed,” said Renée Sattiewhite, President and CEO of the African American Credit Union Coalition.

“On behalf of the National Association of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals, we applaud Sens. Warner, Crapo, and all caucus members for leading the organizing of a CDFI Caucus that will give lawmakers a platform to support the critical work of CDFIs play in low income and communities of color as financial first responders and engines of economic revitalization. Our organization is in full support of this initiative and asks members of the Senate to support it as well,” said Maria Martinez, Board Chair, National Association of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals.

“The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) thanks Sens. Warner and Crapo for forming a Community Development Finance Caucus. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are the backbone of this sector, providing capital, credit, and financial services in distressed communities and to underserved individuals throughout the country. CDFIs serve borrowers and geographic areas that are not readily served by mainstream financial institutions, providing loans to first-time homebuyers, financing for affordable housing and community facilities, and small business financing. The CDFI sector has grown significantly over the last 20 years, and this growth would not have been possible without bipartisan congressional support. LISC applauds Sens. Warner and Crapo for forming a Community Development Finance Caucus, which will focus on how Congress can continue to meet the needs of CDFIs and their work to serve underserved people and places,” said Matt Josephs, Senior Vice President for Policy, LISC.

“We applaud Sens. Warner and Crapo for their strategic and coordinated approach to strengthening CDFIs and MDIs and helping them reach their full potential. We stand ready to work with the Community Development Finance Caucus to leverage public-private partnerships to promote access to capital in areas served by these critically important institutions,” said Rob Nichols, President and CEO, American Bankers Association.

“CDFIs with proven records of serving underbanked people and communities of color are vital to an inclusive economy.  The creation of the Caucus represents an important step in ensuring that America’s financial system works for everyone,” said Bill Bynum, Hope Credit Union CEO.

“The access to responsible, flexible capital that Community Development Financial Institutions provide has had a transformative impact in the Northern Rockies and across the country, helping those outside the financial mainstream gain self-sufficiency and improve the livelihoods of their families and communities. At MoFi, we’re greatly appreciative of efforts by Sens. Mark Warner, Mike Crapo, Steve Daines, Cynthia Lummis, and others to form the Community Development Finance Caucus. It will be an important bipartisan venue for sharing information, discussing legislation, and tracking programs as lawmakers work to remove barriers and promote access to capital for all underserved Americans,” said Dave Glaser, President of MoFi.

“The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) applauds Sens. Warner and Crapo for organizing the Community Development Finance Caucus. There are currently 144 Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) serving roughly 600 minority-majority communities nationwide. There are roughly 300 Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) banks, primarily serving low-to-moderate income markets and maintaining accountability to those target markets. Their impact in the communities they serve is significant and must be leveraged for greater reach. ICBA looks forward to working with the Community Development Finance Caucus to further support our long-standing commitment to MDIs and CDFIs,” said Rebeca Romero Rainey, President and CEO of ICBA.

"I would like to applaud the hard work from Sens. Crapo and Warner toward the development of the Community Development Finance Caucus. We are excited at the opportunity to have a caucus dedicated to the work and efforts of the many CDFI practitioners working on the ground every day,” said Ted Piccolo, Executive Director Northwest Native Development Fund, former Chair Native CDFI Network.

“On behalf of the Native CDFI Network (NCN), NCN applauds the bipartisan effort of Sens. Crapo and Warner to establish a Community Development Finance Caucus within the United States Senate.  Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) have proven to be an irreplaceable mechanism for channeling critically needed capital into low- and moderate-income communities. This is especially true in Indian Country, where Native communities have long experienced substantially higher rates of poverty and unemployment than mainstream America. They also face a unique set of challenges to economic growth, such as: poor/lacking physical, legal, and telecommunications infrastructure; limited access to affordable financial products and services for consumers, aspiring homeowners, and would-be entrepreneurs; and limited workforce development strategies to support Native people’s full participation in their local economies. NCN looks forward to the opportunity to have a Caucus that supports the work of CDFI’s,” said Pete Upton, Interim Executive Director, Native CDFI Network.

“The CDFI Coalition supports the establishment of a CDFI Caucus and applauds the leadership of Sens. Warner and Crapo in establishing this bipartisan Caucus and thanks Sens. Smith, Klobuchar, Lummis, Van Hollen, Daines, Ossoff, Braun, Reed, Hyde-Smith, Warnock, Moran, and Rounds for joining. The establishment of a CDFI Caucus will bring attention to the important role that CDFIs play in revitalization in disadvantaged rural and urban communities across the country and build support for bipartisan future bipartisan initiatives,” said Ceyl Prinster, President and CEO, Colorado Enterprise Fund, Chair, CDFI Coalition.

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WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) introduced the Scaling Community Lenders Act of 2022, bipartisan legislation to unlock more sources of liquidity and support for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to scale their activities and fuel more lending in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities.

CDFIs play a critical role in providing responsible and affordable credit to underserved communities. During the pandemic, CDFIs demonstrated their ability to deliver billions in dollars to underserved businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), at a large scale, to the tune of $34 billion. While Congress took significant steps to support community-based lenders over the last two years on a bipartisan basis, CDFIs continue to need more long-term patient capital, operating capital, and resources to modernize their systems to compete in an era of rapid financial innovation. The Scaling Community Lenders Act of 2022 authorizes new resources to activate and fund the long-dormant Section 113 of the Riegle Act of 1994 – the CDFI liquidity enhancement program – which would allow the CDFI Fund to fund demonstration projects within the industry, selected on a competitive basis, to provide liquidity to CDFIs.

“CDFIs and Minority Depository Institutions play an essential role in providing access to capital to underserved communities, which is why I’m so committed to supporting these institutions. I’m proud of the work I’ve been able to do with my colleagues across the aisle to secure historic investments in these community-based lenders, and to work with Sen. Hagerty on this innovative approach that supports new and innovative approaches in the industry and lays the groundwork for new ways to scale the industry’s ability to meet the needs in LMI communities,” said Sen. Warner. “There’s no silver bullet, and I’m for an all-the-above approach to support these vital community-based lenders. In my view, in addition to increasing the CDFI Fund’s resources we should make sure that CDFIs have every tool possible to do what they do best, which is supporting their communities and working to give everyone, regardless of zip code or background, a fair shot.”

“CDFIs can play a constructive role in driving economic growth in America,” said Sen. Hagerty. “I’m pleased to cosponsor this legislation with Senator Warner to establish a pilot program that will help provide a roadmap to leverage CDFI funding with private capital rather than Federal funds.”

CDFIs lend across a variety of categories or asset classes, including business loans, consumer loans, commercial real estate, residential real estate, home improvement, and home purchases. However, for many of these products there is no secondary market that can unlock capacity and take loans of CDFI balance sheets. The development of a secondary market or facility that could buy loans from CDFIs would allow the industry to build scale and prove the performance of their assets in the long-term. The Scaling Community Lenders Act of 2022 will encourage innovation and help determine the best routes for unlocking secondary markets for CDFIs.

Bill text is available here. A one-pager describing the bill is available here.

“CRF strongly endorses the Scaling Community Lenders Act of 2022 introduced by Senators Warner and Hagerty. We applaud their leadership and foresight to develop liquidity resources for CDFIs. As a pioneer of community development secondary markets and securitization, we understand the power of providing liquidity to CDFIs.  We were early supporters of section 113 of the Riegle Act and are gratified to see this section of the bill come to life,” said Frank Altman, Founder & CEO, Community Reinvestment Fund.

“CDFIs play a critical role in reaching business owners, families and communities that our capital markets have left behind. Our decades of work with CDFIs have clearly identified the challenges they face in accessing the capital they need to scale their lending. Building secondary markets for CDFI loans is an essential complement to the CDFI Fund’s direct support for these critical institutions.  We’re pleased to see this movement toward activating an important part of the original CDFI Fund statute,” said Joyce Klein, Director, Aspen Institute Business Ownership Initiative.

"New innovations to channel reliable liquidity to CDFIs are sorely needed. Supporting those efforts through activating and funding the CDFI Fund's liquidity enhancement program will pave the way for new scale in all parts of the CDFI industry, putting more capital where it does the most good." – said Brett Simmons, Managing Director of the EBA Fund.

“CDBA strongly supports efforts to build critical industry infrastructure that enable CDFIs and the communities they serve to thrive.  Access to liquidity is important to the functioning of financial institutions and this bill will help ensure that a diverse range of CDFIs have access.” – said Jeannine Jacokes, CEO of the Community Development Bankers Association.

“CDFIs consistently demonstrate an ability to support and reach historically marginalized and under-resourced communities. These community-centered organizations, built to promote economic inclusion and capital access, need their own capital tools to scale and break through barriers to their growth. Facilitating the development of a reliable secondary market for CDFIs will provide these lenders opportunities to leverage their existing portfolio as a financing tool, freeing up assets for additional community investment. Activating and capitalizing the dormant Section 113 of the Riegle Act is critical to building a secondary market for CDFI lending, ultimately giving them the liquidity to originate more high-impact loans and capital tools. The VA CDFI Coalition is excited by the possibilities these investments could create across Virginia and hope to see this pass,” said Leah Fremouw, Board President, VA CDFI Coalition.

“The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) thanks Senators Warner and Hagerty for introducing the Scaling Community Lenders Act.  Research has shown that Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) loans are high performing, although in most cases they are nontraditional and do not meet the underwriting and collateralization standards required by conventional banks. As a result, there is not a vibrant secondary market where CDFIs can sell these loans to investors. This legislation will kickstart a CDFI secondary market so CDFIs have access to loan purchasers to obtain the capital needed to finance additional community and economic development activities for underserved people and communities,” said Matt Josephs, Senior Vice President for Policy, LISC.

“Each year, the 47 certified Tennessee Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) create thousands of jobs, expand access to affordable housing, finance over 2 million sq. ft. in new or renovated real estate, improve energy efficiency, and make hundreds of millions in loans and investments into Tennessee businesses, nonprofits, and community facilities. The Scaling Community Lenders Act pilot program would provide CDFIs with new and innovative liquidity resources to explore secondary markets, unlocking more capital and expanding our ability to serve Tennessee communities. We commend Senators Hagerty and Warner for thinking outside of the box on this promising initiative,” said Hank Helton of Pathway Lending and Chris Miller of Three Roots Capital.

“The CDFI Coalition is pleased to add its voice in strong support for the legislation sponsored by Sens. Warner and Hagerty to establish a pilot program aimed at establishing a secondary market for loans made by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The Scaling Community Lenders Act of 2022 amends the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994 to authorize $100 million for funding up to 6 pilot programs, selected on a competitive basis, which would purchase CDFI loans and loan participations,  provide guarantees, loan loss reserves and lines of credit and other measure necessary to enhance CDFI liquidity. CDFIs emerged to provide financial services in urban neighborhoods and rural areas underserved by traditional financial institutions, particularly those with high rates of poverty and unemployment,” said Ceyl Prinster, President and CEO, Colorado Enterprise Fund and Chair of the CDFI Coalition. “By leveraging over $12 in private capital to every $1 in federal support, CDFIs are filling the widening credit gap encountered in many communities, creating jobs improving housing and community facilities and creating economic opportunity. Throughout the last economic downturn, CDFIs provided flexible and patient capital, rigorous risk management, and commitment to the projects in their communities and the sustainability of their borrowers. While traditional borrowers fled economically distressed communities, CDFIs stepped in and filled the void. Since the advent of the economic crisis prompted by the pandemic, CDFIs have been on the frontlines of providing technical and financial assistance to small and minority-owned businesses. CDFIs fill a vital niche in the nation's financial services delivery system by serving communities and market sectors that conventional lenders cannot - with the ultimate goal of bringing CDFI customers into the mainstream economy as bank customers, home owners and/or entrepreneurs. We believe that the Scaling Community Lenders Act will enhance the ability of CDFIs to support economic revitalization in economic distressed rural, urban, minority and tribal communities.  Establishing a secondary market for CDFI loans will be increase the availability of capital to CDFIs that will put it to good use in financing affordable housing, small businesses, and community facilities.”

To combat the hemorrhaging of jobs and economic opportunities during the pandemic, Sen. Warner has been a leader in Congress for CDFIs and MDIs. In July of 2020, he teamed up with then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act.

Sen. Warner was later able to secure provisions from the bill in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, providing an unprecedented $12 billion in funding for CDFIs. Last month, Sen. Warner led a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing  legislation to support lenders that focus on underserved communities by creating a CDFI Tax Credit for private sector investors that make equity, equity-equivalent investments, or long-term patient capital available to CDFIs.  

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) was joined by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) in introducing bipartisan legislation to promote lasting economic prosperity in Black, brown and low-income communities. This bill would help unlock more equity and long-term financial capital for community development financial institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs often serve as a backbone for low-income or minority-owned businesses, which tend to have fewer banking relationships and less access to traditional forms of funding. 

“As a former entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I know that talent and ambition is not confined by income bracket or zip code. Unfortunately, access to start-up capital often is. CDFIs and MDIs do the invaluable work of bridging the gap and reaching small businesses in our most vulnerable communities – a role that became even more critical during the pandemic,” said Sen. Warner. “Despite the historic investments we were able to deliver through the emergency COVID-19 relief package, CDFIs remain in need of additional equity and capital to continue serving their communities. This legislation will create a new tax credit, helping spur important private-sector investments and allowing these community lenders to grow."

“Small businesses, including those in low-income and minority communities, are a pillar of the economy in Mississippi and across the nation,” said Sen. Wicker. “CDFIs and MDIs help support businesses, individuals, and entrepreneurs by providing access to capital and alternatives to predatory loans in low-access areas. I am glad to join my colleagues on this bipartisan measure to create an additional tax credit to support and expand this private-sector investment.”

“CDFI investments are a critical source of capital for small business growth in many Mississippi communities and around the country.  This bill would create a tax credit structure to attract greater private-sector investments in CDFIs, which would increase their ability to spur more long-term growth in disadvantaged areas,” said Sen. Hyde-Smith.

“Investing in our small businesses generates more shared prosperity in our communities and CDFIs are a key force multiplier, particularly in financing businesses and projects in economically underserved communities. This legislation will leverage long-term, private sector investments to support their good work and help them expand their efforts to support new and growing small businesses,” said Sen. Van Hollen.

This bill will help direct support to lenders that focus on underserved communities by creating a CDFI Tax Credit for private sector investors that make equity, equity-equivalent investments, or long-term patient capital available to CDFIs. The bill would benefit CDFIs of all types including bank CDFIs, credit union CDFIs, venture capital CDFIs, and CDFI loan funds, while providing institutions with the maximum flexibility and financial support they need to increase wealth in low- and moderate-income communities.

Bill text is available here. A one-pager of the bill is available here.

This legislation has the support of a number of organizations, including Community Development Bankers Association, National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, Community Development Venture Capital Alliance, LISC, Opportunity Finance Network, CDFI Coalition, Inclusiv, and the Enterprise Community Loan Fund, among others.

“CDBA and its members strongly support the CDFI Tax Credit Investment Act.  The credit will provide an invaluable tool for leveraging private investment into underserved markets.  This will be a game changer,” said Jeannine Jacokes, Chief Executive Officer, Community Development Bankers Association.

“The CDFI Tax Credit Act is a practical, bipartisan way to marshal the long-term capital that struggling urban and rural communities need. It will create jobs, grow small businesses, and strengthen families by providing health services and child care. It's a smart investment in America's future,” said Buzz Roberts, President & CEO, National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders.

“CDVCA strongly supports the CDFI Tax Credit Investment Act.  It will give incentive for investors to provide flexible, long-term risk capital to create good jobs, productive wealth, and entrepreneurial capacity in underinvested communities throughout the nation,” said Kerwin Tesdell, President, Community Development Venture Capital Alliance.

“The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) applauds Senators Warner and Wicker for introducing the Community Development Tax Credit Act of 2022.  Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) have time and time again proven their ability to leverage public and private capital to support investments in some of the most underserved communities in the country.  This tax credit, by incentivizing long term investments in CDFIs, will allow CDFIs to in turn provide longer term, lower cost loans to finance affordable housing, small businesses, homeownership and essential community facilities in their neighborhoods,” said Matt Josephs, Senior Vice President for Policy, LISC.

“OFN applauds Senators Warner and Wicker’s continued leadership in supporting community development financial institutions (CDFIs). The CDFI Tax Credit Investment Act will help drive more private capital to CDFIs offering affordable, responsible financing to low-wealth urban, rural, and Native communities across the country,” said Jennifer A. Vasiloff, Chief External Affairs Officer, Opportunity Finance Network.

“The CDFI Coalition is pleased to add its voice in strong support for the legislation sponsored by Sens. Warner and Wicker to establish a tax credit for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs provide financial products and services in urban neighborhoods and rural areas underserved by traditional financial institutions, particularly those communities with high rates of poverty and unemployment. Throughout the last economic downturn, CDFIs served as economic shock absorbers, providing flexible and patient capital, rigorous risk management, and commitment to the projects in their communities and the sustainability of their borrowers. While traditional lenders fled economically distressed communities, CDFIs stepped in to fill the void. Since the advent of the economic crisis prompted by the pandemic, CDFIs have been on the frontlines of providing financial and technical assistance to small and minority-owned businesses. CDFIs fill a vital niche in the nation's financial services delivery system by serving communities and market sectors that conventional lenders cannot - with the ultimate goal of bringing CDFI customers into the mainstream economy as bank customers, homeowners and/or entrepreneurs. The proposed CDFI Tax Credit will provide a new avenue for CDFIs to raise capital that will be deployed to finance small businesses, construct affordable housing, and support community facilities in disadvantaged communities across the country. CDFIs leverage over $12 in private capital to every $1 in federal support, so the resources authorized by the tax credit will extend far beyond the amount authorized and help CDFIs to fill the widening credit gap encountered by economically disadvantaged communities across the country,” said Ceyl Prinster, President and CEO, Colorado Enterprise Fund and Chair of the CDFI Coalition.

“CDFI credit unions deliver credit and responsible banking services in communities long-excluded by the financial system.  Credit union lending runs the gamut from helping households access small emergency loans to meet basic needs; to repairing; to purchasing that first home or starting or expanding a small business.  Together CDFI credit unions are able to channel and recycle billions of dollars of loans in local economies across the country.  In order to grow reach and impact, these high-impact lenders need long-term equity like investment.  The proposed legislation by Senators Warner and Wicker to establish a CDFI Tax Credit is groundbreaking.  This bill will provide an incentive for private sector investors to make flexible long-term investments that enable our institutions to grow, expand their lending and increase wealth in low- and moderate-income communities,” said Cathie Mahon, President and CEO, Inclusiv. 

“Senators Warner and Wicker's innovative proposal to drive more resources into our communities is forward-thinking and much needed. CDFIs, whose missions are to create economic opportunity for all, already leverage private capital sources to develop community-centered investments and sustain the communities they serve. Unfortunately, the community need is outpacing the resources available to CDFIs. Additional investment options like the CDFI Tax Credit will be a game-changer for the industry across the country. The VA CDFI Coalition is excited by the possibilities these investments could create across Virginia and hope to see this pass,” said Leah Fremouw, Board President, VA CDFI Coalition.

“Enterprise enthusiastically supports the CDFI Tax Credit Act introduced by Senators Warner and Wicker. The legislation exponentially builds on the power of CDFIs to leverage private capital and supercharges their work to address systemic inequities in access to capital in low-income communities. Over three decades, we've invested $2.4 billion in under-served communities, and we know that CDFI investments are key to equitable development and broad-based economic growth,” said Elise Balboni, President, Enterprise Community Loan Fund.

To combat the hemorrhaging of jobs and economic opportunities during the pandemic, Sen. Warner has been a leader in Congress for CDFIs and MDIs. In July of 2020, he teamed up with then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act – an effort that secured endorsements from a host of other advocacy organizations and civil rights groups. 

Sen. Warner was later able to secure provisions from the bill in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, providing an unprecedented $12 billion in funding for CDFIs.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) led a letter to Mr. Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), asking for a study on supporting the technology modernization needs of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs). This study – part of a suite of efforts by the Senator to support CDFIs and MDIs – would help lay the groundwork for additional measures related to CDFI and MDI technology modernization. Sen. Warner was joined in sending the letter by House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA).

“In the Federal Reserve’s annual survey of CDFIs, more than 75% of CDFIs indicated they were unable to provide all the products or services they would like to offer on a sustained basis. In addition to further federal capital support, increasing access to technology tools will play a critical role as CDFIs and MDIs begin to leverage the historic funding provided by Congress. Technology resources can further empower community-based lenders with deep expertise and an understanding of their communities’ needs,” wrote the lawmakers. “There have been several private-sector and philanthropic efforts and partnerships to support technology investments in CDFIs and MDIs. In addition, several think tanks and policy organizations have highlighted these investments as a critical need for supporting CDFIs, MDIs, and the communities they serve. We are requesting GAO examine the scope of CDFIs and MDIs’ needs in technology and what else the federal government could do to support those needs.”

Beyond capital and staffing constraints, another significant barrier for CDFIs and MDIs is access to technology, because the cost to implement new systems is expensive and difficult to prioritize against the more immediate challenges of raising capital, staffing, and delivering for their communities. However, CDFIs and MDIs’ experience with the Paycheck Protection Program showed that technology investments can increase efficiency, support more lending, and improve the ability of these institutions to serve their communities.

To combat the hemorrhaging of jobs and economic opportunities during the pandemic, Sen. Warner has been a leader in Congress for CDFIs and MDIs. Most recently, Sen. Warner introduced legislation with Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) to deliver more long-term patient capital for CDFIs.

Sen. Warner also led successful efforts to secure a historic, $12 billion investment in CDFIs and MDIs in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020. Of that $12 billion, $9 billion was used to create the Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) to make tier one capital investments in depository CDFIs and MDIs. The Department of Treasury began to close on ECIP investments earlier this year and is expected to be finished closing its investments in the coming months. The remaining $3 billion in grant funding is also in the process of being fully distributed. On June 15, 2021, Treasury awarded the first tranche of $1.25 billion through the Rapid Response Program to 863 CDFIs. In addition, this week, Treasury opened the Equitable Recovery Program, the remaining $1.75 billion, up for applications.

A copy of the letter is available here.


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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today applauded $21,649,505 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury to support and advance business ownership among minority entrepreneurs in Virginia. The funding was awarded through the CDFI Rapid Response Program (RRP) – a program established and funded by a record $12 billion investment in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) that Sen. Warner authored and successfully fought to include in the December COVID-19 relief legislation. 

“As a former entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I know that the kind of opportunities that once allowed me to succeed are often out of reach for Black and brown folks, who due to historic and systemic inequities often lack the credit history or banking relationships needed to access capital. To make matters worse, these inequalities have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had disproportionate effects on minority and low-income communities,” said Sen. Warner. “This funding will provide critical resources to Virginia’s CDFIs, which specialize in supporting underserved communities. I’m thrilled to know that these dollars are now headed directly to Virginia to support key priorities including small businesses, affordable housing, and access to consumer financial services. This funding marks a successful first step towards ensuring the recovery is felt by all communities.”

As negotiated by Sen. Warner, the $12 billion investment in CDFIs and MDIs includes $3 billion in grants to be delivered through the CDFI Fund. The nearly $22 million awarded today is part of the first $1.25 billion tranche of that $3 billion in grant funding. These federal dollars will be distributed among 18 Virginia CDFIs – the financial institutions most connected to the Commonwealth’s minority communities – and will ultimately go towards supporting affordable access to credit for Virginians in Black, Latino and low-income communities. 

The funding will be distributed as follows:

Appalachian Community Capital Corporation

Christiansburg

 $1,826,265

ARN CAPITAL, LLC

Fredericksburg

 $200,000

Business Seed Capital, Inc.

Roanoke

 $200,000

Capital Impact Partners

Arlington

 $1,826,265

Community Business Partnership

Springfield

 $997,000

Community Investment Collaborative

Charlottesville

 $360,000

Democracy FCU

Alexandria

 $1,826,265

DuPont Community Credit Union

Waynesboro

 $1,826,265

ECDC Enterprise Development Group

Arlington

 $1,278,385

Freedom First Federal Credit Union

Roanoke

 $1,826,265

People Incorporated Financial Services

Abingdon

 $1,400,000

Peoples Advantage Federal Credit Union

Petersburg

 $1,826,265

Piedmont Housing Alliance

Charlottesville

 $279,000

RVA Financial Federal Credit Union

Richmond

 $1,826,265

Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc.

Roanoke

 $375,000

Virginia Community Capital, Inc.

Richmond

 $1,826,265

Virginia Community Development Fund, Inc.,

Richmond

 $1,750,000

The Virginia Foodshed Capital

Charlottesville

 $200,000

 

Total:

 

 

$21,649,505

The COVID-19 crisis has only served to exacerbate the existing economic challenges faced by Black and brown Americans. Throughout this crisis, thousands of minority-owned small businesses have closed for good, in part due to difficulty securing bank loans and accessing assistance such as the Paycheck Protection Program. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that while overall small business ownership in the U.S. dropped 22 percent between February and April 2020, Black and Latino ownership dropped by 41 percent and 32 percent, respectively. Unemployment rates for Black and brown Americans have also been consistently higher than that of White Americans.

To combat the hemorrhaging of jobs and economic opportunities during the pandemic, Sen. Warner in July teamed up with then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act in order to strengthen the financial institutions that serve communities of color and increase lending to minority-owned businesses and lower-income borrowers. The effort secured endorsements from the Black Economic Alliance, the NAACP, the National Bankers Association, the National Urban League, the Center for Responsible Lending and a host of other advocacy organizations and civil rights groups. Sen. Warner was later able to secure provisions from the bill in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, providing an unprecedented $12 billion in funding for lenders that predominantly operate in underserved communities.

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WASHINGTON -  U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging the extension of the Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) application deadline to ensure the highest level of participation from eligible community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs).

“We know Treasury is committed to implementing this historic, $9 billion investment in MDIs and CDFIs, and that your staff is committed to ensuring ECIP meets its transformative potential. While we are encouraged by the speed at which Treasury has implemented the program, we are concerned that key questions are unanswered,” wrote the lawmakers. “…We urge Treasury to continue to work with industry stakeholders to identify the additional guidance needed to ensure there is robust participation in ECIP. While Treasury has already demonstrated it will thoughtfully implement ECIP, eligible institutions’ concerns should be considered and fully evaluated before the deadline to apply for ECIP closes.”

See the full text of the letter below. 

The Honorable Janet Yellen
Secretary
U.S. Department of the Treasury 
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20002

Dear Secretary Yellen:

We write to urge the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to extend the Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) application deadline. Extending the deadline would ensure eligible Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) have the time and information necessary to apply for the program. Key industry stakeholders have raised concerns that further guidance and time are needed to ensure eligible institutions take advantage of the resources available through ECIP.

We know Treasury is committed to implementing this historic, $9 billion investment in MDIs and CDFIs, and that your staff is committed to ensuring ECIP meets its transformative potential. While we are encouraged by the speed at which Treasury has implemented the program, we are concerned that key questions are unanswered. For example, we understand that guidance that affects institutions’ eligibility, capital offerings, compliance, and reporting still needs to be published. As a result, institutions that would otherwise participate are hesitant to do so and may be unable to apply by the current deadline of May 7, 2021. 

We urge Treasury to continue to work with industry stakeholders to identify the additional guidance needed to ensure there is robust participation in ECIP. While Treasury has already demonstrated it will thoughtfully implement ECIP, eligible institutions’ concerns should be considered and fully evaluated before the deadline to apply for ECIP closes.

We appreciate your commitment to this historic program and ensuring ECIP is successful. We look forward to our continued collaboration implementing ECIP and supporting CDFIs and MDIs, which play a critical role in supporting access to capital in underserved communities.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue.


Sincerely,

Mark R. Warner
United States Senator

Maxine Waters
Chairwoman, Committee on Financial
Services, U.S. House of Representatives


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