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Trone Pushes Minority Aid Package

July 22nd, 2020 by WCBC Radio

U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-MD), along with Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act, legislation to make a new, $17.9 billion investment in low-income and minority communities that have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 crisis.

The legislation would provide eligible community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) with capital, liquidity, and operational capacity to expand the flow of credit into underserved, minority, and historically disadvantaged communities. This bill will help small businesses stay afloat and expand operations while providing affordable access to credit for lower income borrowers. 

“For too long, Black, Latino, and low-income communities have faced systemic barriers to accessing capital and economic power in our country. The COVID-19 crisis has only made this issue worse,” said Rep. Trone. “The Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act takes steps to direct billions in funding and capital to the communities that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic.”

During the pandemic, 41% of black-owned businesses, 32% of Latino-owned businesses, and 36% of immigrant-owned businesses have permanently shuttered. The Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act will open up billions in new credit opportunities for Black, Latino, and low-income communities through neighborhood lenders. Trone is seeking to include the legislation in any upcoming COVID-19 relief legislation.

Trone and Meeks are joined by original House co-sponsors: Emanuel Cleaver (MO), Lacy Clay (MO), Al Green (TX), Joyce Beatty (OH), David Scott (GA), Ayanna Pressley (MA), Rashida Tlaib (MI).

“We know that Black and Latino Americans are disproportionately suffering from the dual health and economic effects of COVID-19, putting many low-income and minority neighborhoods at risk of sustained economic damage that will last far beyond the current crisis. Steps like PPP loans, expanded UI, and one-time stimulus payments helped to soften the blow in some places, but not enough. Jobs that supported these neighborhoods are disappearing overnight, and if we don’t act now, we could see a hemorrhaging of already-limited economic opportunities from these communities that will take generations to recover,” said Sen. Warner. “The Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act directs billions in new investments to help low- income and minority communities withstand this unprecedented economic downturn and emerge stronger with increased access to capital and new economic opportunities.”

“Even before the pandemic, communities of color and low-income communities were facing deep- seated challenges and structural inequities in accessing capital and economic opportunity,” said Sen. Booker. “Now, as the Coronavirus crisis exposes and exacerbates these inequities, it’s past time we act boldly, by investing in the families, businesses, and communities that have been most impacted and providing them with the resources they need to recover and rebuild.”

“We are in the midst of multiple crises in our country: a public health crisis, which is disproportionately impacting people of color in America; and the resulting economic crisis that is causing financial hardship for our small and minority-owned institutions. As we work to secure additional funding for the survival of businesses across the country, I am proud to work with my colleagues on this next step in not only lifting up the hardest hit communities, but ensuring they thrive in the coming months,” said Sen. Harris.

“Since long before they were hit with the recession created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Black families and business owners have struggled to gain access to capital and banking services necessary to build and maintain strong communities and opportunities for growth. The Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act would mean billions in resources for the institutions that serve the underfunded and underbanked and provide minority and low income neighborhoods with the resources they need to help them not just weather the storm but thrive over the long-term,” said Sen. Schumer. “If our Republicans colleagues are serious about addressing inequity and getting aid to those who need it most, they should stop focusing on providing immunity to big corporations and make sure our truly small and minority owned businesses, and the institutions that truly seek to serve them, have access to the resources and funding they need to survive and thrive.”

“As Chairman of the House Financial Service Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, my focus has been squarely on address the inequities faced by unbanked and underbanked communities, and communities of color that continue to be discriminated against to this day, including in banking and financial services. The COVID19 pandemic has laid bare the vulnerability of these communities, and the urgency of addressing the failures of the financial system that leave these communities behind. Achieving a balanced and sustainable economic recovery requires inclusion of, and investments in minority banks, community development financial institutions, and those banks and lenders that reach marginalized communities,” said Rep. Meeks.

A summary of the bill is available here. Text of the bill is available here.

3 Responses to “Trone Pushes Minority Aid Package”

  1. July 23, 2020 at 9:08 am, Pat said:

    Just another handout by the libs to try and garner the votes in November! You really think this is going to change anything? Blacks & Latinos aren’t impacted by the COVID-19 anymore that anyone else. I wish they would see what the government is really trying to do. It’s all about CONTROL!!!


    • July 23, 2020 at 10:55 am, Jay said:

      Wrong Pat. The pandemic has affected minorities much more severely than other groups from an infection and death standpoint.


  2. July 23, 2020 at 9:13 am, Pat said:

    What about the low-income Seniors that’s living on Social Security alone. Nothing for them I guess?


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