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President-Elect Biden Includes CDFA Small Business Package in American Rescue Plan – Major Victory for Development Finance

Yesterday, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris announced their American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 Trillion stimulus package to support COVID-19 recovery and relief. Of note, that plan will include $15 billion in small business grants and another $35 billion in low cost capital for small businesses.

CDFA has confirmed that a portion of this money will be used to launch a new generation small business lending program, similar in structure to the previous State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) in that it will also work through states, provide flexible funding, and leverage private investment. CDFA has been the leading advocate for the rebirth and relaunch of this highly successful program.

In December, CDFA President & CEO, Toby Rittner, was asked to brief the Biden-Harris Transition Team on development finance policy considerations for the new administration. During this briefing, Rittner stressed to the new administration the importance of reimagining and relaunching the SSBCI program.

Subsequently, CDFA Vice President, Katie Kramer, worked with transition team officials to carve out a strategy for garnering support for the program. The work of CDFA’s top leadership during the days following the election was critical in gaining administration support for small business lending as the country responds to the challenges that COVID-19 has presented.

This program will provide targeted allocations to state development finance agencies to support existing lending programs or to create new ones. As details emerge about the content of this program, CDFA will be the first to share it with you.

This work represents a major legislative victory for the development finance industry. CDFA has been the leader on SSBCI since its inception in 2009, working with states to create and deliver immediate financing solutions for small businesses after the Great Recession. Our work is even more important now.

Most recently, CDFA led the charge on the Small Business Access to Capital Act of 2020 (S. 3551), introduced by Senators Peters, Stabenow, Sheheen, and Hassan to reauthorize the SSBCI program. CDFA staff and hundreds of CDFA members across the country sent letters and messages to their elected leaders stressing the importance of providing long-term, low cost capital to small businesses as part of a comprehensive economic recovery package.

The American Rescue Plan is expected to be negotiated between top leaders in the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives in the coming weeks. More information about CDFA’s work to advocate for development finance priorities can be found on the CDFA website in the Advocacy section.