Congressman John Sarbanes today joined Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and Kweisi Mfume (all D-Md.) in announcing $170,699 to help spur economic growth and support minority-owned businesses in communities and industries most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury, under the Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP), will be directed to Harbor Bank of Maryland, a Baltimore-based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and Minority Depository Institution (MDI).
“The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately harmed the financial well-being of many members of our minority-owned small business community,” said the lawmakers. “As we recover, we must continue to support those who are providing capital and loans to our hardest hit small businesses so they can fully bounce back and generate economic growth and new job opportunities. We were proud to fight for this funding and will continue to invest in these institutions as they provide needed support to small businesses that help strengthen our communities.”
The lawmakers fought to increase emergency funding for CDFIs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to boost local economies in low-income, rural, and urban communities that were disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. CDFIs are mission-driven financial institutions that serve as a direct lifeline for struggling communities by providing financing to small businesses, non-profits, affordable housing, and community development projects.
CDFIs and MDIs often make smaller loans and work with borrowers who face barriers in our economy and may require more time-intensive and personalized technical support. ECIP investments are designed to support mission-driven institutions to increase responsible investments in low- and moderate-income and minority communities that have disproportionately suffered from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.