Small and minority-owned businesses and consumers in low-income and financially underserved communities, especially those who struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, will benefit
WASHINGTON – Congressman John Sarbanes joined Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.) today in announcing that three Maryland-based community financial institutions will receive a combined $86.6 million from the U.S. Department of the Treasury Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) to help low-income and minority borrowers. Funded through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which was supported by all Democratic members of Team Maryland, these funds are direct, wide-ranging investments in our communities that have been financially underserved and harmed the most during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The economic harm from COVID-19 still lingers across Maryland, especially among minority small businesses and others who were systemically underserved before the pandemic,” the lawmakers said. “We have fought to create an equitable recovery that drives investment, including capital and loans, in our communities with the greatest need. These community financial institutions know the region and are uniquely suited to personalize support for local businesses so they can create jobs and expand economic opportunities for all Marylanders.”
The three Maryland-headquartered Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDI) receiving funds are:
$75.038 million - Harbor Bankshares Corporation, Baltimore City (CDFI and MDI)
$7 million - SkyPoint Federal Credit Union, Germantown (CDFI)
$4.6 million - Securityplus Federal Credit Union, Baltimore City (MDI)
“These investments are designed to support the efforts of community financial institutions to, among other things, provide loans, grants, and forbearance for small and minority-owned businesses and consumers,” according to Treasury. They also include the “development and preservation of affordable housing, and investments in community development projects.”
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of investing in CDFIs and MDIs, key components of the federal government’s effort to deliver capital to underserved small businesses and entrepreneurs. In March, the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, which is chaired by Senator Cardin, released a report finding that set-asides for CDFIs and MDIs in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ensured that minority-owned, rural, and other underserved small businesses had access to PPP loans. According to the staff report, “The equity-focused policies implemented by Congress and the Biden administration over the lifetime of PPP resulted in a significant improvement in the number and share of loans that were made to minority-owned, women-owned, and other underserved small businesses.” As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Financial Service and General Government, which funds the Department of the Treasury Emergency Capital Investment Program as well as funding for CDFI and MDI programs, Senator Van Hollen oversaw the increase of these funds in the 2022 appropriations bill.