Congresswoman Beatty Joins Bicameral Effort to Help Communities of Color and At-Risk Americans During COVID-19 Economic Crisis
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) teamed up with Congressman Gregory Meeks (NY-05) and Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA) as well Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to introduce the Jobs and Neighborhoods Investment Act, H.R. 7709, legislation to make a new $17.9 billion investment in low-income and minority communities that have been especially hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Moreover, H.R. 7709 will open up billions in new credit opportunities for Black, Latino and low-income communities through neighborhood lenders. Also included in the legislative package is language that mirrors a bill authored by Beatty and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year, the Expanding Opportunity for MDIs Act, H.R. 5315. Beatty’s measure would codify the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Agent Mentor-Protégé Program that helps pair Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) with larger financial institutions to expand business and consumer products.
“As Chair of the House Financial Service Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, I am working hard to shine a light on and remedy the serious, historic inequities faced by unbanked and underbanked Americans, including communities of color, minority-owned businesses and our most vulnerable citizens,” Beatty said. “The COVID19 Pandemic has further exacerbated these growing disparities, and it is up to Congress to take real, decisive action to address them now.” She added, “That is why I am proud to join in the effort to secure much-needed federal funds to provide greater economic assurance and relief for all small businesses, their employees, neighborhoods and communities across the country.”
If enacted, the Jobs and Neighborhoods Investment Act would provide eligible Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and MDIs with capital, liquidity, and operational capacity to expand the flow of credit into underserved, minority, and historically disadvantaged communities, helping small businesses stay afloat and expand operations, while providing affordable access to credit for lower income borrowers. Beatty and her congressional colleagues are seeking to include the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act in any upcoming COVID-19 relief legislation to help hard-hit communities weather and recover from the economic blow of the ongoing public health crisis.
According to the 2019 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Report on Minority Depository Institutions, CDFIs and MDIs originate a greater share of mortgages and Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans to borrowers in low- to moderate-income census tracts than non-minority-owned banks. In addition, they also provide a greater share of reported loans to minority Americans than non-minority-owned financial institutions.