On July 30, OFN’s president and CEO Lisa Mensah spoke with Wells Fargo’s Nate Hurst, EVP, Sustainability & Social Impact, about “American Resilience: The Future of Small Business.”
Their 10-minute conversation was part of an event on the topic hosted by The Hill that also featured Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Ranking Member, House Small Business Committee, Ramiro Cavazos, president & CEO, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Nathalie Huerta, owner, The Queer Gym, and Regina Smith, executive director, Harlem Business Alliance.
Lisa and Nate spoke about the role CDFIs can play in an equitable national recovery, as well as how the financial sector can advance financial equity. “COVID-19 is a CDFI moment,” said Lisa. “We need lenders who will lend into the crisis… For many small businesses, this battle is winnable, but they need lenders who are equipped for the fight.” Invoking widespread support for CDFIs, Lisa urges a doubling down on the systems — public and private — that are needed to really carry America’s smallest businesses forward.