On March 21, The Hill published an op-ed entitled “Ensure small business survival during COVID-19 crisis: Fund the CDFI Fund” that urges Congress to allocate $1 billion to the CDFI Fund through the proposed COVID-19 federal stimulus package. Contributed by Gwendy Brown, vice president of research and policy at OFN member organization Opportunity Fund, the piece references a similar successful approach taken in 2009 when Congress approved supplemental CDFI funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Brown states in the op-ed, “Funding once again needs to be deployed swiftly. We cannot let American small businesses fail—they are the true engines of the economy. Nearly 30 million businesses in the United States are small or one-person operations. Economically, they account for 99.7 percent of all employer firms, 64 percent of new employer jobs and 46 percent of private-sector output. Demographically, they encompass every race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education level, and political affiliation and have a gender parity that is rare in the business world. They are America.”