WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) applauded Congressional passage of legislation they authored to make the largest single investment into minority-owned and community-based lending institutions in the nation’s history. Provisions of the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act passed as part of yesterday’s COVID-19 relief bill after Sen. Warner fought to include them in the legislative blueprint that served as the foundation for the final relief deal.
“With Black and Brown unemployment rates more than twice as high as they were at this time last year, we need to be doing everything we can to invest in our most vulnerable communities,” said Sen. Warner. “I’m proud to have fought for these provisions during bipartisan relief negotiations and I trust that they will help put the brakes on the hemorrhaging of jobs and shuttering of minority-owned businesses caused by this crisis. I urge the President to promptly sign this historic legislation into law so that that minority communities start seeing the relief they desperately need.”
“As we work to confront and recover from this public health and economic crisis, we need to be doing everything we can to invest in the communities that have been hardest hit by this pandemic and continue to bear the burden of longstanding structural inequities and systemic racism. The Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act will expand critically needed access to capital for communities of color and will help to empower minority owned businesses to play an important role in our long-term economic recovery,” said Sen. Booker.
“To help every American get through this crisis, we need to start by helping those who need it most—whether in distributing the vaccine or investing in communities. Our bill will do just that, by providing much-needed capital to communities of color and low-income communities across the country. I’m proud that it will soon become law. Moving forward, we must always remember that relief isn’t relief unless it reaches those who’ve been hardest hit,” said Sen. Harris.
Once signed into law, this legislation will provide $12 billion to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs) to open the flow of emergency capital to countless small businesses located in minority and low- and moderate-income communities, which have been particularly hard-hit by COVID-19.
Joining Sens. Warner, Booker and Harris in introducing this legislation were Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Doug Jones (D-AL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Boozman (R-AR), John Kennedy (R-LA), Tim Scott (R-SC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Tina Smith (D-MN), Steve Daines (R-MT) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS).