Harris Announcing $1.25 Billion Pandemic Award To CDFI Lenders

Harris Announcing $1.25 Billion Pandemic Award To CDFI Lenders

June 15, 2021 at 07:24PM

Vice President Kamala Harris will announce that $1.25 billion is being awarded to community development financial institutions (CDFI) lenders so they can help disadvantaged neighborhoods economically rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, Bloomberg reported, citing an unnamed senior administration official. 

The official requested anonymity so the news outlet could preview the announcement, Bloomberg reported.

Harris is making the official announcement at a Tuesday (June 15) live event with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at the White House complex, per the news outlet.

CDFI lenders in 48 states will receive the funding, which is earmarked specifically to serve minority communities in urban, rural, and suburban areas, Bloomberg reported, citing the source. Following an open application process, the 860-plus recipients will each get around $1.8 million, the source told Bloomberg. 

CDFI lenders specialize in extending loans to businesses in disadvantaged areas that otherwise couldn’t get capital. The vice president is expected to discuss the advantages of providing small businesses in disadvantaged communities a means of accessing capital so they can stay afloat for the long term, the source said, per Bloomberg.

The funding is part of the Rapid Recovery Program, passed as part of the December COVID relief legislation, CBS News reported. The loan program became part of the package due to a bill by then-Sen. Harris and senators Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California). Warner and Waters also will be in attendance for the event.

The rapid-response relief is part of a $12 billion award set aside for community and minority financial institutions, according to CBS. Of that, $9 billion will go to indirect capital investments to financial institutions and $1.75 billion is going to a minority lending program.

Retail sales dropped 1.3 percent in May compared to April, according to the Tuesday (June 15) report from the Commerce Department. Month-on-month, the biggest decline was 5.9 percent in Building Materials, Garden Equipment and Supplies.