The U.S. Treasury Department announced Tuesday the release of $8.7 billion to help increase lending to small and minority-owned businesses and people living in poorer communities with limited access to banking.
The funds from the Emergency Capital Investment Program, which was created this year, will go to 186 community-based financial institutions. Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen discussed the investments in remarks at the Freedman’s Bank Forum, which was hosted by the Treasury Department.
“The wealth gap persists today, the homeownership gap persists,” Harris said of the need for the investments. “Black entrepreneurs are three times more likely to report that a lack of access to capital negatively affects their profit margins.”
Yellen stressed that there would be a direct link between the money being provided and businesses in local communities, saying that she recently met the owner of a tea company in Atlanta called “Just Add Honey” who lacked the financial credit to keep all her shops open during the pandemic.
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