COVID-19 Community Advantage Resources
Underserved small businesses across the country continue to be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mission lenders took initiative to deliver much-needed capital to businesses that banks turned away.
SBA’s Community Advantage Recovery Loan (CARL) Initiative: On July 15th, 2020, the SBA announced the creation of a temporary CARL pilot program and invited select CA lenders to participate. CARL was designed to provide technical and financial assistance to assist small businesses located in underserved areas with retooling their business models for the COVID 19 environment and building financial resiliency against future financial disruptions. CA Recovery Loans were approved from July 15, 2020, through September 27, 2020, in accordance with the end of the ‘covered period’ established by the CARES Act.
- July 2020 | Announcement of CARL
- July 2020 | Federal Register Notice: Community Advantage Pilot Program Temporary Changes-Community Advantage Recovery Loans
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Reports detail the challenges that underserved and underbanked small businesses encountered in attempting to access forgivable PPP loans; banks turned away many qualified businesses simply because they were noncustomers or did not possess certain credit products offered by the bank. Fortunately, a number of CDCs and CDFIs were already integrated with the SBA’s systems as CA lenders, enabling them to immediately deliver PPP relief funds to businesses that otherwise would have been left out of the program. MLWG members were among the 59 CDCs, CDFIs, and microlenders that collectively approved PPP loans to nearly 27,000 underserved small businesses totaling over $1 billion, with an average loan size of about $37,000. Opportunity Finance Network's analysis found that CDFI lenders approved far more PPP loans as a share of the organizations' net assets than did the largest bank PPP lender.
Federal Reserve Liquidity Facilities: The MLWG supported the Federal Reserve's efforts to expand access to emergency relief for underserved small businesses as the pandemic unfolded. CA lender feedback assisted the Fed in granting CDCs and CDFIs access to the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF) - a historic move allowing nonbank mission lenders to utilize the Fed's credit window for the first time. Access to PPPLF provided participating CDFIs and CDCs with the capital they needed to maximize their PPP lending to underserved businesses struggling to endure the pandemic. The group offered the following comment letter on the Fed’s emergency Paycheck Protection Program Loan Facility.