On Monday, Vice President Harris announced that $1.7 billion in grants would be provided to more than 600 community lenders to help small businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, housing, and commercial real estate who are trying to bounce back following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harris announced that the grants would be part of the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, stating that the loans would help support local lending institutions that help minority communities that are more cautious about trying to acquire loans through larger lenders and banks. She added that the lenders will not be required to pay back “not even a dollar of this investment,” and added that these awards are grants and not loans.
She added that oftentimes these community lenders work with communities that are often overlooked by bigger banks. She added that they also “know and see the capacity of these communities.”
The grants will help smaller institutions that were affected by the pandemic, as well as 70 community lenders in Puerto Rico. These grants will also be received by the Community First Fund in Pennsylvania, PACE Finance Corporation in California, and BankPlus in Missouri.
In a statement, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen claimed that these grants would help in economic recovery adding that they “will be transformative for grantees that are building a more equitable, resilient economy” and that these resources are going to help “mission-driven lenders to expand access to capital in financially underserved communities.”