Maui News

Gabbard’s Bill Encourages Investment in Small Business, Local Agriculture

January 21, 2020, 10:57 AM HST
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Central Maui plain. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaiʻi introduced a bill that encourages investment in small business and local agriculture.

The Small Business and Community Investments Expansion Act or HR5612 allows certain community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and credit unions who are members of a Federal Home Loan Bank to finance small business, agricultural, and community development activities.

“Community financial institutions and credit unions reach underserved communities across the country. Small businesses and farmers are the backbone of our nation and vital to America’s economic well-being,” said Rep. Gabbard. “This bill will boost the ability of local financial institutions to provide entrepreneurs, farmers and families with the resources that will help strengthen communities across the nation.”

“Hawai‘i credit unions are grateful for Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s leadership role in introducing this bill,” said Dennis K. Tanimoto, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hawaii Credit Union League.  “If enacted, this legislative measure will provide more funding sources for community development, small businesses, and agriculture – all of which are important for Hawai‘i’s economic viability. Access to long-term advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank would bring parity with banks to credit unions and community development financial institutions in meeting their liquidity needs.”

Jennifer A. Vasiloff, Chief External Affairs Officer, Opportunity Finance Network also commented, saying, “Greater access to capital allows CDFIs to do more in underserved communities. OFN supports this legislation which opens new doors for non-depository CDFIs to pledge additional types of collateral and receive advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank System.”

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