On March 30, 2022, Gusto joined the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), and a coalition of over 90 organizations in supporting critical reforms to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Community Advantage Pilot Program.
The economic impacts of the pandemic were devastating for small businesses – especially businesses owned by women, people of color, and other business owners that have traditionally lacked access to capital. For many entrepreneurs, mission lenders were a lifeline that helped them access critical relief funding. Community Advantage is an underutilized tool that can help mission lenders provide more capital to underserved entrepreneurs. The SBA has engaged in an unprecedented level of stakeholder outreach to determine ways to reform the program to increase its reach and impact. In this letter, the coalition expressed support for critical program reforms, including:
- Extending the Community Advantage Pilot Program before it sunsets on September 30, 2022;
- Lifting the Community Advantage lender moratorium to allow more mission lenders to access SBA loan guarantees;
- Allowing Community Advantage lenders to use the same credit criteria and collateral policies used to underwrite similarly sized non-SBA loans;
- Removing the current restriction that prohibits individuals with criminal backgrounds from accessing the Community Advantage program; and
- Increasing the maximum loan size community advantage lenders can make to increase the impact for small businesses.
Read the full letter here: