On November 18, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, the Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee, and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the bicameral Small Business Lending Disclosure Act. This bill aims to protect small business borrowers from predatory lenders and loans carrying unfair terms and conditions and would ensure safeguards already required in consumer lending, through the Truth in Lending Act. The bill would bolster the role of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in policing small business lending and bring enhanced transparency to small commercial loans.
OFN President and CEO Lisa Mensah is quoted in Rep. Velázquez's press release, along with several fellow CDFI leaders and advocacy groups. She states:
“At a time when many small business owners need capital to stabilize their businesses, this legislation is critical to helping small businesses access affordable, responsible financing and avoid high-cost predatory loan products. Requiring lenders to disclose key information including the annual percentage rate (APR) ensures entrepreneurs have the knowledge they need to make financial decisions that grow and strengthen their business.”
The Responsible Business Lending Coalition (RBLC), of which OFN is a member, along with 20 local, state, and national business organizations and stakeholders, urges lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to pass this historic legislation in support of our small businesses, local communities, and our national economy.
Read Rep. Velázquez's full press release.
Read RBLC's full statement.