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Ms. CAMEO Goes to Washington

Heidi is in DC this week talking about responsible business lending  with colleagues from the Responsible Business Lending Coalition – Joyce Klein from Aspen Institute, CAMEO board member Louis Caditz-Peck from Lending Club, Gabe Villarreal from Opportunity Fund, and Renee Johnson from Small Business Majority.

“We talked about why disclosure is so important (fast, easy money that is very expensive and can ruin a small business); SB 1235, the disclosure bill that we passed last year; what challenges we had (deep pocket opposition that doesn’t want disclosure); and how we overcame the challenges. We built a strong coalition of small business advocates, responsible lenders, economic justice organizations and other small business stakeholders. We stuck to our principles and remained firm in our convictions. And we knew we were on the right side – with the small business interests always front and center.” 

“I spent the rest of the conference learning about other small business issues such as NCRC‘s forthcoming secret shopper research that finds that black and Latino small businesses are discriminated against when they go into banks looking for the same loan as a white small business owner -even if they have better credentials.” 

“Tuesday, Wednesday, and today were packed with meetings with legislators and regulators/agencies such as the OCC, FDIC, Federal Reserve, HUD, and the CFPB.  The main messages were:

  • Importance of the CDFIs
  • Responsible business lending and need for disclosure
  • Modernizing the CRA program to benefit underserved communities not dilute investment away from them
  • Need for data collection in small business lending” 

“My personal highlights were meeting Congresswoman Maxine Waters, now chair of the House Financial Services Committee, and visiting the Federal Reserve Board and getting the chance to speak about responsible small business lending to all five governors.”