Main Street Business Victory - Lawsuit Compels Trump Administration to Commit to Finalize Protections Against Lending Discrimination

Coalition of Small Business Owners, Community Development Orgs Sued to Compel Compliance with Dodd Frank, and won.

Yesterday, in response to a legal challenge brought by two Main Street Alliance small business owners and community development organizations, the Trump administration and the CFPB has finally agreed in a settlement to stop ignoring its legal obligation to facilitate the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws that protect women-owned, minority-owned and small businesses from discriminatory financial institutions. This victory marks a milestone for addressing the credit barriers small business owners face across the country — particularly women and entrepreneurs of color

Two Main Street Alliance members who joined the lawsuit and had this to say:

“I feel it is my civic and moral responsibility to speak up about issues that are inherently unfair and discriminatory against small businesses in this country,” said Deborah Field, who co-owns Paperjam Press in Portland, Oregon, on why she joined the suit last summer. “Capital access is one of these issues because the financial systems are geared for the big and powerful.”

 “Oftentimes there is an outright denial, even when we have assets, credit scores and the ability to repay the loans,” said ReShonda Young, founder of Popcorn Heaven in Waterloo, IA. “It's time for the CFPB to do its job so that the disparity in lending can be reigned in and minority business owners will not continue to fight an unfair fight when trying to start and grow our businesses.”

Main Street Alliance Executive Director, Amanda Ballantyne, added: 

“We welcome this important victory and also know that there is more work to be done to achieve the real goal of increasing quality access to capital,” said Main Street Alliance Executive Director Amanda Ballantyne. “It has taken 10 years to achieve the implementation of section 1071. It’s time to move swiftly and finally address the systemic discrimination in small business lending.”