WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), today introduced the Reinvigorating Lending for the Future (RLF) Act of 2020 to reduce barriers to lending for recipients of capitalization grants through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Revolving Loan Fund Program. Representatives Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and John Katko (R-N.Y.) introduced companion legislation in the House.
“Revolving loan funds are a valuable tool to provide working capital and other assistance to businesses in underserved areas, particularly as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Capito said. “Unfortunately, administrative red tape sometimes discourages these critical resources from being deployed. This legislation will ensure that those revolving loan fund operators with a track record of success are more easily able to lend to West Virginia businesses at this important time for our economy.”
“This legislation will improve the effectiveness of EDA’s revolving loan fund program. For decades, this program has been a vital resource for communities across Maryland to build entrepreneurial capacity and foster business development in the face of economic downturns,” said Senator Cardin. “Our bipartisan bill ensures this program will remain focused on these goals, while empowering the economic development professionals who manage these funds to spend more time assisting the businesses and communities they serve.”
“The Economic Development Administration’s Revolving Loan Fund is an important tool in the rebuilding of our rural economies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This bipartisan legislation would remove red tape that discourages organizations from utilizing the RLF and gives more control back to local organizations to support business development and job growth,” said Representative Peterson.
“I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan, bicameral Reinvigorating Lending for the Future (RLF) Act of 2020 alongside Representative Collin Peterson and Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Ben Cardin. At a time when our communities are facing significant financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our legislation takes an important step to remove red tape that can often hinder a business’s ability to receive through the EDA’s Revolving Loan Fund Program. Working with both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, I will continue to promote economic development in underserved areas and ensure programs like the Revolving Loan Fund Program are responsive to our community’s evolving needs,” said Representative Katko.
Under current policy, fund recipients must keep up with burdensome reporting requirements that discourage operators from utilizing the Revolving Loan Fund Program to its maximum potential while straining EDA resources. By responsibly vacating the federal interest for those funds made to revolving loan fund operators with a demonstrated track record of success, the RLF Act will promote lending to businesses and create jobs.
Since her election to the U.S. Senate, Senator Capito has been a staunch supporter of the EDA and has increased EDA funds into West Virginia by more than 400 percent.
# # #