NCRC, OFN and 91 Community Groups Support SBA’s Community Advantage Pilot Program Reforms

US Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, today announced a set of proposed reforms to the SBA’s Community Advantage Pilot Program that will expand access to credit for small businesses. 

In a letter to the SBA, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), organizations that advised SBA on changes to the Community Advantage Pilot Program, were joined by 91 community and national organizations in support of the proposed reforms. NCRC President & CEO Jesse Van Tol and OFN President & CEO Lisa Mensah attended the announcement at Howard University in Washington, DC.

“SBA’s proposed updates to the Community Advantage Pilot Program are an important and timely move to expand access to credit for small businesses, and to expand the reach and impact of the program,” Van Tol said. “The program should be expanded to include mission-driven lenders such as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Community Development Corporations. The economic impacts of the pandemic were devastating for small businesses – especially businesses owned by women, people of color, and other business owners who have traditionally lacked access to capital. As our nation looks toward economic recovery, the SBA remains an important partner for diverse small businesses and the specialized lenders who serve them. Community Advantage is an underutilized tool that can help lenders provide more capital to underserved entrepreneurs.

“The SBA’s shift in approach on criminal backgrounds is also important and more than symbolic. The use of ‘ever charged’ filters in lending applications needs to stop throughout the financial sector and it’s good to see SBA is no longer collecting criminal justice information as a part of the Community Advantage Program. We hope it will extend this policy to other SBA programs.”

“As our nation’s small businesses look towards economic recovery, the reform and expansion of the Community Advantage Pilot Program is a critical step forward in building a more inclusive economy,” Mensah said. “These changes will deepen the SBA’s partnership with CDFIs and other mission lenders – unlocking the program’s potential and increasing access to capital for underserved entrepreneurs.”  

The reforms include:

  • 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
  • Increase the maximum loan size community advantage lenders can make to increase the impact for small businesses 

To read the full letter, visit here.

The following organizations co-signed the letter:

Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE)

Accompany Capital

Affordable Homeownership Foundation Inc.

African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs

African American Chamber of Commerce of Montgomery County, Inc.

Albany Community Together (ACT)

AMPAC Business Capital

Appalachian Community Capital

Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)

Association of Women’s Business Centers

B:Side Capital

Bankers Small Business CDC of California

Bitwise Industries

BLDG Memphis

Brooklyn Alliance Capital Lending Programs

Business Outreach Center Network

California Coastal Rural Development Corp.

Capital Impact Partners

Carolina Small Business Development Fund

CDC Small Business Finance

Center for Rural Affairs

Cherry Community Organization

Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

Common Capital, Inc.

Community Investment Collaborative

Cooperative Fund of the Northeast

DC Women’s Business Center

Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council

Detroit Development Fund

Devotion USA, Inc.


Entrepreneur Works

Evergreen Business Capital

Fair Finance Watch

Family Housing Advisory Services

FORGE Community Loan Fund

Georgia Advancing Communities Together, Inc.


Harlem Entrepreneurial Fund

Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce

Homeownership Council of America

Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Greater Cincinnati

Impacto Fund Inc.

Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative

Justine Peterson

La Fuerza CDC



Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF)

Michigan Oncology Quality Consortium

Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO)


Mountain BizWorks

Mustard Seed Development Center

National ACE

National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB)

National LGBT Chamber of Commerce

National NeighborWorks Association

Neighborhood Community Development Fund

NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania

New Town Loans, LLC

Northern Initiatives

Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE)

Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation

Pacific Community Ventures

Partner Community Capital, Inc.

Pathstone Enterprise Center, Inc.

Pathway Lending

People Fund

People Trust Community Loan Fund

Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations

Prosperity Now

Public Private Strategies Institute




Small Business Majority

Social Impact Strategies Group

South Dallas Fair Park Innercity Community Development Corporation

Southern Dallas Progress CDC

St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. dba Neighborhood Home Solutions

TMC Community Capital

TruFund Financial Services, Inc.

U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.

Universal Housing Solutions CDC

US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Utah Microloan Fund

Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF)

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)

Women’s Economic Ventures

Women’s Opportunity Resource Center


About NCRC

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition and its grassroots member organizations create opportunities for people to build wealth. We work with community leaders, policymakers and financial institutions to champion fairness in banking, housing and business. NCRC was formed in 1990 by national, regional and local organizations to increase the flow of private capital into traditionally underserved communities. NCRC has grown into an association of more than 600 community-based organizations in 42 states that promote access to basic banking services, affordable housing, entrepreneurship, job creation and vibrant communities for America’s working families. More: www.ncrc.org

About OFN

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is a leading national network of more than 360 community development financial institutions (CDFIs), specialized lenders that provide affordable, responsible financial products and services in low-income rural, urban, and Native communities  nationwide. As a trusted intermediary between CDFIs and the public and private sectors, OFN works with its partners – banks, philanthropies, corporations, government agencies and others – to create economic opportunity for all by strengthening and investing in CDFIs.

Media Contacts:

Alyssa Wiltse

Jennifer A. Vasiloff

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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