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On Thursday, February 4, 2020, from 3:30 p.m. (ET) Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy Chair Himes and Ranking Member Hill will host a virtual hearing entitled, “Supporting Small and Minority-Owned Businesses Through the Pandemic.»

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Witnesses for this one-panel hearing will be:

• Nneka Brown-Massey, Founder and Creative Director, Innovative Supplies Worldwide, Inc., on behalf of Main Street Alliance

• Gary Cunningham, President and CEO, Prosperity Now

• Cliff Kellogg, Executive Director, C-PACE Alliance

• Everett Sands, CEO, Lendistry

• Kevin Hernandez, Director of Policy, The LIBRE Initiative

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have major health, economic, and financial ramifications globally and in the United States, including for small businesses and minority-owned businesses. Congress has responded with several programs, like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), intended to ensure these small businesses do not fail through no fault of their own, however small businesses and minority-owned businesses continue to struggle. In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, Congress established the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to support state programs designed to help provide credit and investments in small businesses. The result was a program that leveraged $1.5 billion in Federal funds to support $10.7 billion in loans and investments that helped small businesses create or retain over 240,000 jobs. This hearing will explore the evolving financial needs of small businesses, and consider proposals that build on such programs, like SSBCI, to provide additional support during the pandemic and beyond.

COVID-19 and challenges for the small business environment
As COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the economy, and small businesses have borne significant pain. According to a study out of UC Santa Cruz, the number of active U.S. business owners plunged by 22% from February to April last year, driven in part by precipitous drops in active Black and Latinx business ownership, which experienced a 41% and 32% decrease in business activity, respectively.1 Women business owners also experienced a disproportionate loss in business activity at the start of the pandemic, and overall business activity was still dampened…

Hearing page:

Supporting Small and MinorityOwned Businesses Through the Pandemic… (EventID=)