Vice President Harris’ remarks during a press call on the Emergency Investment Program (ECIP)
THE VICE-PRESIDENT: Thank you, Senator Warner. And I congratulate you on your leadership in the Senate. When we served there together, you were so passionate and excited about the importance of work and the possibilities that exist to grow work and, of course, the impact we can have by doing it.
So thank you for your leadership and your friendship.
And greetings to all. It’s great to be with everyone today. As we know – you know, I’ll start with a basic principle that I think we all agree with and share, which is: America is a nation that is fueled by ambition and aspirations. of his people.
And at the root of the spirit behind so much of this work is just that – it’s about the ambitions and aspirations of the American people, the entrepreneurs who live among us, and doing what we can to invest in their ability. knowing that we all benefit from this work.
And ambition is ambition to start a business, to own a house, to get an education. And that’s what I think we all believe that keeps America going. We know this has the effect of creating jobs, stimulating innovation, developing the economy and making our country more competitive.
But to be successful, you have to have access to capital — access to capital. To buy, for example, stocks, you need capital; pay down payment, hire employees.
So to grow, these smart, enterprising people just need access to capital. They have the ideas. They have the ability and the means to do the heavy lifting, but they need access to capital. And the problem here is that we know that not everyone in our country has equal access to this essential support.
Consider, for example, that black entrepreneurs are three times more likely to say they did not apply for a loan for fear of being turned down by a bank. And it’s usually because they have anecdotal evidence — based on turned away relatives, neighbors, and friends — that they think they’ll be turned away too.
Black and Latino homeowners are rejected by mainstream financial institutions at a higher rate when applying for home loans. And this is the case, by the way, even when they have similar credit profiles to other applicants.
For many Asian American business owners, especially immigrant business owners, the language barrier limits their ability to access capital and banking services. And people who live in rural communities, including many Native Americans, often lack access to traditional financial services of any kind.
I’ve worked with Mark Warner and many others — and the Honorable Maxine Waters and so many others. For years, we have been working on these issues and to address these disparities. As Senator Warner said, with my colleagues then and – and in the Senate, Cory Booker, Senator Warren, Chuck Schumer, and then, of course, President Waters, we invested $12 billion in lenders communities, which are financial institutions that primarily serve neglected and underserved people. communities.
In December of last year, together with Secretary Janet Yellen, I announced that nearly $9 billion of that $12 billion investment would be made available through the Emergency Investment Program, or ECIP, as Senator Warner described it. And we encouraged community banks to apply.
As Senator Warner described it, we’ve distributed nearly $9 billion to 162 community banks across our country, and that’s the – that’s the announcement we’re making today: that we’ve distributed nearly $9 billion to 162 community banks across our country. That’s almost $9 billion on the ground in communities right now.
For example, in North Dakota, the Native American Bank loaned $10 million to help fund an opioid addiction treatment center on tribal land. In Georgia, Carver Bank loaned just over half a million dollars to help a black-owned real estate developer build more affordable housing. In Mississippi, Hope Credit Union, led by the great Bill Bynum, loaned $10,000 to a black and women-owned coffee business to help them grow.
So in closing, I will say that today in communities across our country, small businesses, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and community organizations are using ECIP funds to create opportunity and prosperity, not only for their community, but for our nation.
President Biden and I are fighting to build a nation where every person, no matter where they come from, has the opportunity to succeed and prosper. Community banks are essential to this objective. And so, of course, we remain committed to working with our colleagues and doing the work to expand those investments.
And thank you all for your time. And to the partners, thank you all for the work you do to make this such a success.