Regional News

Maycumber bill to help small businesses access credit passes House of Representatives


Mar 10, 2021

Legislation passed the state House of Representatives today that would make it easier for small businesses in rural and underserved communities to access lines of credit.

House Bill 1015 creates the Equitable Access to Credit Program within the Department of Commerce for the purpose of awarding grants to qualified lending institutions, which would then provide access to credit for small businesses. The bill also creates a business and occupation (B&O) tax credit for contributions made to the program.

Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic and prime sponsor of the bill, called it an important tool for economically distressed regions, especially in the post-COVID economy.

"Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses in rural and underserved communities were having trouble accessing the necessary credit to expand operations or invest in upgrades or more employees," said Maycumber who has sponsored similar legislation the past several years. "But now, as our entrepreneurs and small businesses attempt to survive in the post-COVID economy, it's even more critical that they have the same access to credit as our urban areas. We need to protect our rural economies and this legislation is another important tool that will help jump start these small businesses and entrepreneurs."

Maycumber stressed there are large corporations donating millions of dollars to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) across the nation. In order to take advantage of those dollars, the state can offer a small B&O tax credit, which encourages donations to Washington state lending institutions.

"There's private money out there that will make a huge impact to our rural and underserved areas," said Maycumber. "But if we don't have the programs in place to receive that money, and then lend it back out, we're missing out. My proposal creates the necessary infrastructure to make this happen. It will have an immediate effect on our local, rural economies. More entrepreneurs, more small businesses, more jobs. It's a win-win for the corporations donating the money, and the communities that will now have equitable access to credit."

Several tribal representatives testified in support of Maycumber's bill in committee.

"Our tribes are one of the communities that are underserved when it comes to access to credit," said Maycumber. "Their assistance and testimony on House Bill 1015 helped us get it across the finish line in the House. Now, we need the Senate to understand the importance of this proposal so they can pass it on to the governor for his signature."

Maycumber's bill heads to the Senate for further consideration.

The 105-day 2021 remote legislative session is scheduled to end April 25.

 


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