Feb 13, 2024 | Blog Posts

Strengthening Rural Economies

Too often, our small towns are overlooked, or frankly, ignored. I’ve made it my mission in Congress to put them first. 

We need to invest in our rural communities – and that’s exactly why I introduced bipartisan legislation today to ensure we continue to grow the economy. The Rural Credit Access Act will ensure that rural community lenders can access federal funds to support small businesses, community centers, schools, and more.  

Background ➡️  

  • Community focused lenders, like credit unions or local banks, can apply to be certified as a Community Development Financial Institution or CDFI. As a certified CDFI, the institution has access to a variety of programs to help finance projects and community development activities in rural or underserved communities for things like small businesses, community centers, schools, mortgages, and more. 

  • Right now, if an institution is at risk of losing their status, there is no process in place to warn them or allow them to make adjustments to retain their CDFI status. The Rural Credit Access Act will enhance transparency and give CDFIs the opportunity to make adjustments before losing their status and harming the rural communities they intended to support. 

  • The Rural Credit Access Act also protects taxpayer dollars by immediately cutting off any CDFI that commits fraud or misuses funds.  

Bottom line ➡️ By improving this program, we can continue to strengthen rural communities by generating jobs and creating new opportunities for families at a time when that investment is needed.