During this last legislative session, Senate Bill 551, authored by State Senator Ben Hueso and sponsored by Opportunity Fund, failed to move out of Assembly Appropriations Committee, ending our efforts on the bill and issue for this year. Despite widespread support from CalCAP enrolled lenders, regional and statewide chambers of commerce, the California Bankers Association, and small business advocacy groups, unfortunately we were not successful.
S.B. 551 would have extended the life of the California Capital Access Program (CalCAP), which created a loan loss reserve program that enables non-profit lenders like Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and small banks to extend much needed credit to small business owners that have trouble finding financing from large financial institutions.The program was especially at risk because the funds from the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative, that extended $1.5 billion for state sponsored small business finance programs, are running out.
Opportunity Fund will continue to participate in the existing CalCAP program, leveraging those resources to provide responsible capital to California’s small businesses. Thank you to all of SB 551’s supporters and we look forward to working with all of you in the future to address California small business owners’ access to capital challenges.