Advocacy

Sometimes Entrepreneurs Need a Loan. Other Times, They Need our Voice.

Our advocacy vision is to help create an inclusive world in which all entrepreneurs have the opportunity to make their dreams come true, and struggling communities become economically vibrant. To succeed, we need to change the broader systems impacting our work and the communities we serve.

That’s why we will continue to support sensible public policies and produce original research to close the opportunity gap and move the conversation forward. Our policy, advocacy and research activities are important levers to support our growth, our impact, and our campaign for the systemic changes we hope to achieve across the country.

What We’re Advocating
Right Now

Progress is Coming for CA Small Business Owners Seeking Financing

September 13, 2019 by Gwendy Donaker Brown

California is on the verge of implementing the most significant financial protection bill in the nation for small business owners, something Opportunity Fund has been advocating for many years. We are proud to be part of a broad coalition of lenders, nonprofit groups and small businesses urging state regulators to strengthen proposed regulations so they are structured in a way to best support small businesses.

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Bi-Partisan Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights Resolution Introduced in the House of Representatives

May 10, 2019 by Erin Vuong

As a founding member of the Responsible Business Lending Coalition (RBLC), Opportunity Fund is elated to see that Representatives Phillips (D-MN), Timmons (R-SC), and Velazquez (D-NY) have introduced a bi-partisan resolution in support of the RBLC’s Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights.

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Our Current Policy Priorities

Advance Responsible Business Lending on behalf of every American small business owner. Unlike consumers, small business owners have few legal protections from high-cost, low-transparency loans that can cause more harm than good. The Small Business Borrower’s Bill of Rights (BBoR) is the first cross-sector consensus on the responsible lending practices that all small businesses deserve and should serve as a guide to state and federal policymakers. The BBoR includes the rights to:

  1. Transparent pricing and terms
  2. Non-abusive products
  3. Responsible underwriting
  4. Fair treatment from brokers
  5. Responsible underwriting
  6. Fair treatment from brokers
Advance Responsible Business Lending

Support and Improve Federal Programs that foster economic opportunity. Underserved entrepreneurs can thrive with a fully funded Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. Low income communities can invest in quality services and jobs with a permanent New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) program. Financial institutions can do their part to fully serve all neighborhoods with a robust Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). And all consumers benefit when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) fights against unfair, deceptive and abusive practices.

Expand State Credit Enhancement Programs that help lenders say “yes.” State-run Capital Access Programs (CAPs) make it possible to fund entrepreneurs that are generally considered “too risky” to get the capital they need. For each loan enrolled, CAP programs provide a small contribution to a loan loss reserve account – providing a high degree of leverage (and therefore, impact) per public dollar invested. To create a healthy ecosystem for underserved small business owners, these programs must be expanded.

Research

November 2019

Accelerating Opportunity: The Impact of Opportunity Fund’s Trucking Program

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October 2018

Reporting on Impact: Repeat Borrowers Building Credit, Boosting Revenue, Supporting Jobs

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April 2018

Helping Entrepreneurs Write their Own Success Stories

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September 2017

Building Technology for Cross-Sector Collaboration

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June 2016

Ripple Effect: The Macroeconomic Impact of Small Business Lending

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May 2016

Unaffordable and Unsustainable: The New Business Lending on Main Street

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February 2015

Notes from the Frontlines in the Small Business Finance Revolution: A Microlender’s View

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April 2013

U.S. Microfinance: Small Loans, Big Results

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January 2011

Microlending in the United States

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September 2019

Annual Report – FY 2018

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