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CFPB Explores Ways to Assess Availability of Credit for Small Biz
Thursday, May 11, 2017 6:25 AM

CFPB Asks for Feedback on Ways to Bridge the Info Gap on Small Business Lending

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched an inquiry into ways to gather and use new and existing information to identify the financing needs of small businesses, especially those owned by women and minorities. Small businesses typically need access to credit to take advantage of growth opportunities, yet public information on this lending market is inconsistent and incomplete.

The Request for Information asks for public feedback to help the Bureau better understand how to bridge this information gap. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires the CFPB to collect data about small business lending to help identify needs and opportunities in the market and to facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws.

View the Request for Information

Small businesses foster community development and fuel economic growth both nationally and locally, and access to financing is crucial to their success. It is estimated that small businesses provide jobs for almost half of all private sector employees and have created two out of every three jobs since 1993.

The CFPB also released a white paper reviewing the available evidence concerning the small business lending landscape. The Bureau estimates that small businesses access about $1.4 trillion in financing. However, current information on how small businesses engage with credit markets is incomplete or dated and does not paint a full picture of access to financing, particularly for small business owned by women and minorities.

The CFPB is requesting comments from individual businesses, consumer groups, community development organizations, bank and nonbank lenders, regulators, and all other interested parties. The comment period for the public inquiry will end 60 days after the Request for Information is officially published in the Federal Register.