DC Mayor Bowser announced that the district has partnered with the US Treasury to give small businesses and district residents better access to credit and capital.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday that the city is partnering with the US Treasury Department to give small businesses and district residents better access to credit and capital.

The program, called DC REACh, aims to promote financial inclusion for underserved communities. DC is only the second site in the United States to launch the Financial Inclusion Initiative, which was developed by the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in July 2020.

“This initiative aims to remove structural barriers to capital and credit that prevent too many people from getting their fair share,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a press release. “By bringing everyone together at the table, we can focus on creating solutions that help more Washingtonians buy homes, start businesses and build wealth.”

Bowser made the announcement on day one of #FairShot Week, which his administration designed to highlight opportunities for local businesses and accelerate the city’s economic recovery.

The #FairShot launch event took place Monday at the Pop-Up Collaborative in the Northwest, where the mayor announced $ 3.3 million in new grants made available to small businesses through the grants program. to small businesses Great Streets Retail in town.

DC REACh is part of the Treasury Department’s REACh project, which stands for Roundtable for Economic Access and Change. The program brings together leaders from the banking industry, national civil rights organizations, business and technology to reduce barriers that prevent full and equitable participation in the country’s economy.

Nationally, the REACh project focuses on several areas:

  • Create an alternative credit scoring method to help millions of Americans who face less accessible and more expensive credit because they don’t have a usable credit score.
  • Expand affordable housing options to help families build wealth by converting inventory of bank-owned housing into affordable housing through low-cost transfer and renovation loans.
  • Provide technical assistance and other forms of support to minority-owned banks and small businesses, which play a vital role in their communities but face difficulties in accessing capital and other resources.

“The REACh project is a convening forum whose important objective is to remove the barriers that prevent our financial system from providing the same full, fair and equal access to all,” said the Acting Controller of the OCC, Michael J. Hsu, in the press release. “With the launch of focused efforts here in DC, this initiative has the potential to provide significant opportunities that will benefit many businesses and consumers in the nation’s capital. “

DC REACh will focus on affordable home ownership, improving access to credit, and supporting small and minority-owned businesses. It will be administered by the District of Columbia’s Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking (DISB).

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