Your article “California takes hits, large and small, in Trump budget plan” (Front page, May 24) showed who loses under Trump’s budget; sadly, you can add small businesses to the list.
For decades, Community Development Financial Institutions have provided entrepreneurs like me with loans to launch or grow our businesses. The president’s budget zeroes out the federal CDFI fund, which provides capital for those loans. It’s a double whammy in California, where a state program called CalCAP, which also supports CDFIs, is running out of money.
Opportunity Fund, California’s largest CDFI, loaned me $22,000 to bottle my award-winning barbecue sauce, purchase a food truck and hire an employee.
Since 1994, Opportunity Fund has supported 6,000 California business owners with $200 million in loans – including $2 million in Modesto – all with the help of the CDFI fund and CalCAP. Every loan helps support three jobs, on average. Losing these programs would be a huge blow.
But Congress, including my Rep. Jeff Denham, can still vote to support the CDFI fund. And in California, Senate Bill 551 would extend CalCAP as long as possible. Our representatives must back these programs with their votes. Entrepreneurs like me are counting on it.
Derek Taylor, owner of Doc’s Barbecue Pit Stop, Modesto