WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), today applauded the signing of the Reinvigorating Lending for the Future (RLF) Act of 2020 into law. The bill, which Senator Cardin introduced in June alongside Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R.W.Va.), would reduce barriers to lending for recipients of capitalization grants through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Revolving Loan Fund Program.
“The EDA Revolving Loan Fund program has been an essential tool to help Western Maryland communities infuse much needed funding and resources into local businesses and economies,” said Senator Cardin. “This bill eliminates burdensome red tape and gives more control and flexibility to our state and local governments as they support business development and economic growth. This work is especially important as we recover from the downturn caused by COVID-19.”
“Tri-County Council for Western Maryland wishes to thank Senator Cardin for his staunch support of our programs and the critical role he played in the passage of the Reinvigorating Lending for the Future Act,” said Leanne Mazer, Executive Director of the Tri-County Council for Western Maryland. “The Council has operated an Economic Development Administration Revolving Loan Fund (EDA RLF) for nearly 40 years, and this legislation eliminates costly reporting requirements that consumed resources at both the local and federal level that can now be put to better use assisting small businesses that are seeking financing. Even more importantly, this reform provides more flexibility and local control to communities like Western Maryland, which will enable us to use EDA RLF funds in ways that are unique to our needs to support economic growth and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The former policies governing EDA revolving loan fund program placed difficult reporting requirements on fund recipients for the life of the funds, a burden that hindered the effectiveness of the program by taking time and resources away from serving the businesses it aimed to help. The RLF Act will enhance lending to spur job growth by vacating the federal interest for those funds made to revolving loan fund operators after the operators have demonstrated a track record of success.