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Amalgamated Bank calls on Congress to act now to increase resources to small businesses and nonprofits

Amalgamated Bank is urging Congress to act swiftly to support the more than 30 million nonprofits and small businesses that were unable to access the first round of Small Business Administration (SBA) Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans. According to the SBA, the PPP is no longer accepting applications due to funding being exhausted. At Amalgamated Bank, we find that wholly unacceptable and are calling on Congress to act now to provide the resources critical to our economic fabric, including additional funding for healthcare workers and local municipalities working with next to no resources in the fight against COVID-19.

Photo of Keith Mestrich

President & CEO

The COVID-19 crisis has caused unprecedented stress to our economy. While it was positive that Congress came together in a bipartisan way to support small businesses and nonprofits, the program was fraught from the beginning. It was clear from numerous reports in the media, that the process was plagued with technical and systemic challenges leaving many in the dark. Also, the innerworkings of the program incentivized large banks to favor their own clients, specifically only those with existing loans. This meant that large companies - many registered outside of the U.S. - were favored over neighborhood businesses and grassroots nonprofits. It is no surprise that the SBA reported only 1.6 million businesses were able to access funding. Thus, the spirit of the Payroll Protection Plan program was not realized in its implementation.

The pain is particularly deep for nonprofit organizations, especially those led by people of color and those working in marginalized communities feeling the greatest impact of COVID-19. Nonprofits have not traditionally had access to SBA programs and it is clear the SBA was not positioned to serve them in an equitable fashion. Nonprofits faced additional challenges navigating the process that is opaque and challenging. Their limited borrowing relationships and the lack of details in the repayment language only made it harder.

That is why we are calling on Congress to act now to provide additional resources to the PPP and ensure that nonprofits and truly small, community based businesses, have equitable access to these necessary funds. There needs to be a clear carve out for nonprofits, microenterprises, CDFIs, and others who have not had access to SBA programs in the past. Congress should set clear guardrails to keep those most in need at the front of the line and limit those larger, foreign registered entities from applying.

Lastly, to our clients who are still in need of funds, we will never stop advocating for your needs and are standing with you to push the government for more direct resources to support your operations and the vital role you play in our society.

Things we care about

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Amalgamated Bank logo on glass
corporate and social responsibility

Please read the letter Keith Mestrich, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank, wrote to Dan Cardinali, President and CEO of Independent Sector, about how Amalgamated shares a common mission with Independent Sector to ensure the nonprofit sector is well resourced as they support workers and families devastated by the COVID-19 crisis.

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Mountains and sky
corporate and social responsibility

This month we turned 97 years old so we’ve seen our share of up and down times. We’ve navigated through depressions, recessions, world wars, bubbles, artificial highs and some very real lows. But we have never before seen anything like the present.  The COVID-19 virus is having a far-reaching effect, not just on our business, but on our families, our communities and our nation’s financial future.

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Waiter in a restaurant
disaster relief

This unprecedented moment is calling those in leadership to act in bold and innovative ways. The COVID-19 virus has impacted the entire global economy putting at risk the livelihood of tens of millions of Americans. Those who were already vulnerable in our economy are pushed even further to the brink.