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San Diego Small Businesses to Voice Concerns to Federal Bank Regulators on May 19

Local businesses to call for fair lending practices that create economic opportunity

San Diego CA— On May 19, small business owners will bring their stories to the table for a candid discussion with federal bank regulators on how small business lending practices must improve for the sake of San Diego’s economy. In the face of mainstream banks reducing small business lending and Republicans in Washington pushing to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act that fosters small business’ access to capital, these local business leaders will speak up for the fair practices they need to promote San Diego’s economic growth.

“Since I opened my shop in North Park three years ago, we’ve transformed the street corner we started on from a place for drug deals to a hub of new jobs and profits that stay local,” say Brad Keiller, owner of Nomad Donuts. “Banks don’t like lending to small businesses like mine because they can make more money investing in Wall Street. But San Diego needs businesses like mine to thrive.”

There are 77,000 small businesses like Brad’s driving the economy in San Diego County. Small businesses have a unique ability to improve the region’s neighborhoods, creating jobs and economic opportunity. But in order to hire more workers and make the investments that impact our community, small businesses need a fair playing field where they can gain access to the capital they need.

A report earlier this year from the Woodstock Institute revealed that not only have mainstream financial institutions reduced their small businesses lending, but alternative lenders that could serve as a helpful substitute often add unwarranted burdens for small businesses in Southern California such as high interest rates, onerous terms, and poor customer service. Disparities like this are why San Diego small business leaders demand that the Dodd-Frank Act remain in place.

“The Dodd-Frank Act regulates lenders, which levels the playing field so that small banks — who are more likely to lend to small business owners like me — can compete with larger banks,” says Flossie Hall, owner of Healthy Momma. “I want our federal regulators to know that we need better regulation, not less, to ensure small businesses like mine can access the capital we need to create jobs in our neighborhoods.”

Flossie, Brad and several other local small business leaders from the San Diego Chapter of Main Street Alliance will meet with federal regulators at The San Diego Foundation’s Center for Civic Engagement on Friday, May 19 at 10 a.m.