HB 2266 Financial assistance for minority owners of businesses

Signed into Law by Gov Brown on 08/06/21
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/HB2266#

This bill directs the Oregon Business Development Department to study the use of economic development methods for purpose of assisting businesses, but is done with targeted outreach so that only a minority owned business would see the advantage. (-3 Governor’s amendment)

Personal Choice and Responsibility
Provides economic recovery loans for Oregonians, but only if their skin is a certain color. When asked if these unconstitutional race-based requirements might be removed in the spirit of reaching as many struggling businesses as possible. Kate Brown’s representative said her Racial Justice Council decided that the bill is intended to be written exactly as it is, including the unconstitutional racial elements, and they intend it to be passed as is.

Fiscal Responsibility
Appropriates $10 million of General Fund to OBDD for purposes of implementing the award program. Defines key terms, including “eligible business,” to mean a business certified by the Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity. Requires OBDD to establish a program to make loans to eligible businesses and specifies the amounts of loans based on length of time the business has been operating. Establishes the Disadvantaged and Emerging Small Business Loan Fund to be separate and distinct from the General Fund and to be continuously appropriated to OBDD for purposes of the loan program, and appropriates $10 million General Fund to the established fund. Declares emergency, effective on passage, as if a study warranted emergency action.

Limited Government
Requires the Oregon Business Development Department (OBDD) to make awards to lenders through competitive request for proposals. Limits the amount of an award to no more than 10% of available funds. Specifies the criteria by which OBDD must evaluate proposals, including lender providing technical assistance and financial literacy services to underserved borrowers or partner with providers of technical assistance and financial literacy services to underserved borrowers. Requires OBDD to enter into a written agreement with each lender and specifies obligations in circumstances of defaults on a loan. Report number of borrowers, and outreach conducted to rural and underserved populations. Permits the lender to be released from any obligation under the written agreement after ten years with a four-to-one ratio of total principal amount of loans made to amount awarded to the lender. Specifies reasons for lender to repay the balance of money awarded to lender, including if the lender has not made a qualified loan for 24 consecutive months. Requires OBDD to submit a report to the Legislative Assembly by September 15 of every even-numbered year and specifies the contents of the report.

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