The Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research cheers the House vote to enact H.R. 1443, the LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act, which will amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to require the collection of information about business owners’ sexual orientation and gender identity for small business–in addition to their race and sex, as currently required.
The Bill, sponsored by Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) and 41 cosponsors–and is endorsed by CLEAR, Center for American Progress, NCLR, and The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce–passed the House on a 252-176 vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Small businesses need equal access to fairly priced capital in order to effectively invest in their operations, workers, and communities. But currently available data shows that LGBTQ people are discriminatorily denied loans more frequently than non-LGBTQ people, and receive higher interest rates and fees for the loans they do receive.
Fair lending data for LGBTQ people in small business loans is absolutely critical to identify and deter lending discrimination. The information H.R. 1443 will create will empower LGBTQ communities by helping identify and eliminate discriminatory gaps in the ability for LGBTQ organizations to access lending capital. After the pandemic, this data is needed now more than ever, so that LGBTQ people can effectively reinvest and rebuild their businesses and cherished community spaces.
The Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research looks forward to supporting the full passage of the LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act, and its much-needed provisions to support the economic health of LGBTQ organizations and communities.