Press Release from the NYSCDFI Coalition on Governor Cuomo’s “State of the State” Proposal to Expand Access to Safe and Affordable Financial Services.

Governor Cuomo Proposes $25 Million in New Funding for CDFIs

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday a proposal to provide $25 million in new seed funding over five years for New York’s CDFI Fund through the creation of the Excelsior Banking Network.

The proposal, announced in conjunction with his 2020 State of the State agenda, will increase access to safe, affordable bank accounts and small-dollar loans in underserved low-income communities across the State.

“We are pleased to see the Governor taking steps to address the gap in financial services for people of low-income. CDFI’s across New York State have been working together to bridge these gaps, providing loans, training, and other services for some time, and we are so glad to have additional assistance at the state level, and have a spotlight shined on these issues,” says Linda MacFarlane, Chair of the NYS CDFI Coalition.

The Governor has also proposed the creation of a statewide Office of Financial Inclusion and Empowerment to meet the financial services needs of low- and middle-income New Yorkers, building on his efforts to expand access to safe and affordable banking services, credit, and financial education.

“Well-funded CDFIs can prevent New Yorkers from turning to predatory loans, like merchant cash advances, which prey on individuals and small business owners, and lead to cycles of debt that ultimately cost people their livelihoods,” said MacFarlane.

The NYS CDFI Coalition applauds Governor Cuomo’s recognition of community needs and the important and unique ability of NYS CDFIs to provide services and support that meet those needs.

About the NYS CDFI Coalition

Across New York State CDFIs of all forms and sizes work each day to provide needed capital to low income borrowers and underserved communities.  Each of us face resource constraints that make our achievements all the more remarkable.  Mission-centered collaboration is the key to overcoming these obstacles. With that in mind, a group of CDFIs joined together in 2015 as the New York State CDFI Coalition provide an effective and efficient delivery system for community development finance throughout the state.