Maloney Votes to Secure Equality in Access to Credit for LGBTQ+ Small Businesses
WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) voted to pass H.R. 1443, the LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act, which improves equal access to credit for LGBTQ+-owned small businesses by taking steps to improve data collection by financial institutions. This bill will improve transparency around lending practices at financial institutions so that communities, government agencies, and lenders can advance fair and equal credit access for the LGBTQ+ business community. Congresswoman Maloney is an original cosponsor of the legislation.
“As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that we ensure all of our New York City small businesses have the resources they need to not just survive – but thrive,” said Rep. Maloney. “Until we understand the extent of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in lending, we cannot guarantee that every small business owner has fair access to credit. No one should be subjected to discrimination simply because of who they are or who they love. I am proud to support this important legislation, which will help ensure these NYC business owners are treated fairly, help our LGBTQ+ community build wealth, and advance the promise of equality for all.”
A study by Iowa State University found that LGBTQ+ individuals applying for mortgages are 73 percent more likely to be denied, while additional research has shown clear discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community when applying for other forms of credit. With 1.4 million LGBTQ-owned businesses around the nation, it is essential to have a better understanding of small business lending practices to root out any anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.
While financial institutions are required to collect data on business owners’ sex, race, and ethnicity on loan applications, there is currently no legal requirement to collect data on self-identified sexual orientation or gender identity. The LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act will require financial institutions to begin collecting this data, as well as update the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to include LGBTQ+-owned businesses, so governments and institutions can address discrimination and improve access to credit for LGBTQ+ businesses.