California Reinvestment Coalition

Small Business

Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in this country and are widely acknowledged to be the engine of economic growth. The California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) sees the support and growth of small businesses in low-income communities and communities of color as a critical focus of its work. These businesses, often minority- and women-owned, encounter much greater difficulties receiving conventional loans from banks than larger businesses or those located in wealthy communities. 

To read more about CRC's latest small business report, please see our December 2013 press release: New Report Finds 60% Drop in Small Business Lending

In this work, CRC has focused on three particular issues.

  • Support for nonprofit organizations that provide technical assistance to small businesses. Businesses often do not have the resources to get critical assistance to bolster their marketing, human resources and other business components. As a result of dialog with CRC members, Wells Fargo and Comerica Banks have put in place grant initiatives that build the capacity of these nonprofit organizations statewide.
  • Investments to build the capacity of nonprofit community development corporations and financial institutions that offer more accessible credit to these critical businesses. This has been critical because banks have essentially stopped lending to smaller businesses and loans of $250,000 or less.
  • Making bank small business loan underwriting more flexible and gaining access to business loan denials where community lenders may be able to make the loan.

You can read CRC's previous reports on small business lending here:

December 2010: Small Business Access to Credit:The Little Engine that Could

March 2007: Small Business Access to Bank Credit:The Little Engine that Could

December 2003: Small Business Access to Bank Credit: The Little Engine that Could

  • Small businesses continue to have trouble accessing capital that can help them improve their businesses and create jobs.
  • Small businesses hire and pay taxes locally.
  • Minority-owned and women-owned businesses are more likely to hire people from their neighborhoods and are an avenue to build wealth for their communities.