January 8 – 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. Read full announcement here.

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. The Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region and other CDFI’s across New York State have been working together to bridge these gaps, providing loans, training, and other services, and we are so glad to have additional assistance at the state level, and to shine a spotlight on these issues,” says Linda MacFarlane, Executive Director of the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region.

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.

“We know first-hand what an important role CDFIs can have in community revitalization and small business development. We applaud this recognition of the community needs that CDFIs can and should meet,” says MacFarlane.