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  • Mike Beall

Congress Agrees to Budget Deal

CU Strategic Planning’s Efforts to Educate Congressional Appropriators Pave Way for Record Funding

You only have to scroll to page 476 of the 2,232-page Omnibus FY 2018 Bill to find the record setting number of $250 million appropriated to the Community Development Financial Institution Fund. The dollar amount means that, in spite of the administration budget that called for near zero funding for the vital community development grant program, Republicans and Democrats in Congress saw value in the programs that credit unions and other CDFIs develop to serve low to moderate income families.

“Credit unions are busy working with us right now on an amazing variety of consumer, mortgage, and microbusiness loan programs that innovate to extrapolate the support and development of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of loans to low income families. It took quite a while to get here with this FY 2018 budget, but we are extremely pleased that Congressional leaders of both parties and the president saw their way to the highest level of funding of the CDFI program,” reported Mike Beall, owner and Chief Strategic and Advocacy Officer of CU Strategic Planning.

The US House of Representatives and the US Senate are expected to vote to pass the Omnibus spending bill before the Friday March 23 deadline of midnight to not only keep the government open but settle the budget for FY 2018 that runs through September 2018. The President would then need to sign the much-delayed federal budget. The bill may be seen as a starting point for the development of legislation for the FY 2019 budget.

CU Strategic Planning used a pinpoint strategy to make appropriators aware of the importance of CDFI funding, allowing credit unions to make innovative loans to low income consumers while using the CDFI grant funds to mitigate potential losses in their Allowance for Loan Loss (ALL) accounts or to increase net worth as they take on additional risk while balancing the pricing of loans to meet consumer demand. CDFIs and their programs help consumers avoid predatory lenders of all varieties.

“Stepping around the current political environment, we sought to talk about the value of the CDFI fund to credit union with members of Congress of both parties, and they responded positively from all political sides” said Stacy Augustine, owner and CEO of CU Strategic Planning.

“With 2018 budget is done the company I founded on my kitchen table 10 years ago may pass the $100 million dollar mark of CDFI award dollars won on behalf of the amazing credit unions we work with. Consider me energized to do all I can to help credit unions develop creative lending programs that win CDFI award dollars,” said Jamie Strayer, owner and founder of CU Strategic Planning.

2018 CDFI Financial and Technical Assistance Grant Applications for FY 2018 are due in early April.

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