September 15, 2017

Van Hollen Listens to Financial Challenges, Opportunities for Investment in Minority Communities

As part of his ongoing work to expand investments in minority communities and those areas with high-unemployment, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen held a roundtable discussion in Baltimore, Maryland this morning to identify financial barriers faced by minority businesses and communities and how to overcome them. The roundtable was hosted by Joe Haskins, the President and CEO of Harbor Bank, one of the leading African-American-owned banks in the country. They were joined by leaders from community, regional, and national banks as well as the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Martin Gruenberg, and the Director of the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund, Annie Donovan.

"We need to take a hard look at how we can stimulate more investment and job creation in the parts of Baltimore City and our state that have been neglected for too long," said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Banking Committee. "Sustained investment brings jobs, economic growth, and stability to areas that are struggling. I'm committed to working with my colleagues in the Senate, leaders in our community, and the financial industry to boost jobs and investments in these underserved parts of Baltimore and Maryland."

The roundtable included a discussion of what regulatory and legislative changes would stimulate more investment and job growth in struggling parts of Baltimore City and Maryland. The roundtable also reviewed how financial institutions can work together to build and expand small businesses, especially minority-owned businesses in Baltimore and underserved parts of Maryland. Last Spring, Senator Van Hollen held an event with the Maryland Chamber of Commerce at Howard County Community College to connect local businesses and Maryland bankers to build relationships and increase access to capital. He will continue working across the state to grow our economy, invest in local businesses, and ensure all Marylanders have the chance to succeed.