EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — State Representative Claudia Ordaz Perez’s legislation to help small businesses is gaining momentum at the state capitol.
On Wednesday, the Texas House of Representatives passed Ordaz Perez’s House Bill 3271 (HB 3271) that creates two programs under the Office of the Governor to provide access to capital to expand and enhance sole proprietorships and businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
“Small businesses are the heart of the Texas economy,” said Rep. Ordaz Perez. “Our smallest businesses were the hardest hit by the pandemic. This bill will provide our small businesses with much needed relief that are struggling to find capital to keep them afloat. I am grateful for the overwhelming support from my colleagues for this legislation.”
HB 3271 establishes the Micro Business Capital Access Program, which is a state revolving loan fund in partnership with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). The CFDIs will issue low-interest loans to micro businesses in Texas that are facing challenges to accessing capital.
CFDIs are supportive and excited.
“We welcome an opportunity to serve humble, hardworking small business owners across Texas with this bill,” said Janie Barrera, CEO of LiftFund.
“As a CDFI providing over $380 million in capital to businesses across the state since 1994, we know the No. 1 challenge facing our customers is capital. Yet when we invest in undercapitalized small businesses, there is a $14 positive economic return to our communities through job creation, commerce, and taxes paid at the local and state level. Now is the time to for a Texas small business investment bill and we look forward to partnering with the state in starting and growing this fund,” Barrera adds.
HB 3271’s second program is called Micro-Business Access to Capital that is a reserve account for lending institutions to cover losses that may be incurred if a micro-business defaults on a loan.
“Texas Association of Businesses (TAB) strives to continue to make Texas the number one place to do business and is committed to making sure businesses of all sizes have access to economic tools that allow them to operate, recover, and remain open after being impacted by the pandemic,” said Megan Herring Manager of Government Affairs for TAB.
“HB 3271 provides small businesses access to capital as they continue to support job growth and provide opportunities in their communities,” she says.
This is Ordaz Perez’s first term at the state capitol and her legislation is earning support from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Texas Association of Businesses, the Texas Restaurant Association, the El Paso Chamber of Commerce and more.
“I am grateful for the overwhelming support from my colleagues and community stakeholders for this legislation,” said Ordaz Perez. “HB 3271 will help our small businesses who need it most.”