Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen Following Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) Roundtable in Saint Paul, Minnesota

As Prepared for Delivery

Good morning. I was very glad to visit the Neighborhood Development Center with Senator Klobuchar today to discuss our collective work to create economic opportunity through collaboration with the private sector.

Senator Klobuchar has been a tireless leader for Minnesotans, and President Biden and I are grateful for her strong partnership in championing our economic agenda.

Since the start of this Administration, President Biden and I, with Senator Klobuchar’s partnership, have pursued an economic strategy focused on expanding our economy’s capacity to produce—and doing so in a way that is inclusive. The private sector plays a critical role, from making investments in cutting edge industries to hiring and training American workers for high-quality jobs.

The Treasury Department has been proud to support these efforts, including through a focus on community development financial institutions. CDFIs provide crucial support to local businesses, from financing to services such as training entrepreneurs. They are often embedded in the communities they serve, so they have a deep understanding of a community’s needs and how to meet them.

During the pandemic, Treasury’s support helped keep small businesses open and Americans employed, contributing to our historic recovery.

Since then, our funding and technical assistance has helped businesses grow and scale.

Here in Minnesota, Treasury’s CDFI Fund has provided more than $2.8 billion in awards to CDFIs, including $11 million to the Neighborhood Development Center.

And last year, CDFI Fund award recipients provided nearly $14 billion in financing to 150,000 businesses across the nation.

We have seen the three strongest years for new businesses on record—with over 18 million in new business applications since the President took office.

However, more is needed. Even with a growing number of certified CDFI entities, CDFI Fund programs have on average 3 to 5 times more demand than funding levels. So Treasury is working with other state and federal partners to build additional sources of capital and liquidity to support more funding and investment in distressed and underserved communities.

As we continue implementing our medium- and long-term economic agenda, I look forward to working with Senator Klobuchar and other leaders to continue to support CDFIs and businesses here in Minnesota and across the country to increase economic opportunity for all Americans. 


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