The Tea: A new piece of federal legislation aims to protect queer-owned businesses from lending discrimination.
- The bicameral bill was introduced by U.S. Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), as well as U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY).
- The bill would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to require the collection of small business loan data related to LGBTQ-owned businesses.
The Specifics: According to a press release from Senator Padilla, the bill will:
- "clarify that Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) requires financial institutions to collect the self-identified sexual orientation and gender identity of the principal owners of small businesses, in addition to their sex, race, and ethnicity."
The Background: Senator Padilla underscored the increase in anti-LGBTQ legislation and hate crimes–as well as the economic impact of queer-owned businesses–as a motivation behind the bill:
“With anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and hate crimes on the rise, LGBTQ+ business owners continue to face persistent and unjust barriers to financial success. LGBTQ+-owned small businesses are a cornerstone of local economies, and they deserve equitable resources to help them grow and thrive." – Senator Alex Padilla.
The Big Picture: LGBTQ business owners struggle to secure business financing
- Queer-owned businesses reported more rejections than non-LGBTQ businesses that applied for funding, according to a 2022 report by nonprofit think tank Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and the Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research (CLEAR).