Should Massachusetts have a small business borrowers bill of rights?

February 16, 2023

Our small business lending committee tackled this question on February 16th with an excellent presentation from the Responsible Business Lending Coalition; New York State CDFI Coalition; and New Jersey Citizen Action. Co-chaired by Ana Hammock of Ascendus and George Drugas of Harbor One Bank, we discussed successful campaigns in New York and California and what it would take to pass similar legislation in Massachusetts.

From the Responsible Business Lending Coalition: The way small businesses borrow money is being transformed. Innovation is creating faster and easier ways to borrow and increasing access to credit in communities that have historically been underserved. However, irresponsible practices have grown as well. The transformation in small business financing that we are experiencing will achieve its potential only if it is built on transparency, fairness, and putting the rights of borrowers at the center of the lending process. This Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights identifies six fundamental financing rights that we believe all small businesses deserve. These rights are not yet protected by law, in most cases. We encourage the entire small business financing industry to join us in upholding these rights.