U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces First Participating New York Bank in DOT Short Term Lending Program

Program helps provide level playing field for small and disadvantaged businesses

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that Carver Federal Savings Bank will become the first participating New York lender in the U.S. Department of Transportation's Short Term Lending Program (STLP). Secretary LaHood was joined by Carver Federal Savings Bank Chairman and CEO Deborah Wright. The bank is the largest African-American operated bank in the United States and the only participating lender in New York.

The program, administered by the USDOT Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, is designed to help small and disadvantaged businesses gain access to the financing they need to compete for transportation-related contracts, such as American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 (ARRA) projects. Under STLP, the DOT guarantees up to $750,000 in loans with participating lenders for small & disadvantaged businesses. The loan guaranty provides a revolving line of credit for work on transportation related contracts.

"Today's announcement is another example of the Obama Administration's commitment to helping minority-owned small businesses realize the American dream and contribute to making our transportation systems even better," said Secretary LaHood. "Working with trusted partners like Carver Bank, we'll make sure that entrepreneurs who work hard get the help they've earned to succeed and grow - and keep America working."

The partnership with DOT continues Carver's long history of service to the small business community. Carver was founded in 1948 to serve African-American communities whose residents, businesses, and institutions had limited access to mainstream financial services.

"Carver is delighted to support Secretary Ray LaHood of the United States Department of Transportation, and the Obama Administration, in their quest to expand jobs for Americans," said Deborah C. Wright, Chairman and CEO of Carver Bancorp, Inc. "As a community bank, first and foremost, we are honored to be selected as the first New York bank to participate in the DOT's Short Term Lending Program, which is designed to make new loans available to small and historically disadvantaged businesses who receive transportation-related contracts, some of which are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Carver is an experienced lender to small businesses in our neighborhoods. We therefore know firsthand the central importance that financing plays in allowing small businesses to compete for new business, and therefore grow, create jobs and build wealth for individuals and their communities. The role of small businesses in creating high quality and enduring jobs is central to the American dream, and we are grateful to the Obama Administration and Secretary LaHood for their recognition of the importance of small businesses in underserved communities."

U.S. Rep. Towns, Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said, "I would like to congratulate Transportation Secretary LaHood and the Obama Administration for entering into this historic agreement with Carver Federal Savings Bank. The agreement between Carver Federal Savings Bank and the Department of Transportation marks a tremendous opportunity for minority owned businesses, not just in Brooklyn but across the region. Since becoming chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I have devoted much of my attention to ensuring that Recovery Act funds are allocated to areas and businesses most in need. I have done this against the grim backdrop of an economic recession that has been particularly hard on minority communities. Today's announcement should provide much-needed access to capital for minority businesses, which will lead to more jobs."

"We really can't thank Carver and the Department of Transportation enough for providing yet another good model on how the public and private sector can work together and do something now to get our local communities back on their feet. This short term lending program will allow small businesses and entrepreneurs hardest hit by the current economic crisis to access the millions that are being pumped into local economies by the Obama Administration's stimulus program," said U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel. "This is what responsible community banking is all about. I encourage more of our banking institutions to follow Carver's lead and find ways to help small and disadvantaged business raise the financial capital necessary to compete for contracts that will not just maintain jobs, but expand employment opportunities in all communities."

The US DOT's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization was created as part of the Small Business Act (SBA) to ensure that small and disadvantaged businesses are provided maximum practicable opportunity to participate in the agency's contracting process. For more information on OSDBU programs visit: http://osdbuweb.dot.gov/index.cfm