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ICYMI: Ranking Member Maxine Waters Honored by U.S. Black Chambers with “2024 Women of Power” Award for Historic Work to Support Women Entrepreneurs

Last week, the U.S. Black Chambers (USBC) honored Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, with the 2024 USBC Women of Power "Power 50" award. This prestigious award highlights exceptional women leaders who have made significant contributions to business, politics, and community development, embodying qualities of excellence, leadership, and dedication to advancing opportunities for women of color. Specifically, USBC acknowledged the Congresswoman’s years-long efforts to advance women's entrepreneurship in Congress.

Throughout her tenure, Congresswoman Waters has been at the forefront of championing women entrepreneurs, particularly in ensuring their access to vital resources. Her leadership has been pivotal in securing equitable initiatives, including capital investments and grants, aimed at driving economic growth and opportunity. Notable accomplishments include:

  • Ensuring equitable relief: During the pandemic when big banks prioritized their wealthy concierge clients, Congresswoman Waters collaborated closely with then Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez to secure a $60 billion set-aside for community financial institutions, including Minority Depository Institutions and Community Development Financial Institutions, to deploy Paycheck Protection Program funds. This initiative ensured that funds reached truly small and underserved businesses, addressing disparities exacerbated by traditional financial institutions.

  • Historic investments for MDIs and CDFIs: Congresswoman Waters worked with Senator Mark Warner to secure a historic $12 billion allocation for CDFIs and MDIs, with the potential to leverage over $100 billion in new lending to support communities. These investments played a crucial role in supporting black small businesses during the pandemic and ensuring an equitable recovery.

  • Providing technical assistance for small businesses: Congresswoman Waters led efforts to renew the State Small Business Credit Initiative, providing $10 billion in federal funds to support up to $100 billion in new loans, investments, and technical assistance for small businesses. Additionally, $500 million in funding was allocated for technical assistance, empowering minority-owned and women-owned small businesses with essential guidance such as legal, accounting, and financial advice needed to access funds and grow their businesses.

In light of the ongoing attacks on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Congresswoman Waters remains committed to prioritizing assistance for minority and women-owned businesses, ensuring their opportunity not only to survive but also to thrive and further contribute to the country’s economic prosperity.


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