Dear Supporters,

It feels like such a long time ago that the stay at home order was declared, schools were closed, businesses shuttered, and we saw our own normal operations swiftly shift to high-demand, touch-free, and remote procedures. Our state has moved forward since these mandates and Ohioans are trying to create some sense of normalcy within this chaotic period in our American history. Despite the national pandemic, protests continue to fight for change and equitable practices within our country and government systems, leaving HFLA of Northeast Ohio to confront a very important question:

What do we do to fight for change and equitable practices within the region we serve?

As staff and board members, we have an idea where to start, but we want to hear the input of our supporters, our clients, and our entire Northeastern Ohio community.

HFLA’s interest-free financing options are available to those who are unable to access conventional forms of financing. This inability to access bank or credit union loans is often due to systemic barriers that prevent those circling poverty from achieving financial security. Some of the most underserved populations in our country in terms of access to finance and capital are African Americans and Latinx communities.

Within our Northeast Ohio region, HFLA’s loan disbursement includes 52% to Black/African Americans individuals and 9% to Latinx borrowers. HFLA has smaller percentages of loans going to other demographic groups, including 3% to borrowers of Middle Eastern descent, 2% to Asian/Pacific Islander, and 2% to two or more races. Our business loan portfolio is made up of 62% business owners/entrepreneurs of color and 42% of all business loans are made to BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) women (data retrieved August 2020).

HFLA has always served those who were left without equitable financial resources. Whether that means serving European immigrants in the early 1900s, or serving communities struggling to overcome economic barriers today.

This fall, on October 21st, 2020, we will take a step towards confronting the systemic inequities in the financial system with an online panel discussion with area leaders titled:

Fostering Economic Equity: Fixing the Racial Imbalance in Consumer Finance

Please stay connected with us as we provide more information and updates. This will be an honest and enlightening discussion on what the current situation is and what changes can be made to make a better future for all Northeast Ohioans.

Together we can replant Northeast Ohio.

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