Tuesday - JUNE 16, 2020

Wednesday - JUNE 17, 2020

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food system businesses

Session overview

This session grounds attendees in the experiences of CDFI borrowers in food system businesses (farms, food processing, food transportation, grocery stores, farmers markets). How have these businesses been hit by the pandemic and unfolding economic crisis? How have they fared so far, and what is their outlook for the next 3-12 months? Presenters and participating CDFIs will share how small business experiences differ by geography and for communities of color, where the impacts of systemic inequality have been laid bare. They will share how they are responding—with loan accommodations, new lending, and technical assistance—and how they are managing risk. Learn from examples of struggling businesses and be inspired by positive examples of businesses that are adapting to social distancing requirements and changed demand to make it work, whether through an original business model or a pivoted model. 


Jamal Habibi

Moderator, Opportunity Finance Network

Christina Jennings

Shared Capital Cooperative

Andrew Jermolowicz

Rural Development, USDA

Olivia Rebanal

Capital Impact Partners

More Than Capital

The Heightened Need for Technical Assistance

Session overview

CDFIs around the country are talking to their clients on a daily basis, helping them address problems that can’t be solved with a loan deferment or a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan. How to reduce costs. How to transition to a fully digital business model. How to adapt products and services and delivery methods to the realities of a COVID-19 environment. This session looks at the challenges of ramping up technical assistance delivery and expertise, and the impact it is having on small businesses.


Jen Sporzynski

Moderator, CEI

Lamont Jackson

BBIF Florida

Inga Mork

Working Solutions

Pete Upton

Native360 Loan Fund

Brenda Weaver

Community Ventures

Inequality in the Pandemic

Entrepreneurs of Color

Session overview

Even before the pandemic, entrepreneurs of color suffered from lack of access to capital. The pandemic has only exacerbated the challenges faced by this large segment of the US small business population. This session focuses on the issues as well as the solutions CDFIs are implementing to help ensure these businesses survive the crisis and share equally in the recovery. 


Jessica Fulton

Moderator, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Ron Busby

US Black Chambers

Noel Poyo

National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB)

Yanki Tshering

Business Center for New Americans

Economic Outlook for Small Businesses, Communities, and States

Session overview

What is the economic outlook for small businesses and communities, rural and urban? Why have black and other minority communities been hit so much harder than others? Experts in small business and community economics will explain the crisis to date, and possible scenarios of what lies ahead. Can communities and small businesses look to state and local governments for assistance and support? A state fiscal policy authority will explain the interaction between state and federal policies, the effect the crisis is having on state revenues, and the differences region to region and state to state.


John Holdsclaw IV

Moderator, National Cooperative Bank

Michael Leachman

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Chi Mac

JPMorgan Chase Institute

Diane Standaert

Hope Enterprise Corporation

NEw Lending

Underwriting and Credit Risk Management in Uncertain Times

Session overview

As the pandemic and economic impacts continue with no clear end in sight, CDFIs are figuring out how to underwrite new loans in a very uncertain time. Members of the Microfinance Impact Collaborative have been grappling with this issue for several months. They will share how they are approaching new underwriting, planning to manage the risk, and what they will need from funding partners if they are to be successful. The primary focus of this session is small business loans of up to $50,000, most of which are not heavily collateralized.


Joyce Klein

Moderator, Business Ownership Initiative, The Aspen Institute

Anthony (Tony) Giuliano

Opportunity Fund

Francisco Lopez


Nelly Rojas-Moreno


Portfolio Credit Risk Management

Session overview

As the world continues to reel from the unprecedented health and economic crisis, small business CDFIs are reassessing credit risk at the loan and portfolio levels, modeling and stress testing portfolio performance, and working to mitigate risk. Join us to hear how peer CDFIs are thinking about the pandemic, economic aftershocks, and the recession. Has the crisis caused these CDFIs to revisit their loan monitoring or risk rating systems? Are they adjusting their allowance for loan losses and/or setting aside additional cash reserves? How is your CDFI managing portfolio credit risk in these uncertain times? Join the conversation to find out how other CDFIs are modeling, stress testing, and mitigating portfolio credit risk.


Paige Chapel

Moderator, Aeris

Karen Seabury

Moderator, Aeris

Joshua Brackett

Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc.

Keona N. Cowan

Invest Detroit

Gustavo Lasala




Session overview

Through perseverance and proof, CDFIs have made gains on the federal policy front. When CDFIs were given the opportunity to make PPP loans, smaller businesses were able to access the program and the average loan size fell. They’ve been approved to participate in the Federal Reserve’s PPP Liquidity Facility. And a $1 billion appropriation request for CDFI Fund funding is in full play. Join OFN policy experts for an update on federal policy and a discussion of key initiatives going forward. 


Dafina Williams

Moderator, Opportunity Finance Network

Jon Cardinal

Director of Economic Development for Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer

Alison Feighan

The Feighan Team

Bill Manger

Chief of Staff and Associate Administrator, US Small Business Administration



Session overview

Private sector support is critical to CDFIs’ long-term sustainability. Be it banks, philanthropy, corporations, or other impact investors, these entities provide needed debt and equity. Since the COVID-19 crisis hit in the spring, these entities have responded with relief through modified grant and loan terms, new debt for emergency and PPP loans, and new grants. Now that we are moving from relief to recovery and rebuilding, how is the private sector thinking about the next year or two? How are they adapting to the reality that CDFIs will be lending in a time of prolonged economic uncertainty, when no one knows if their small business clients will make it or not? CDFIs—and their small business clients—are counting on the private sector to be with them through this journey and into the long-term.


Amir Kirkwood

Moderator, Opportunity Finance Network

Jeanique Druses

JPMorgan Chase & Co

Leslie Lindo

Candide Group

Stephen Nunes

Next Street

Megan teare

Wells Fargo



Session overview

Some state and local governments have been collaborating with CDFIs for years. These collaborations tend to spike after natural disasters, when governments turn to CDFIs to help deliver relief and recovery programs. The national COVID-19 crisis has spawned new municipal- and state-CDFI partnerships across the country, raising the visibility of CDFIs as financial first responders for the most vulnerable businesses. This session looks at 3 partnerships—how they came to be, what they include, and their prospects for living on through the economic recovery and beyond.


Harold Pettigrew

Moderator, Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif)

Ruben Alonso III


David Langlieb

New Jersey Community Capital

Wilson Lester

Piedmont Business Capital


Session overview

As each CDFI looks to the future and the sustainability of its business model, many are considering joint lending or loan sales to share risk and/or increase liquidity. Veterans of subordinate lending, participations, and co-lending will share best practices and stories from the trenches. CDFIs that have sold individual loans or loan portfolios will provide tips on pricing and other terms, how to handle loan servicing, and keeping mission front and center.


Andrea Longton

Moderator, Opportunity Finance Network

Bob Porter

PCV (Pacific Community Ventures)

Rosa Rios Valdez

BCL of Texas

Anna Tefft

Natural Capital Investment Fund


Session overview

Stormy seas are ahead and savvy CDFIs are trimming sales and battening down the hatches. This session will discuss the pluses and minuses of a range of strategies that could strengthen your organization, including partnering with other CDFIs, contracting for back room and other services, and even merging. What special value would your CDFI bring to such a collaboration? What might you seek from others? Peer veterans and other experts will share how they assessed options, why they chose the strategy they did, and how it turned out.


George Surgeon

Moderator, GSJ Advisors, Ltd.

Frank Altman

Community Reinvestment Fund, USA

Donna Gambrell

Appalachian Community Capital

Adam Zimmerman