New law provides better access to credit | Washington

OLYMPIA – Small businesses in rural and underserved communities will have greater access to credit to create, expand or update their products and services under a new state law.

House Bill 1015 was sponsored by Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic, passed by the Legislature, and signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee.

The bill creates the Fair Access to Credit Program within the state Department of Commerce to provide grants to qualified lending institutions, which would then provide access to credit to small businesses. The bill also creates a business and occupation tax credit for contributions made to the program.

Maycumber first introduced the bill in the 2021 legislative session. It passed the House but did not come to a vote in the Senate. During this year’s session, the bill passed the House and the Senate unanimously 46-2.

She called the legislation a much-needed economic boost for small rural businesses that have been hit particularly hard during the pandemic.

“The pandemic has set back many small rural and tribal businesses,” Maycumber said. “Our rural economies are taking longer to recover and anything we can do to encourage economic growth needs to be considered. Entrepreneurs and small businesses are key to bringing economic stability to rural and underserved communities. This new law will provide more opportunities for economic success.