Our Massachusetts campaign got a mention in this look at how the US public banking movement continues to grow through its commitment to responding to the needs of neighborhoods, cities and towns, and small business. Reporter Carey L. Biron, writing for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, notes that last year, the U.S. saw 18 new public bank bills, including Massachusetts’ S665/H1223.
As in other states, our bill is designed to address the finance gap faced by newer and smaller businesses, especially those owned by BIPOC entrepreneurs and women. A public bank can be a lifeline for businesses looking for smaller loans, or in the case of agriculture, loans that do not have to be repaid as quickly as those made by federal programs. Mass Public Banking co-chair Ruth Caplan points out that farmers “need low-cost capital to acquire farmland, and they can’t get the loans they need.” Mass Public Banking’s bill calls for $200 million in capitalization for a bank that would make small farms a priority in lending.