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Equitable Access to Small Business Credit

October 14, 2021 @ 10:00 am 1:00 pm America/Los Angeles

Woman working in bakery

How can we shore up our financial system to be more inclusive? What role can the Federal Reserve play in facilitating access to credit? Please join the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on Thursday, October 14, 2021 for a virtual event, Equitable Access to Small Business Credit.

In the wake of COVID-19, the strength of our economy will largely depend on the economic recovery of our small businesses. But the uneven distribution of pandemic relief has highlighted the limitations of our current financial system to equitably deploy resources at scale. 

In an effort to increase access to small business credit for underserved communities, including low-income communities and communities of color, the San Francisco Fed is initiating an ongoing effort to dive deeper into the problem, identify possible solutions, and explore the potential options for action. 


10:00 am–10:10 am PT

Welcome and Introduction

Mary C. Daly, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

10:10 am–11:00 am PT

Learning from Small Business Borrowers

Cecil Plummer, President, Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council

Silvia Castro, Executive Director, Suazo Business Center

Chris James, President/CEO, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development 

Bubul Gupta, CEO, Pacific Community Ventures

Kai Rysdall, Host, NPR’s Marketplace Moderator

11:00 am11:20 am PT

Keynote Presentation

Sheila Bair, Former Chair, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

11:20 am11:30 am PT


11:30 am–12:05 pm PT

Understanding the Research on Equitable Access to Small Business Credit

Robert Fairlie, Professor of Economics, University of California, Santa Cruz

Joseph Parilla, Fellow, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program

Ammanuel Zegeye, Partner, McKinsey & Co

Laura Tyson, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Berkeley Moderator

12:05 pm12:55 pm PT

Perspectives from Small Business Lenders

Sonja Wells, Chief Lending Officer, City First Bank

Pearl Wicks, EVP and COO, HOPE Enterprise Corp

Doug Bland, Head of Global Credit, PayPal

Kitty Chen, Head of Retail and Branch Banking, East West Bank

Sean Creehan, Fintech Policy Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Moderator

12:55 pm–1:00 pm PT

Closing Reflection

Mary C. Daly, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

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