Governor signs Small Business Truth in Lending Act

Staff reports
The Chronicle-Express

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that protects the interests of New York’s small businesses who are taking out loans to survive the coronavirus pandemic and other emergencies. The New York State Small Business Truth in Lending Act, Chapter 369 of the Laws of 2020, helps borrowers by requiring clear and comprehensive disclosures from all lenders.

The NYS Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Coalition has been working with members across the state to build support for this measure since it passed the Assembly and Senate in July.

“As we wait for the Coronavirus vaccine to roll out, New York’s small businesses are struggling to hang on,” said Linda MacFarlane, chair of the NYS CDFI Coalition and Executive Director of the Community Loan Fund of Capital Region. “Unfortunately, some lenders have made it hard for small businesses to compare the true cost of their offers. CDFI Coalition members around the state are pleased to see that this measure will require lenders to disclose annual percentage rate (APR) and repayment terms.”

“CDFIs know too well how harmful predatory lending can be for small businesses, particularly during a crisis,” said Hubert VanTol, president of PathStone Enterprise Center in Rochester and Vice Chair of the NYS CDFI Coalition. “That’s why we’re so pleased that Governor Cuomo signed the NYS Small Business Truth in Lending Act. Now more than ever, New York businesses should be able to trust all lenders to clearly disclose their terms, so borrowers can compare loans on an ‘apples-to-apples’ basis.”

“The NYS Small Business Truth in Lending Act was endorsed by a wide range of lenders and small business advocates,” said Eric S. Levine, Esq., CEO of Alternatives Federal Credit Union in Ithaca and a member of the Coalition. “Fair and honest lenders have nothing to fear regarding transparency and the adoption of standard terms to describe the cost of loans.”  

“The provisions of the New York State Small Business Truth in Lending Act (A.10118 / S.5470b) will help small business owners who are trying to recover from all of the setbacks of 2020,” Coalition Chair MacFarlane continued. “We applaud Governor Cuomo, Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski and Senator Kevin Thomas for their leadership, the NYS Department of Financial Services, the Responsible Business Lending Coalition, and CDFIs around the state who worked to give our small businesses the tools they need to keep their businesses going, support their employees and serve the needs of their communities.”