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Event Description

The Federal Trade Commission hosted a forum on small business financing on May 8, 2019, to examine trends and consumer protection issues in this marketplace, including the recent proliferation of online loans and alternative financing products.

Small businesses are an integral part of the U.S. economy, and they often need financing in order to operate and grow. While some business owners can secure loans from banks or other traditional lenders, many businesses must turn to alternative sources for capital. In recent years, the online marketplace for small business financing has offered a wide variety of products, including term loans, lines of credit, and cash advances. Though some options may provide unique benefits, such as quicker access to capital, some of these products also raise consumer protection concerns, like high costs and potentially unclear terms. The forum gathered a variety of stakeholders to examine this industry, including the different types of products available to small businesses, the benefits of these products, and possible consumer protection concerns.

The forum, was free and open to the public and was held at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, D.C. It was webcast live on the FTC’s website.

  • 7:45 am

    Registration

    8:30 am

    Introductory Remarks

    Stephanie Rosenthal
    Division of Financial Practices, Federal Trade Commission

    Rohit Chopra, Commissioner
    Federal Trade Commission

     

    8:45 am

    Panel 1: Overview of the Small Business Financing Marketplace

    An introduction to the role of small businesses in the U.S. economy, the types of financing products available to them, the benefits of these products, and recent trends in the financing marketplace.

    Moderators:
    Malini Mithal & Thomas Kost
    Division of Financial Practices, FTC

    Panelists:

    Claire Kramer Mills
    Assistant Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

    Sam Taussig
    Head of Global Policy, Kabbage, Inc.

    Lewis Goodwin
    Banking Lead, Square Capital

    Gwendy Brown
    Vice President of Research & Policy, Opportunity Fund

    Scott Talbott
    Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Electronic Transactions Association

    9:45 am

    Panel 2: Case Study on Merchant Cash Advances

    A closer examination of the merchant cash advance industry and the unique consumer protection issues raised by these products.

    Moderators:
    Jason Adler & Courtney Estep
    Division of Financial Practices, FTC

    Panelists:

    Ami Kassar
    Founder & CEO, Multifunding LLC

    Jared Weitz
    CEO, United Capital Source Inc.

    Scott Crockett
    Founder & CEO, Everest Business Funding

    Jesse Carlson
    Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Kapitus

    Katherine Fisher
    Partner, Hudson Cook, LLP

    11:00 am

    Break

    11:15 am

    Panel 3: Consumer Protection Risks and the Path Ahead

    A broader discussion of the consumer protection risks in the financing marketplace and applicable laws, as well as legislative, self-regulatory, and educational efforts to better protect consumers.

    Moderators:
    Sandhya Brown & Evan Zullow
    Division of Financial Practices, FTC

    Panelists:

    Kỳ-Nam Miller
    Program Director, California Reinvestment Coalition

    Bernardo Martinez
    U.S. Managing Director, Funding Circle

    Barbara J. Lipman
    Project Manager, Division of Consumer & Community Affairs, Federal Reserve Board

    John Arensmeyer
    Founder & CEO, Small Business Majority

    Christin Spradley
    Head of Policy & Senior Associate General Counsel, OnDeck

    Sheri McConville
    Supervisory Program Analyst, U.S. Small Business Administration

    12:30 pm

    Closing Remarks

    Andrew Smith
    Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC

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