NEW YORK, March 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Innovative Lending Platform Association (ILPA) and the Coalition for Responsible Business Finance (CRBF) today announced they are joining forces and will now operate as the ILPA – the leading trade organization representing a diverse group of online lending and service companies serving small businesses. Joining ILPA's existing members, OnDeck® (NYSE: ONDK), Kabbage® and CAN Capital, are CRBF member companies Breakout Capital, Enova International's The Business Backer™, PayNet and Orion First Financial. United by a shared commitment to the health and success of small businesses in America, the newly expanded ILPA is dedicated to advancing best practices and standards that support responsible innovation and access to capital for small businesses.
In addition, leading national small business organizations that formerly served as the CRBF Advisory Board will now represent small business customers as formal advisors to the ILPA. The Advisory Board includes individuals from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the National Small Business Association (NSBA), the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and new representatives from the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). These small business organizations have provided key input into the collective group's best practices and standards initiatives over the past year, ensuring that the needs of their small business constituents are addressed.
The expanded ILPA remains committed to advancing online small business lending education, advocacy and best practices. In October, the ILPA introduced the SMART Box™ (Straightforward Metrics Around Rate and Total cost), a first-of-its-kind model pricing disclosure and comparison tool launched in partnership with the AEO. The SMART Box is focused on empowering small businesses to better assess and compare finance options and is now available for broader adoption by lending platforms. More details can be found at: http://innovativelending.org/smart-box/
As a leading voice for responsible business funding, CRBF launched in January 2016 with the mission to create a concrete code of ethics for the industry and to educate policymakers on the value of non-bank small business financing. The organization outlined responsible and transparent business practices for both providers as well as customers, and the expanded ILPA has leveraged that work to formulate an updated industry Code of Ethics that will guide the ILPA moving forward.
The expansion of the ILPA follows a period of broad stakeholder engagement and a demonstrated shared commitment to serving small businesses. With this unification, the cross-industry effort to bring innovative and responsible solutions to improve access to capital for Main Street small businesses continues to gain momentum.
"Fostering responsible innovation and empowering small businesses to better assess and compare finance options are priorities for the ILPA. We are delighted to join forces with the CRBF as we work together to advance small business online lending education, advocacy and best practices," said Noah Breslow, Chief Executive Officer, OnDeck. "We are proud to be part of this growing cross-sector effort to help improve capital access on behalf of small businesses across the United States."
"The combination of these leading organizations represents a landmark moment in the industry, signifying how major players in the small business lending space are increasingly aligned on values and best practices that benefit small businesses," said Carl Fairbank, founder and chief executive officer, Breakout Capital. "Founded on the fundamental principles of responsible lending, education and transparency, Breakout Capital is thrilled to partner with other premier players in the industry who share our vision and believe that a unified industry voice can promote small business success more effectively. "As a founding member company of CRBF, The Business Backer is thrilled with the merger between the CRBF and the ILPA," said Jim Salters, president of The Business Backer and CRBF Advisory Board member. "The move creates an even larger platform of industry leaders with a common voice to help ensure small businesses have access to honest and transparent funding sources."
"The ILPA was launched as a self-regulatory exercise and is focused on empowering small businesses with clear and transparent ways to compare financing options," said Rob Frohwein, co-founder and chief executive officer of Kabbage. "Kabbage and the ILPA are excited to join with the CRBF in order to advance ubiquitous industry standards. Together, we are eager to continue working with regulators and policymakers to expand small businesses' ability to easily access technology-driven financing products."
"Access to capital is a high priority for America's small businesses. As our economy grows, small business owners need diverse sources of capital to hire new employees and expand their businesses. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauds the innovative capital providers in the ILPA for their dedication to fueling growth on Main Street," said Tom Sullivan, vice president, small business, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"CAN Capital has been a supporter of transparency throughout our 19 year history, and we are excited to see the ILPA expand as it continues to support small business owners," said Parris Sanz, chief executive officer of CAN Capital.
"Small business lending continues to be stubbornly elusive for many small firms and what we need is not just more lending, but better lending options," said Todd McCracken, National Small Business Association president and chief executive officer. "This merger will expand on efforts to connect small business with a variety of fair and responsible lending resources."
"We are excited to be part of an organization whose purpose is to create a vibrant, healthy, small business lending marketplace that serves the engine of the U.S. economy – small businesses," said David Schaefer, chief executive officer of Orion First Financial. "As a loan servicer to small business lenders, we are particularly enthusiastic that the ILPA is embracing a diverse membership and participation from small business associations through its Advisory Board."
"SBE Council looks forward to partnering with the expanded ILPA to continue advocating for the innovative and responsible sources of funding to which entrepreneurs and small businesses need access," said Karen Kerrigan, president and chief executive officer of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.
"It is critical that these and other responsible lenders come together to advance initiatives like SMART Box," said Connie Evans, president/chief executive officer of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity. "The time is ripe for united voices and action to give more people the opportunity and the tools to realize a brighter future for their businesses."
Together, the members of the expanded ILPA have provided access to more than $14 billion dollars in capital to small businesses to help drive growth and hiring.
SOURCE On Deck Capital, Inc.; Innovative Lending Platform Association