Suz Mac Cormac and Michael Santos were featured in the Daily Journal’s coverage of The California Rebuilding Fund, a statewide small business loan program developed by a Morrison & Foerster pro bono team.
“What has happened is COVID has furthered the economic divide in this country between the haves and the have nots,” said Suz, who leads the team advising the fund and serves on the fund’s governance and allocation committee. “The people who are getting really hurt the most are the people who are the working classes that are already struggling. They have just been decimated and so I felt like this was the time to act and once I start something I kind of can’t stop.”
She added that the biggest challenge in the fund’s development was the lack of a big funder or backer. “We just picked it up off the floor because nobody else had ever organized this kind of platform for CDFIs [Community Development Financial Institutions] before,” she said. “So I think the fact that we didn’t have a big funder or a big backer, I think that was what made it take a lot longer, but on the flip side it meant it was designed by and for the CDFIs and small businesses. So, I think the advantage was we were then able to build it, before we asked for the money.”
“I think the fund is really trying to address some key issues that we face as a society and it’s one small part, but hopefully it can serve as a precedent or model,” Michael said.