January 27, 2021


A year to recover and rebuild

In my board comments, I’ve often referenced the long arc of history bending towards justice, but that the route is circuitous and littered with detours. This day, January 27th in history, is emblematic of that progress and digression.

While the Paris Peace Accords was signed 48 years ago today, ending the Vietnam War – by far the longest U.S. military conflict to that point, we now find ourselves trying to extricate from the 19-year Afghan war, 2 years longer than Vietnam.

The Muslim travel ban and the suspension of refugee admissions were signed into Executive Orders 4 years ago today. Yet this past week, the travel ban was rescinded and the new administration set a refugee resettlement target at the highest level in 3 decades, back to when Dee Dee was serving in President Clinton’s first year, helping to restore the moral authority of this nation.

76 years ago today, the concentration camps at Auschwitz Birkenau were liberated. Yet the scourge of nationalist extremism and racial supremacy is alive and resurgent.

On this day in 1880, Thomas Edison received a patent for the incandescent lamp, that would go on to light the world. Yet 3 weeks ago today, we experienced the darkest day in the history of the US Capitol – a building built in 1800 that served as a symbol of American democracy, looted and burned down by the British in 1814, rebuilt in even greater glory by 1826 and never again breached until January 6th.

John Adams, the President presiding over our government’s move to Washington, D.C. when the Capitol was opened, famously established that we are a nation of laws not of men – and the laws of this nation came to be in this building.

While the events of January 6th will remain with us forever, so will the impeachment proceedings that will be under way 2 weeks from today in the Senate chambers. The arc has experienced a pronounced bend upward this week and it is up to each of us to keep pushing with everything we have.

A few IBank updates:

Recently our COVID-19 microloan guarantees served it’s 1,000th small business – Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas. Alicia started 20 years ago by making a small batch of tamales at night and selling door-to-door, but by last year, was selling tens of thousands until the pandemic struck. Alicia shared that the loan couldn’t have come at a more important time as it enabled her to stay in business and serve her community.

On January 8th when the Governor announced his budget for the next fiscal year, it included many exciting components for IBank and our customers.
⦁ $50M to recapitalize IBank’s longstanding Small Business Loan Guarantee Program
⦁ $50M to the Small Business Finance Center for the new CA Rebuilding Fund and other initiatives targeting the most underserved small businesses
⦁ $50M to Climate Catalyst for climate-smart agriculture investments
⦁ $47M to Climate Catalyst for wildfire and forest resilience projects
⦁ New initiatives in collaboration with the CA Energy Commission on the Governor’s Zero-Emission Vehicle goals via bond financing and a revolving loan program

2021 is a year to recover and to rebuild for a brighter future. At IBank, we’re ready to go and look forward to working with you to continue bending that arc.

Scott Wu

S. Wu Signature