By Richard Gumbrecht


I hope you had a safe and peaceful weekend as many of us celebrated the Passover and Easter holidays and found some respite from the crisis in our friends, families and communities.  Events continue to unfold at a rapid pace, and I’d like to bring you up to speed on what our association is doing to analyze and share information and influence outcomes to support our collective interests.  Our priority remains to attend to the well-being of our SFNet community and to fulfill our mission of putting capital to work. 

On the legislative and regulatory front, we have focused our Advocacy resources on three imperatives.

  • Leveraging the CARES Act. Last week an additional $250B was pledged to the already oversubscribed Paycheck Protection Program. SFNet and our volunteers, in alignment with the AFA, ELFA, ASEA and other trade associations, are petitioning legislators to simplify execution challenges, modify affiliation rules and extend eligibility to financial services companies under PPP. Our positions on these matters can be found at SFNet.com. We encourage all members to reach out to your elected officials and the Fed, Treasury and SBA to reinforce our needs.
  • Shaping the implementation of the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP). Late last week the Treasury and Federal Reserve released the framework of the highly anticipated MSLP. This new round of assistance provides $600MM of liquidity to backstop loans to mid-sized and small business borrowers through participating banks. SFNet sees further opportunities to enhance the measure and is preparing a response to the guidance within the comment period that ends April 16th.
  • Supporting our multi-national community.In the UK we are working with SFNet members to understand and respond to a new Moratorium the government has announced to modify existing insolvency laws that would allow distressed borrowers an extended period to explore rescue options that could affect secured creditor rights.

To keep everyone equipped with essential Information and Insights, we have concentrated on development and deployment of new resources.

  • Establishing our COVID-19 Resource Tab on SFNet.com. This section is broken down by legislative issues and guidance, practical interpretations and other categorized resources.Our website is updated daily, so check for new reference tools and expert articles.We also have created a Discussion Group Portal to facilitate the exchange of information by topic and cohort group.
  • Incorporating new digital content in The Secured Lender and TSL Express and pivoting the print magazine for home delivery.
  • Presenting our Crucial Conversation Webinars. Registrations have climbed to over 1,000 participants as we continue to provide timely forums on the most critical issues.

We are indebted to our committee leaders and volunteers for their countless hours of research, analysis and advise while they struggle with their own companies’ challenges.  Living in the NYC area where so many are suffering, I have seen several of my own family members contract the virus and, thankfully, recover.  Consider it a hopeful window on what is to come: crisis followed by renewal. I am moved by the way we have come together as a community to address these difficulties and confident we will continue to lead the way forward. 

 


About the Author

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Richard Gumbrecht is CEO of the Secured Finance Network.