The Coalition for Responsible Business Finance (CRBF) and the Innovative Lending Platform Association (ILPA) announced plans to join forces today. The two will operate together as the ILPA and will represent the online lending companies serving small businesses. Members include OnDeck, Kabbage, CAN Capital, Breakout Capital, Enova International's The Business Backer, PayNet and Orion First Financial. The newly-expanded association is designed to promote responsible lending and increased access to capital for Main Street small businesses. The group will also focus on advancing standards within the alternative lending industry, pushing for more cross-industry solutions to promote transparency and improved access to capital. In October, the ILPA introduced the SMART Box (Straightforward Metrics Around Rate and Total cost), a tool for pricing disclosure and comparison launched in partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). The SMART Box is designed to help small businesses assess and compare finance options. "It is critical that these and other responsible lenders come together to advance initiatives like SMART Box," said Connie Evans, president and chief executive officer of the AEO. "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.” The CRBF Advisory Board, comprised of Individuals from leading national small business organizations, is also joining forces with the ILPA. Board members will provide input into the group’s best practices and include 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 AEO. "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 of OnDeck. The CRBF launched in January 2016, focused on creating a code of ethics for the non-bank small business financing industry. The code, which outlines responsible and transparent business practices for providers, customers and policymakers, will be expanded and leveraged by the ILPA moving forward.