Small Business Receives An Assist – Magic Johnson Provides $100 Million in Loans

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PHOTO BY: Rafael Amado Deras

A. Haynes | San Diego Voice & Viewpoint

The Paycheck Protection Program has been plagued by questions, especially concerning if the businesses that needed the money most are receiving it. After several large, stable corporations received loans, Congress allocated an additional $310 billion to the program. Still, there are plenty of concerns about where the money is going.

Advocacy groups claim businesses owned by people of color have an obvious disadvantage: the funds are accessed through banks and participating SBA lenders. PoC are less likely to have strong relationships there. In April, The Center for Responsible Lending estimated approximately 95% of black-owned businesses and 91% of Latino-owned businesses were unlikely to receive a PPP loan through a mainstream bank or credit union.
That’s where the Magic stepped in.

Johnson announced that his company, EquiTrust Life Insurance Co., is providing $100 million to fund federal loans for minority and women business owners hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We knew why the money was gone and couldn’t trickle down to small businesses, especially small minority businesses, because they didn’t have those great relationships with the banks,” Johnson told the Wall Street Journal.

EquiTrust will work with MBE Capital Partners (who specialize in loans for minority-owned small businesses) to distribute the money through the Paycheck Protection Program.

“These are incredible businesses, small businesses, that have been the pillar of our community that also employ a lot of black and brown people in our community,” Johnson said on MSNBC.

The goal is to help sustain 100,000 businesses through the pandemic.

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