During the coronavirus pandemic, people of color have been hit the hardest, disproportionately, the African American community. The federal government has done little to nothing to help the African American community, with a “you’re on your own” approach toward many of the states.
There was a $650 billion Paycheck Protection Program supposed to keep small businesses from closing while helping those businesses pay their employees during this pandemic. However, it failed to take care of minority-owned businesses while giving out billions of dollars to large corporations, one of them being the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the Lakers did the right thing and returned the money.
That led to the Lakers’ greatest point guard of all-time, Magic Johnson, to donate $100 million in loans to those left behind from the government’s program. Magic told the Wall Street Journal,
“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,”
A survey was recently done by Color of Change and Unidos US that showed only 12 percent of the African American and Latino small business owners who applied for loans in the $650 billion program received the funds they applied for, according to the New York Times.
The $100 million loan will be disbursed through Johnson’s EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, and a lending institution that specializes in financing businesses owned by women and minorities in New Jersey called MBE Capital Partners.