by Derek Major – Former Los Angeles Lakers guard and team president Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced his life insurance company will provide $100 million for women- and minority-owned small businesses as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
According to Forbes, Johnson was motivated after hearing reports of minority- and women-owned businesses being shut out of the PPP. At the same time, Johnson discovered the Lakers organization applied for and received $4.6 million from the program. The Lakers, worth an estimated $4.6 billion, returned the money after public pressure.
“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. “So this was easy for us to understand.”
MBE’s Chief Executive, Rafael Martinez, said he received complaints from clients who couldn’t get loans from the PPP’s first round of funding. It was later reported that large banks prioritized existing relationships and large corporations before focusing on smaller and minority businesses.
Martinez and Johnson also announced the partnership on MSNBC’s Politics Nation with Al Sharpton.
After feeling ignored in the first round of PPP loans, African American-owned banks and businesses have found ways to team up to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Those interested in applying for the loans from EquiTrust and MBE Capital can apply here.