Retired NBA star Magic Johnson has announced that his life insurance company, EquiTrust Life Insurance Co., will provide $100 million in funding for loans to minority- and women-owned small businesses. The loans will be offered through EquiTrust’s partnership with MBE Capital Partners and as part of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). MBE specializes in lending to businesses owned by women and minorities.
MBE’s chief executive Rafael Martinez said the money will be used for the 5,000 loans already approved by his company. Martinez also said he received complaints from clients who were not able to get PPP loans. Johnson added that they knew that the PPP fund has been exhausted and why the money could not trickle down to small businesses.
It is worth mentioning that minorities and women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis. African Americans accounted for the highest percentage of COVID-19 deaths in several cities including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. While women accounted for 55% of the 20.5 million job loss in April.