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Small Business Package Still Leaves Business Owners of Color Out In The Cold

Thursday, April 23, 2020
Ashley Harrington

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a small business package that the U.S. Senate approved by unanimous consent earlier this week. The bill aims to replenish funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the loan program designed to help struggling small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 crisis.

In the bill, lawmakers agreed to appropriate $310 billion to the PPP, which ran out of its initial funding capacity last week. Unfortunately, like the initial PPP funding, most of these new funds will continue to go to larger, wealthier and less diverse businesses leaving smaller businesses owners of color excluded from the program.

Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Federal Advocacy Director Ashley Harrington released the following statement ahead of today’s bill passage:

It’s already clear that this new money will be quickly exhausted with most of the funds going to companies who are already on the waiting list and are similar to those who got the first round of loans. It’s this type of dealing that perpetuates the racial wealth gap and breeds public resentment and distrust.

Business owners of color, including immigrant business owners and workers who use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to pay their taxes, employ more than 8.7 million Americans and generate more than $1.38 trillion dollars to the overall economy. Additionally, returning citizens that are now business owners should be included as part of the PPP as they have already paid their debts to society and are helping to make our economy stronger. We can’t afford to leave these businesses out in the cold.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza can fix this bill after it is signed into law by setting aside $10 billion dollars for Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions, as they have the strongest track record of serving small businesses of color and ensure the proper data collection and transparency on which businesses are getting taxpayer dollars.

We also urge the House and Senate to immediately get to work on another bill that ensures relief for business owners of color.

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Press Contact: ricardo.quinto@responsiblelending.org