Center for Health Journalism: Coronavirus Files: POC miss out on business loans; vaccine plans for the less-than-eager

Center for Health Journalism, May 11, 2021, Coronavirus Files: POC miss out on business loans; vaccine plans for the less-than-eager

Black-, Latinx-, and Asian-owned businesses were much less likely than white-owned ones to benefit from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, according to an in-depth investigation by the Los Angeles Times and Reveal (a platform of the Center for Investigative Reporting). PPP loans were supposed to help small businesses and independent entrepreneurs as well as large corporations, and Congress ordered priority for underserved areas. According to the investigators’ analysis of more than 5 million loans, that didn’t happen.

Banks, overwhelmed by applications, “failed to live up to the goals of a 44-year-old federal law that requires them to equitably serve all communities where they do business,” according to Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a fair-lending group. And Kevin Stein of the California Reinvestment Coalition noted that because business ownership is a key method to build wealth, the effects are likely to ripple through communities of color for generations.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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