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.