Los Angeles Times: The PPP process was excruciating for some last year. Will it change this time around?

Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2021, The PPP process was excruciating for some last year. Will it change this time around?

With the latest, $285-billion round of Paycheck Protection Program funding, which kicked off Jan. 11, federal officials are aiming to avoid the worst missteps of the previous versions. Small-business owners complained to lawmakers that the Paycheck Protection Program and other aid efforts in Congress’ $2.2-trillion CARES Act were confusing and unfair, and an audit found a potential $3.6 billion went to ineligible borrowers.

Discrimination also may have played a role in preventing funds from getting to small businesses run by people of color and women, said Anneliese Lederer, director of fair lending and consumer protection for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition advocacy organization in Washington. The coalition’s analysis of the program’s loans in the first two rounds found that most of the money went to businesses in wealthy white areas.

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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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