Next City: “Mystery Shopper” Experiment Reveals Racial Gap in Small Business Lending

Earlier this year, in a large metropolitan area of the eastern United States, two men walked into the same bank branch on the same day, each at different times of the day.

They each came in with nearly identical business backgrounds and strong credit histories, and they each asked about a small business loan of $60,000-$70,000 to expand their business and to possibly hire a part-time employee. There were some key differences, like each man’s name and their company names — and their race.

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