The Center for Public Integrity, December 11, PPP Loans Were supposed to Prioritize Low-income Areas During The Pandemic. They Didn’t.
Congress wanted the U.S. Small Business Administration to ensure that PPP loans prioritized small businesses in “underserved” markets, a term that includes low-income communities, rural areas and businesses owned by people of color, women and veterans. But the SBA’s inspector general warned in early May that it could find no evidence the SBA told lenders to do that. By the time the agency sent a memo to that effect in mid-June, nearly all the loans had been issued.
Advocates and lenders heard many stories from small business owners who couldn’t get help or basic information from their bank during the early part of the PPP.
The National Community Reinvestment Coalition said it found unequal treatment during its “mystery shopper” tests of national and regional banks, in which pairs of testers with similar financial profiles but different races asked for small-business assistance.