Just Economy Conference – May 11, 2021
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was intended to staunch the bleeding of America’s small businesses. But in disbursing PPP loans, the SBA relied on the biggest banks to get money into the hands of their existing customers. The result was that big businesses received more than half of the funds, while many small businesses were left out. This problem was compounded for low-income communities and communities of color.
By overlooking non-traditional financiers—like CDFIs, minority depository institutions and others—government relief efforts missed a huge opportunity to reach the small businesses most in need. Fortunately, the flawed rollout of the PPP put non-traditional lenders in the spotlight and made people get creative.
This session will cover why PPP was flawed, attempts to make it more accessible and what kinds of partnerships and innovative programs were created to help fill the capital void for the small businesses struggling the most. A number of new models have arisen that may continue to be used long-term to provide small business owners, particularly those that are unbanked or underserved by traditional financial institutions, with capital to survive and grow. This panel brings together thought leaders in these various sectors to talk about these new partnerships and models and how they may create opportunities for a more equitable lending landscape in the future.