NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE’S ADVOCACY
LEADS TO WIDER AVAILABILITY OF PAYCHECK PROTECTION FUNDS
NEW YORK (January 13, 2021) – Expanded aid to minority-owned small businesses, including set-asides and early access for minority depository institutions and community development financial institutions, is the result of “unrelenting pressure,” from the National Urban League, President and CEO Marc H. Morial said today.
“The first round of Paycheck Protection Program loans was a disaster for Black-owned businesses,” Morial said. “Even though Black-owned businesses were the hardest-hit by the pandemic, fewer than 2% of the loans went to Black-owned businesses, compared to 83% to white-owned businesses. We could not allow this inequity to stand.”
The National Urban League worked closely with members of Congress to negotiate a new bill that would specifically target aid to the businesses that need it. Morial credited Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and the members of the Congressional Black Caucus for the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venue Act, which was included in the omnibus spending bill signed last month.
At least $15 billion is being set aside for businesses with 10 or fewer employees and for businesses in low- or moderate-income neighborhoods, Morial said. The Small Business Administration is accepting loan applications only from community financial institutions, including minority-owned institutions.
“It’s well known that minority-owned businesses lack the access to capital for their companies that their white counterparts enjoy,” Morial said. “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, only 1% of Black business owners obtained loans in their founding year, while white business owners were seven times more likely to receive funding.
“I’m optimistic that the changes we fought to include in the program will help to put Black-owned businesses on a more even footing as we work to rebuild a more equitable and inclusive economy,” he added.
The National Urban League will continue to work with the incoming Biden administration to secure targeted funding for Black-owned businesses in the next stimulus package.
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