How do minority companies recover without PPP loans?



For many small business owners, PPP loans from the federal government have been a lifesaver.

The payroll protection money was timely and ideal for many people.

That is, for many white people. Many black and Hispanic businesses did not receive these payments.

And if you haven’t received any of the 11.8 million PPP loans approved nationwide, you’ve probably tried to get a traditional bank loan or grant to support your small business or non-profit organization. It is still difficult if you are a colored person.

Carol Reese is a small business coach and strategist based in Richmond, Virginia.

“My granddaughter is nine. I wish that when she becomes a young girl, she can go to any financial institution and get a loan based on what she has done, not a complex credit system that is no longer designed for minorities or people of color, ”said Carol Reese. … , CEO of ReeSources Inc.

Reese’s job is to keep the small business in business by helping modernize the front and back office, but during the pandemic, when it was time for her to get some help, it didn’t come.

“I didn’t get money from PPPs,” she said.

One problem: The PPP loan was designed to fund wages, and most black businesses have few, if any, employees.

I met Carol Reese earlier this month in the quaint village of Pinehurst, North Carolina. I heard that there is golf and deals are being made. We participated in an online leadership conference sponsored by the National Institute for Minority Economic Development.

We socially distanced ourselves on the porch in rocking chairs, discussing why so many black businesses haven’t survived the pandemic and what can be done about it.

Vicky Lee Parker-High, chief executive of the North Carolina Business Council, joined us on the porch.

“We can no longer use old myths and excuses; ‘this is a bad investment’ or ‘black companies have no experience, they have no credit,’ said Parker-High.

“PPP was an equal playing field. There was no credit report they had to give up. There were no other criteria besides filing an application … So, these numbers should have been equal. You were not going to judge them by these standard criteria. It clearly shows us and tells us a story that we as blacks have seen for a long, long time, that you are treated differently because of your skin color. “

Parker-High said the North Carolina Business Council received both rounds of PPP loans thanks to those she knew in the financial sector.

“Let’s be clear that I am a black woman, but they were white. We’ve known each other for many years, ”said Parker-High. “I know it can seem difficult at times, but we have to get used to talking to people. Blacks have to get used to talking to people who are not like them. “

Reese said that in the future she wants the race questions to be removed from small business loan applications.

“It’s another matter, I want the business to scale based on what they do, not what you think they can’t do,” Reese said. “I want us to be one people.”


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