Magic Johnson – $100 Million in Loans for Minority-owned Businesses

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Responding to the lack of federal help for entrepreneurs of color, former National Basketball Association (NBA) all-star and majority owner of EquiTrust Magic Johnson and Rafael Martinez, the majority owner of  MBE Capital Partners, announced they will provide $100 million in business loans.

Recognizing that the PPP left many small business owners of color out in the cold, Martinez and Johnson decided to fill the void left by the federal government.

“I built my business in urban America, in the inner city and I was once one of those small business owners. So, I know how important it is to keep those employees working, keep those Black and Brown people working in those small businesses in our community.”

“And we can’t afford to let these people lose their businesses who have been working so hard to build their business and we want to help them grow their business and have scale, because that’s what’s important. Because if they get scale, then they can hire more people and the more people working the better for our community; because we know how high unemployment is in our community and this virus really affected our community in two different ways—health-wise as well as financial wise.”

 Magic Johnson

“We want to make sure that everybody understands this is a call to action. This money is not going to wait for anybody.  So, it’s there, we’re doing our job, and there’s a lot more to be done”

“Our goal with Magic and the teams is really to reach 100,000 businesses. So, we need action yesterday, not tomorrow or next week. Nobody is going to wait for us.”

Rafael Martinez

The Federal Stimulus Survey Findings study, conducted from April 30 to May 12, showed that Black and Latinx business owners are worried about the issues that Johnson mentioned.

Below are some reasons you may have not applied for federal government relief or assistance

I am not eligible for these programs 32.
I did not think I would be approved for these programs 26.
The application process was too difficult 14.
I was not aware these programs existed 14.
The application process was too long 5.
Other 4.

These concerns include not receiving federal assistance to prevent layoffs, being unable to suspend foreclosures until the crisis ends, attaining financial assistance to help them pay salaries and other business expenses, and putting a pause on negative credit hits.

How has COVID-19 affected your full-time employees?

I have reduced the number of hours for my full-time employee(s) work 44.
I have laid off my full-time employee(s) 21.
I have reduced the wages of my full-time employee(s) 14.
I have given paid sick days or paid family medical leave to employees who need it 13.
I have increased the number of hours for my full-time employee(s) 8.
I have increased the wages of my full-time employee(s) 6.
I have furloughed my full-time employee(s) 5.
I have hired additional full-time employee(s) 2.