NBA legend turned social entrepreneur, Magic Johnson, has committed to providing $100 million in capital to fund small business loans through the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). His companies, Magic Johnson Enterprises and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, have partnered with a New Jersey-based lender called MBE Capital Partners that specializes in financing minority and women-owned businesses.
In total, his investment will fund loans for about 5,000 small businesses.
The former LA Lakers great reportedly has launched the initiative to help the many Black and minority-owned small businesses that were overlooked during the first round of loans that the U.S. government launch. Many who applied never even heard anything regarding their application.
“What we’re launching here now is so important because we’re going to save a lot of small, minority businesses because they can’t just walk into the bank and get that loan,” Johnson said.
Black and minority communities in the U.S. have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Major cities like New York City, Chicago, and Detroit have all seen higher African American death rates because of the virus. Even worse, their local business communities have been shattered leaving many Black entrepreneurs with no other option but to shut their enterprises.