Magic Johnson to provide $100 million in loans to minority-owned businesses
Hall of Famer Magic Johnson announced Tuesday that the company for which he owns a majority will be giving a $100 million donation in capital to fund federal loans for minority and women-owned businesses.
EquiTrust Life Insurance Co., of which Johnson has held a majority stake since 2015, , is taking aim at helping the business owners hit hard economically by the coronavirus pandemic. Johnson, the CEO of his own company, Magic Johnson Enterprises, collaborated with MBE Capital Partners to distribute the loans, which will be given through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
Congress' initial allotment of $349 billion for PPP funds in April ran out in two weeks and then an additional $310 billion was approved, including $60 billion designed to help smaller businesses. But African American and Latino-owned businesses have been left out because of poor relationships with banks.
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"This will allow them to keep their employees and keep their doors open,” Johnson told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday. "We have to remember that these businesses have been in urban communities for a long time. They’ve been doing great things, and they probably didn’t have a relationship with the banks when the stimulus package went out. So now, we’re able to say, ‘Hey, you can have a relationship with us.’”
MBE Capital CEO Rafael Martinez said on MSNBC the goal is to help 100,000 businesses in urban communities.
Johnson guided the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles in the 1980s and is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time.
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