BY JASON COHEN
The man who was known for his swishing and dishing on the court just made a major assist off of it.
On May 18, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, majority owner of EquiTrust, the nation’s largest minority-owned insurance company, announced a $100 million partnership with MBE Capital Partners (MBECP), the largest certified minority-owned asset-based lender and the National Action Network (NAN). Together, they are focused on distributing Payment Protection Program (PPP) loans geared specifically for minority and women-owned businesses in underserved communities.
According to the Center for Responsible Lending, up to 90 percent of businesses owned by people of color have been, or will likely be, shut out of the PPP program.
“This is a unique SBA-backed opportunity to use the vast resources of EquiTrust’s to prudently provide real and much needed cash to deserving minority and women-owned businesses that find it difficult to secure such funding through traditional means,” said Eric Holoman, president and chief executive officer of EquiTrust. “The jobs saved will make a significant difference to their families and communities. EquiTrust is excited to partner with Rafael Martinez and MBECP to do this and more as we try to level the playing field for businesses that are the backbone of America.”
MBE Capital is an approved SBA lender with over 20 years of experience serving diverse and minority businesses. They can process up to 5,000 loans per day, utilizing end-to-end online technology to accept, underwrite and transmit the applications to the SBA. MBE Capital has already processed over $300,000,000 in PPP loans, including the EquiTrust partnership funding $100,000,000.
MBECP has also partnered with The Enterprise Center (TEC), a community development Financial Institution (CDFI,) providing them with technology and resources to help them process over $100,000,000 in PPP loans. This will allow TEC’s CDFI to process more SBA loans in two weeks that they have in the last 10 years.
With almost $100 billion left in the second round of PPP funding, it is imperative that small businesses are able to secure resources to sustain.
“I contacted EquiTrust, to be an additional strategic partner because I know that EquiTrust believes in changing outcomes for underserved communities the way I do,” said Rafael Martinez, CEO of MBE Capital. “The team at EquiTrust and my direct contact Kenyatta Matheny were incredible, and we put this deal together from first call to contracts in a week.”
He added: “After receiving hundreds of emails and calls from applicants asking if they can receive their PPP loans as soon as possible because this was a last hope to stay open and in some cases to keep food on the tables of their employees I was moved to expand this and look to fund over 20,000 PPP loans for minority companies.”
To apply for a PPP loan or to learn more go to www.MBECP.com.
This story first appeared on bxtimes.com.