- Melinda Murphy
$100 million Magic
With the future of small businesses in urban communities at risk, former National Basketball Association great Magic Johnson has stepped in to offer assistance.
The CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises collaborated with MBE Capital Partners to offer $100 million in loans to minority- and women-owned companies hurt by stay-at-home orders due to Covid-19. The loans were funded through Johnson's EquiTrust Life Insurance Company and will be provided through the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program.
"This will allow them to keep their employees and keep their doors open," Johnson told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday.
Congress set aside $349 billion for PPP funds in April as part of a $2 trillion stimulus package, but the money depleted quickly, forcing another round of aid. New funds include $60 billion set aside for small businesses.
But even with new money available, African-American and Latino-owned businesses have been left out of the new PPP funds due to a lack of relationships with bigger banks. Democratic lawmakers including Sen. Kamala Harris of California have even called on the SBA and Treasury Department to ensure minority-owned businesses are not shut out of aid.
But with financial help limited, some businesses are in jeopardy of closing for good.
"We have to remember that these businesses have been in urban communities for a long time," Johnson said. "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.'"