In several informal polls on my Facebook pages I asked the same question: “Do you know of any Black owned business that got a COVID stimulus SBA Payroll Protection Program Loan?”
Some expressed optimism that the grim shutoff of the money spigot to Black businesses might change with the House passage of an added 3 trillion-dollar stimulus package.
There is much justified finger pointing at the SBA, Treasury officials, corporate and bank lobbyists for lax to non-existent oversight, lax rules on who could get the money, and for earmarking far too much of the half trillion business in loans to major corporations.
Countless surveys by business groups, federal regulators, and watchdog groups have produced reams of figures to show that despite the PR lip service lenders pay to wanting to loan to small businesses, the paltry number of loans they make annually to small, and especially minority businesses have remained frozen over the past decade.
The colossal failure of COVID relief packages to make the survival of Black and minority businesses the priority has been yet another monumental COVID tragedy.