Fronteras: ‘Latinos Are Hit First And Worst’—Federal Support Falls Short For Minority-Owned Business | Texas Public Radio

Fronteras: ‘Latinos Are Hit First And Worst’—Federal Support Falls Short For Minority-Owned Business

May 1, 2020

About 70% of Latino-owned businesses who completed applications for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program never received any funding before the pot was depleted in less than two weeks.

Representatives of three national Latino organizations explain how they’re stepping up to provide support and are lobbying to get future funds secured exclusively for minority-owned businesses. 

 

Major banks responsible for distributing PPP funds have come under criticism for disproportionately approving loans for big corporations over small businesses. Particularly, businesses owned by women and minorities had significantly lower approval rates for loans.

A survey conducted by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce found that JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America accepted only 12% of Latino applicants. Wells Fargo accepted no applications from those surveyed.

Congress has since replenished the PPP funds with an additional $310 billion, which became available as of April 27.

While Latino advocacy organizations continue to lobby for more funding for Latino-owned businesses, they say the coronavirus has exposed inequities in our nation’s healthcare system and financial institutions.

Ramiro Cavazos, president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Domingo Garcia, national president of LULAC; and Orson Aguilar, principal with UnidosUS — one of the largest Latino advocacy organizations in the U.S. — explain why the pandemic has so strongly impacted Latinos and other communities of color.

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter @NormDog1 and Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter @terrazas_lauren.

TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.