PPP loans show stark racial divide in Charlotte businesses

PPP loans for minority businesses

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Paycheck Protection Loan information released by the federal government shows that only six business owners who identified as Black received a PPP loan within the City of Charlotte.

While the vast majority of business owners decided not to identify their race in their applications, out of 2,267 businesses, only a small portion were listed as minority-owned.

- 187 identified as White.

- 19 identified as Asian.

- 6 identified as Black.

- 4 identified as Hispanic.

Even before the numbers were released, many elected officials, like Mecklenburg County Commissioner Mark Jerrell, were concerned about the racial divide in access to capital for minority-owned businesses.

“My biggest concern and my biggest fear was that women and minorities would not be well represented in the allocation and distribution of these funds,” Jerrell said.

Mecklenburg County created two different funds for small businesses struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic.

“We have disparities in every other area and so for me I really wanted us to be proactive and aggressive in reducing that disparity that we knew would take place,” Jerrell said.

According to information provided by Mecklenburg County, nearly half of the Small Business Stabilization Loan Fund allocations have gone to minority-owned businesses. However, the county indicated it did not have shareable information on the Microbusiness Stabilization Fund.

Mecklenburg County's Small Business Loan Stabilization Fund.
Mecklenburg County's Small Business Loan Stabilization Fund. (Source: WBTV)
Meckelnburg County's Microbusiness Stabilization Fund.
Meckelnburg County's Microbusiness Stabilization Fund. (Source: WBTV)

Jerrell said the county could still do a better job of making sure small business owners are aware of these programs so that they have access to capital.

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