Paycheck Protection Program Leaves NC’s Small Business Employees Without Health Care 

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new report by Piedmont Rising reveals that North Carolina’s small and minority-owned businesses may not have received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at the same rate as large businesses.

The report highlights that while PPP funding was intended to keep small businesses afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has failed to assist the vast majority of small businesses, including in North Carolina, with a large share of minority-owned businesses left behind. Meanwhile, communities of color are already feeling an overwhelmingly disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic due to inequities in health care access.

Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson released the following statement in response to these findings:

“For North Carolina’s small businesses, every day without access to this PPP funding means more lost jobs on Main Street. North Carolina is facing a health and economic crisis that is not of their making. These small businesses did their due diligence and were ready to respond, but lawmakers like Senator Thom Tillis and Richard Burr failed them.

“Many of these small business owners and their employees are losing their health insurance and access to care during a global pandemic. As we know, the coronavirus pandemic is impacting communities of color at a disproportionate rate. Minority-owned small businesses and the families that rely on them are no exception to this trend within the outcomes of the pandemic, which makes it that much more vital to ensure they get the help they need.

“We urge Senators Tillis and Burr to support new legislation in Congress that would help to solve this problem so  that every small business owner and their employees gets equal access to critical federal assistance.”

Key Findings:

  • There are 890,000 small businesses in North Carolina with fewer than 500 employees. Meanwhile, North Carolina has received just 66,677 loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • During the first round of PPP funding, 80 percent of small businesses that applied for relief money received none, with North Carolina receiving only 2.5 percent of the nearly $189 billion lent through the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • And, while businesses of color account for 30 percent of all U.S. businesses, roughly 95% of Black-owned businesses, 91% of Latino-owned businesses, 91% of Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander-owned businesses, and 75% of Asian-owned businesses failed to secure loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Due to existing inequities in health care in North Carolina, Black and Hispanic communities are experiencing a disproportionate number of coronavirus confirmed cases and, as a result, serious complications from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Banks that offered PPP loans, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, prioritized larger loan applications and charged higher fees in order to maximize loan-origination fees and their own profits.

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