Latino small businesses must equitably benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program

Jul 9, 2020 | Cal Matters

In summary

Companies with resources and connections benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program, but we must prioritize our Latino small-business owners.

By Christian Arana of Berkeley

Christian Arana is the policy director for the Latino Community Foundation.

Re “6 curious takeaways from California’s small-business loans”; July 6, 2020

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The purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program was to incentivize small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. With the recent data release of where these funds went, it’s clear that small-business owners were hardly the beneficiaries of this program. 

Celebrities, law firms and tech companies were able to rake in valuable dollars. Why? Time, resources and connections with established banking institutions allowed them to swiftly claim their share of funds in the midst of this public health and economic crisis.

But if we are to achieve a full economic recovery for California, we have to be honest. As the largest ethnic group in the state, Latinos and their small businesses must equitably benefit from programs like this.

One-quarter of all small-businesses in the state are owned by Latinos and they employ more than half a million Californians. Robust education and outreach must be met with culturally competent technical assistance to ensure that these owners have a fighting chance to keep their businesses afloat.

We’re always proud to say that California is the 5th largest economy in the world. But to keep that mantle, we must prioritize the rescue of our Latino small-business owners. The future of California depends on it.

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