Magic Johnson is loaning $100 million to minority- and women-owned small businesses

NBA legend Magic Johnson announced his insurance company will provide $100 million for loans for minority and women business owners who are struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Los Angeles Lakers superstar made the announcement during an appearance on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton” on May 17.

The funds will be provided through EquiTrust Life Insurance Co., of which Johnson owns a majority. Together with MBE Capital Partners, a Latino-owned company, the loans will be distributed through the Paycheck Protection Program.


“Johnson’s EquiTrust is providing critical financial support to underserved communities and businesses that have been traditionally neglected,” EquiTrust and MBE Capital Partners said in a news release, CNN reported. “These small and diverse businesses often have difficulty developing strong lending relationships with big banks.”

Johnson hopes that the funds will help minority-owned businesses continue to serve their communities.

“If they close down because of lack of funding, it would create a lot of jobless black and brown people, and it would eliminate access to the resources the community needs,” he told Los Angeles Times. “We then would need to go outside of our community for our goods and services, and that not only puts a strain on people, it could hurt the property value.”


With this rollout, EquiTrust Life Insurance Co. and MBE capital partners aim to help 100,000 businesses weather the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

According to an April 2020 report from the Center for Responsible Lending, businesses owned by people of color have found it disproportionately harder to access PPP loans for a variety of reasons, including the way the program prioritizes businesses with employees.

“Nearly 95% of Black-owned firms were non-employers, and 91% of Latino-owned firms were non-employers,” according to the report.

Through their $100 million pledge, EquiTrust and MBE hope to improve the odds for these disadvantaged businesses.

“Me coming from Washington Heights in New York City, these are my sisters, my brothers, my cousins, my uncles and aunts, that needed this money,” MBE Capital Partners CEO Rafael Martinez told MSNBC. “So we had to take action.”

Kate Streit @StreitIsRight

Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything.

Recent Posts

Costco is not currently selling half sheet cakes

Costco half-sheet cakes have been wildly popular for decades. It's easy to see why, when you factor in the generous…

2 days ago

Lowe’s 4th of July sale is on now

Have you been spending extra time sprucing up your living space while stuck at home? With so many of us…

4 days ago

Get 2 burgers, fries and drinks plus a slice of cheesecake for just $20 at The Cheesecake Factory

While many restaurants have started to reopen their dining rooms, The Cheesecake Factory is about to give you a reason…

1 week ago

Beware these boat and camper scams during pandemic

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are looking for ways to avoid crowds. So buying a boat or camper might…

1 week ago

Prepare to pay high prices for meat ahead of Fourth of July

Are you looking for some steaks to throw on the grill this weekend or on the Fourth of July? You…

1 week ago

Get free coffee from Panera all summer long

One of the best parts of summer, for me, is frozen margaritas and iced coffee. While I haven't yet figured…

1 week ago