Former Los Angeles Lakers guard and team president Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced his life insurance company will provide $100 million for women- and minority-owned small businesses as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Johnson, the owner of EquiTrust, the nation’s largest minority-owned insurance company, will partner with MBE Capital Partners, a Latino-owned company, to provide supply chain finance solutions for Fortune 500 companies and their suppliers.
According to Forbes, Johnson was motivated after hearing reports of minority- and women-owned businesses being shut out of the PPP. At the same time, Johnson discovered the Lakers organization applied for and received $4.6 million from the program. The Lakers, worth an estimated $4.6 billion, returned the money after public pressure.
“We knew why the money was gone and couldn’t trickle down to small businesses, especially small minority businesses, because they didn’t have those great relationships with the banks,” Johnson told the Wall Street Journal. “So this was easy for us to understand.”
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