African American-Owned Banks Are Making Sure Minority Businesses Are Receiving Stimulus Funds

African American-owned banks are helping small businesses owned by minorities receive a share of funds from the Paycheck Protection Program.

According to We Buy Black, an online market for black-owned products, OneUnited Bank announced the launch of its Small Business Administration’s PPP. The program is offering PPP loans to new and existing customers across the country through its online and mobile banking platform.

After many African American and female business owners complained of being left out of the first round of funds allocated to the PPP, $30 billion in stimulus funds has been allocated to Minority Depository Institutions and Community Development Financial Institutions.

“Most of our customers who filed PPP applications with other institutions during the first round were not funded,” said Teri Williams, president and COO of OneUnited Bank, the largest African American-owned bank in the country. “We’re proud that OneUnited can step up to provide black businesses with better access to stimulus funding.

However, OneUnited is not the only black-owned bank working to make sure black business owners get their share. Industrial Bank in Washington, Citizen’s Trust Bank in Atlanta, Unity National Bank in Houston, all ranked on the BE 100s Banks list, and others, are all active in securing funds for African American businesses.

For African American business owners, this is also a way to ensure that the bank they’re using is dedicated to ensuring they receive PPP funds.

According to the Brookings Institute, a decade of business ownership gains by African American-owned businesses since the 2008 recession is now in jeopardy due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result of the pandemic, African American minority and women-owned businesses are suffering even more than white-owned businesses, which typically receive better loans through bigger banks.

The first round of PPP funding was a Wild West of first come, first serve, and included many large hotel chains and restaurant franchises receiving funds. Many of them, including Shake Shack and Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse were shamed into returning the money.