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Magic Johnson

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Basketball Hall of Famer and business mogul Magic Johnson is making a more than valuable assist to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Johnson announced that EquiTrust Life Insurance Co., of which he owns a majority, is providing $100 million in capital to fund federal loans for minority and women business owners whose business has suffered greatly during the pandemic.

The loans are aimed at supporting people of color as well as women who operate businesses in underserved communities, according to a news release. EquiTrust is set to work with MBE Capital Partners, a lender that has a specialization in asset-based loans for minority-owned small businesses, to distribute the loans through the federal government’s 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. “These small and diverse businesses often have difficulty developing strong lending relationships with big banks.”

The goal is to help 100,000 businesses secure resources that will sustain them through the pandemic, according to MBE Capital CEO Rafel Martinez.

“These are incredible businesses, small businesses, that have been the pillar of our community that also employ a lot of black and brown people in our community,” Johnson said Sunday on MSNBC. “… We wanted to make sure that minority-owned businesses got small business loans through the PPP program.”

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