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Stories and information in our region on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gaping Racial Disparities In Federal Coronavirus Loans, Data Show

Mark Lennihan
Lorena's Beauty Salon, closed during the coronavirus pandemic in early May in Hartford, Conn.

Minority-owned businesses got a disproportionately smaller slice of the federal assistance offered through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Data from the Small Business Administration highlights a systemic problem with the PPP loan. 

In New York, white-owned businesses were issued twice the number of PPP loans of up to $150,000 than businesses owned by minorities.

Connecticut’s white-owned businesses were issued four times what minority owners received.

The racial disparity is much larger for loans over $150,000.

Another problem with the data is that many borrowers didn’t identify their race, which means the divide could be even greater than reported.

The NAACP says they want to get more money in the hands of community banks that have better relationships with minority owners to help close the gap before the new PPP deadline on August 8. 

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