My investigative report showing the by-passing of ethnic businesses in stimulus-funded small business loans has appeared -- or is scheduled to run -- in 29 publications across the country with a combined circulation of over 1.2 million readers.
The report, which was originally published on the website of New America Media, has truly struck a chord in ethnic communities across America who rightly see the success of small businesses in their neighborhoods as key to a meaningful economic recovery.
In an editorial responding to our investigation, La Opinion -- the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the country -- wrote:
Community leaders are demanding an explanation and they are entitled to one. The stimulus package money comes from taxpayers and the banks are not assuming any risk at all with these loans, so the government should ensure that access to the program is equitable. It may have been smarter to have granted the loans directly through the Small Business Administration (SBA) rather than through the banks, which tend not to want to disclose how and why the make their decisions, even when they receive taxpayer assistance.
A translation of the La Opinion editorial is available on the NAM website.
On it's website, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a coalition of over 200 of our nation's leading civil rights organizations, commented on the importance of NAM's findingsand the ARC Loan program:
Minority communities have been hit hardest by the collapse of the housing market and the recession. African Americans are estimated to lose up to $93 billion dollars before the mortgage crisis is over. The ARC loan program is one of the few sources of capital to which many minority-owned businesses have access.
There were also a number of e-mails from ethnic media outlets thanking us for the story, including one from Mary Ratcliff, the editor of the San Francisco Bay View (the city's black paper)
"Huge thanks to you and Aaron for the stimulus stories. I'd been calling and emailing everyone I could think of to get those numbers. Nobody had a clue. SF HRC hung up on me. These stories are enormously helpful."
Follow Aaron Glantz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Aaron_Glantz