Loans handed out to struggling small businesses as part of President Barack Obama's stimulus package have largely shut out minority businesses -- especially those owned by Blacks and Latinos -- according to data provided by the federal government's Small Business Administration (SBA) to New America Media (NAM).
Under the program, the borrower pays no interest and makes no payments for 12 months, then has five years to repay the loan. SBA charges no fees and pays interest to the lender at prime - the rate of interest at which banks lend to favored customers - plus 2 percent.
The Obama Administration does not report the racial breakdown of who's benefiting from these loans at Recovery.gov, but data obtained by NAM from the SBA found that of the 4,497 ARC loans where the race of the borrower was reported, 4,104 (over 91 percent) went to white-owned firms, 140, (3%) went to Hispanic-owned businesses, and 151 (3%) went to Asian- or Pacific Islander-owned businesses. Only 65, (1.5%) went to black-owned firms.
Overall, white-owned businesses received over $130 million in loans through the program, while Hispanic-owned businesses got $4 million and black-owned businesses less than $2 million.
In five states - Alabama, Arkansas, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Wyoming -- every single firm that received an ARC loan was white-owned. In eight other states, including Louisiana and Nevada, all but one loan went to a white-owned firm.
You can read the rest of the report here.