COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Applications are now open for the second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans.
The Columbus Urban League is working to make sure this time, Black businesses aren’t left out of the process.
The first round of loans last year faced criticism for some of the big names and chains that qualified while some small businesses didn’t get a dime.
The new round has rules focused on businesses with less than 300 employees and banks are working to make sure Black businesses are in their queue.
Columbus Urban League President Stephanie Hightower said Black businesses have historically faced increased scrutiny from the banking industry.
She hopes working with them on the PPP loans is just one way to bridge that divide.
“What we’re doing is working with the financial institutions to begin to figure out how do we create that level playing field,” Hightower said. “How do we get people who look like us come to us and have those crucial conversations needed to help drill down, to help people feel comfortable with going to those financial institutions.”
Hightower said the Urban League’s work doesn’t stop with the loans. The organization is also assisting those businesses in making multi-year plans so they can be around for decades to come.