FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 16, 2020

PRESS CONTACT: Alia El-Assar | aelassar@americanbic.biz

ABIC Calls for $125 billion to CDFIs and MDIs in the Renewal of the Paycheck Protection Program to Reach Underserved Communities

(Chicago, IL) – With the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) exhausted, the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) calls on Congress to not only renew the Program, but ensure that the new funds reach our smaller, underserved, minority-owned and unbanked businesses and nonprofits. Economic downtowns disproportionately impact communities of color. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Development Institutions (MDIs) are critical vehicles to get cash quickly to underserved communities to keep their workers paid and their doors open.

To this end, ABIC calls on our Members of Congress to ensure that a minimum of $125 billion of the new $250 billion allocated to PPP goes to CDFIs and MDIs, and for transparency of PPP loans already committed. It is not acceptable for global chains like Ruth Chris Steakhouse to get $20 million in PPP loans, while our small and underserved businesses bear the brunt of the crisis.

The essential role of CDFIs and local banks is demonstrated in the story of Stacy Hawkins-Armstrong, Owner of Sha-Poppin’ Gourmet Popcorn, a small business in Westchester, Illinois started over 20 years ago by Ms. Armstrong that offers more than 130 customized popcorn flavors. After having her PPP loan application rejected by Chase, she was able to be connected to Seaway, the largest Black-owned bank in Chicago and a division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union, and submit a new application. Her PPP loan application was approved this week, just 48 hours after applying.

“I don’t want anyone else to experience the same level of stress and anxiety I did dealing with big banks. I want to work with ABIC to make sure small, minority-owned businesses like mine are treated with respect and dignity,” emphasized Ms. Armstrong. “I don’t have $10 million or $50 million, so I’m not a priority for big box banks–but I am important to my community. Seaway saw me, helped me and treated me with respect. Let’s make sure all small Black and Brown businesses get the same treatment. If you are listening, you are important.”

“It is our priority to make PPP accessible to small business owners and ensure that every Black and immigrant-owned business has an equal chance to survive the economic effects of this pandemic,” said Sam Scott, Retired CEO of Corn Products International (now Ingredion Incorporated) and ABIC Co-Chair.

The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes commonsense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides American companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs and citizens. For more information please visit https://abic.us.