29th Annual Achilles Gala

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Magic Johnson is the latest athlete to step up and help those in need amid the coronavirus.

Rather than others who have donated to charities, Johnson, a renowned businessman himself, is making sure he takes care of businesses around the country through his life insurance company. The company named EquiTrust Life Insurance Co., is making an effort to help women and minority-owned small businesses. The small businesses will be able to secure up to $100 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans to help them get through these pandemic-led dark times.

This effort will be made through the Small Business Administration PPP program which is partnering with New Jersey-based firm MBE Capital Partners–which specializes in loans to businesses owned by women and minorities. Los Angeles Laker legend Magic Johnson is doing his part by reportedly putting up money to help 5,000 of these struggling businesses.

“We knew why the money was gone and couldn’t trickle down to small businesses, especially small minority businesses, because they didn’t have those great relationships with the banks,” Johnson told WSJ. “So this was easy for us to understand.”

While the former president of basketball operations is bringing some much-needed relief to business owners, it can’t be ignored that a lot of the money from the $349 billion Payroll Protection Program has been given to those who don’t need it– like the Los Angeles Lakers. The franchise received $4.6 million from the federal government because they applied for it. Not only are the Lakers not struggling right now, but a lot of the money that really could have helped local businesses was dried up by bigger ones like the LA-based team,  Shake Shack and others.

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