This Woman is Offering Legal and Financial Guidance to Black Founders That Were Locked Out Of PPP Funding

This Woman is Offering Legal and Financial Guidance to Black Founders That Were Locked Out Of PPP Funding
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This woman provides legal and financial guidance to black founders who have been left out of PPP funding

Credit: Angela Magett

After Travon Martin’s tragedy leaves Angela Magett reeling, she realizes she must do something to make real change in the black community.

“My son was the same age as Tryphon when he was killed,” said Magit. “His death was a catalyst for many of us to get more involved in the social impact and the work of civil justice.”

The Bronx native has served as a legal advisor for many years and has served as a guide to help business owners navigate difficult situations. She knew firsthand how difficult entrepreneurship can be, especially for the Black founders.

This led her to launch Black Connect, an organization that aims to support black-owned businesses with free legal support and create a solid legal foundation. Launched at the start of the pandemic, Black Connect reportedly helped 1,800 black business owners, providing them with $25,000 in funding.

This is critical as reports have highlighted that small black-owned businesses were denied PPP loans and grants at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. According to Vox, 23 percent of black business owners who did not receive PPP loans or economic disaster loans said their PPP applications had been rejected, compared to 9 percent of white business owners, 13 percent are Latino business owners, and 9 percent are Asian American businesses. friends. And in Michigan, only 3 restaurants with PPP loans of $150,000 or more were identified as black-owned, compared to 223 restaurants that identified themselves as white, according to the Detroit Free Press.

In response to this disparity, Angela recently joined forces with NorthOne, a fintech startup, to help provide free financial services, as well as legal support through Black Connect.

“I’ve seen first-hand the systemic barriers that know many black-owned businesses get off track, and for the most part, it’s because of a lack of access to vital resources,” she said. “I just want to do my part to make sure these founders are able to focus on business growth and not just important funding for survival.”

The NorthOne Partnership is particularly important because historically, black business owners have struggled to obtain business financing from major banks. The 2019 Federal Reserve’s Small Business Employer Credit Survey report found that fewer than 1 in 4 black-owned employer firms had a recent borrowing relationship with a bank. This number drops to 1 in 10 among black non-employer businesses, compared to 1 in 4 of white non-employer businesses. Survey evidence also indicated that black-owned businesses apply for financing at equal or higher rates than white-owned businesses, but are rejected at higher rates, according to the Fed report.

Just as Maggett pointed out to Essence, that’s part of the reason so many black companies fail so hard and so quickly.

β€œThe aim of Black Connect is to help new black business owners reach this crucial 5-year point because many of them cannot reach this milestone due to a lack of financial reserves,” she said. “We’re here to fill in those gaps and help them build a legacy.”

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