Sometimes, you need to help your own people.
NBA Hall-of-Famer and basketball legend, Magic Johnson, has been a success on and off the court. He’s won championships on the court, he’s started and grown businesses to hundreds of millions of dollars off the court and now he’s continuing to give back to our community in a big way.
On Good Morning America on May 19, Johnson, who is also the owner of EquiTrust, the nation’s largest minority-owned insurance company, announced he will partner with MBE Capital Partners, a Latino-owned company, to provide supply chain finance solutions for women and minority-owned businesses and their suppliers.
“We put up $100 Million for these fantastic companies that were not apart of the loan system stimulus package that went out,” explains Johnson. “They couldn’t get loans so we have to make sure they stay in business and keep their employees. That’s really important.”
“We’re dying in record numbers,” he continues. “We first want people to stay safe and take care of their family. Then on the financial side, we’ve got to make sure these businesses stay open. We don’t want any minority business closing because of this virus and because they couldn’t get a loan.”
According to Forbes, Johnson was motivated after hearing reports of minority- and women-owned businesses being shut out of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). At the same time, Johnson discovered the Lakers organization applied for and received $4.6 million from the program. The Lakers, worth an estimated $4.6 billion, returned the money after public pressure.
“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 the Wall Street Journal. “So this was easy for us to understand.”
“Johnson’s EquiTrust is providing critical financial support to underserved communities and businesses that have been traditionally neglected,” EquiTrust and MBE Capital Partners said in a joint news release. “These small and diverse businesses often have difficulty developing strong lending relationships with big banks.”
The goal is to help 100,000 businesses secure resources that will sustain them through the pandemic, MBE Capital CEO Rafael Martinez said on MSNBC.
The Beverly Hills-based Magic Johnson Enterprises formerly owned Magic Johnson Theatres in four cities, 31 Burger King restaurants in the Southeast, and 13 24-Hour Fitness/Magic Johnson Sport health clubs. Over the years, Magic Johnson Enterprises has continually invested ownership in many lucrative businesses such as the Los Angeles Lakers, movie theaters, and restaurants in the United States, including T.G.I. Friday’s, Sodexo, and Burger King locations.
Posted on May 19, 2020/Derrick Lane