Black History Month In Focus: Magic Johnson Uplifts Women, Minority Business During Pandemic

    Magic Johnson and his Life Insurance Company have provided $100M in small business loans for women and minority-owned small businesses.

    EquiTrust Life Insurance which Magic owns has distributed loans through the Small Business Administration’s Federal Paycheck Protection Program in partnership with MBE Capital Partners a New Jersey-based non-bank lender that works closely with minority-owned businesses.

    READ MORE: Magic Johnson Is 60 With A Young Hustler’s Spirit

    Johnson was taken aback when the Lakers, his former team, received a $4M loan as part of the Federal Govts PPP. He was excited to hear the team returned the loan.

    It’s been rumored that since the pandemic began in March of 2020, forcing shutdowns everywhere, over 90% of businesses owned by Blacks, Latinos, and Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders have been highly unlikely to secure a PPP loan through major banks and credit unions.

    For Caucasian business owners, it’s a 97% approval rate, while Asian Americans are being approved at about a 75% rate. This is a true sign of this country’s systemic racism at its core.

    Even with a grand total of $409B which included ($349B) in upfront funds as well as another ($60B) being released by Congress in the CARES (Coronavirus Aid Relief And Security Act), minorities were still left out of the loop to receive the necessary funds to keep their businesses afloat.

    Hopefully, this third round of PPE checks and stimulus offerings will have more of an impact on the recovery of Black & Brown businesses. In any event, Magic is certainly doing his part.

    READ MORE: How Magic Johnson Continues To Serve Assists In The Boardroom

    Johnson, a renowned businessman and the greatest point guard to ever play, led the Lakers to 5 NBA Championships in his illustrious Hall Of Fame career.

    The name Magic Johnson is synonymous with star power and social consciousness. From his chain of movie theatres and numerous other ventures to his ability as an executive to lure LeBron James to the Lakers and get the ball rolling on the Anthony Davis heist (leading to a 2020 NBA Bubble Championship). Magic’s money team helped to secure the 2020 COVID-shortened World Series for LA by paying Mookie Betts what Boston wouldn’t. Magic does big things and pushes the envelope in a relentless pursuit for success.

    READ MORE: MLB Opening Day 2020: Magic’s Dodgers Bless Mookie Betts With 13-Year, $392 Million Bag

    The basketball and business savant has always given back. His philanthropic and socially-conscious ventures during a pandemic that has too often seen rich people exploit the misfortune of others, is a credit to Magic’s connection to the community, and continued dedication to combatting systemic racism and enhancing the quality of life for future generations of African-Americans.

    He has to be respected and celebrated during Black History Month.

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.