Wyden Works to Ensure Minority-Owned Small Businesses Are Not Shut Out From Paycheck Protection Program

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today called on the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury Department to ensure that minority-owned businesses are not shut out of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

In a letter with 22 Senate colleagues, Wyden also urged the Trump Administration to amend guidance on PPP, to reaffirm lending institutions’ obligation to comply with fair lending laws and to require lenders to report on the demographics of any PPP lending.

“As we work to secure additional funding for the survival of small businesses across the country, it is crucial that we can verify the accessibility of federal assistance to all eligible companies,” the senators wrote. “Without stringent reporting, we can neither confirm racial disparities nor correct any exclusionary lending practices under the Paycheck Protection Program.

“The story of minority-owned businesses struggling to access capital is the story of banking practices that too often exclude people of color as potential customers,” they wrote. “A federally guaranteed loan program must not do the same. We urge you to move forward with the data transparency and fair lending protections outlined in this letter.”

In addition to Wyden, others signing the letter led by U.S. Sens. Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) include U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), Gary C. Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

A copy of the entire letter is here.

A web version of this release is here.