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Help Black Small Businesses Recover

To the Editor:

When the National Community Reinvestment Coalition sent “mystery shoppers” to banks in the Washington area, they found that Black business owners had a harder time getting Paycheck Protection Program loans than their white counterparts.

The UpState New York Black Chamber of Commerce was not surprised. We know that minority entrepreneurs are at least twice as likely to seek alternative financial products like Merchant Cash Advances to meet their credit needs, according to the Federal Reserve.

These advances provide fast cash at a high price that is not clearly disclosed to borrowers. The Small Business Truth in Lending Act, passed this summer by the New York Legislature and awaiting the governor’s signature, would give borrowers the information they need to make informed decisions.

Lack of access to Paycheck Protection Program loans led to the loss of countless minority-owned businesses. Predatory lenders are now targeting those that are barely hanging on. That’s why we’re urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the Small Business Truth in Lending Act and give New York’s small businesses a fighting chance at recovery.

Anthony M. Gaddy Albany, N.Y.

The writer is president and chief executive of the UpState New York Black Chamber of Commerce.

A version of this article appears in print on Oct. 2, 2020, Section A, Page 22 of the New York edition with the headline: Please Keep Snow Days.

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