Congressman Cohen Joins Letter Asking for the Next Congressional Coronavirus Response to Focus on Needs of Minority-Owned Businesses

April 9, 2020
Press Release
Also Co-Sponsors Resolution Calling Attention to Disparate Impact of Covid-19 on African Americans

MEMPHIS -- Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) yesterday joined his colleagues in a resolution recognizing the harmful health disparities faced by minority communities during the coronavirus pandemic and urging immediate action to address the ongoing situation. The resolution will be introduced soon.

Congressman Cohen also joined in a letter to House and Senate leadership saying that the next COVID-19 stimulus package should include language mandating that lenders participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) prioritize businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, and those in underserved and rural markets, and that leadership set aside a portion of the PPP funding for smaller community lenders, such as credit unions and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

The letter reads in part:

“There are concerns that large banks, which are processing requests for billions of dollars are preventing smaller SBA-approved lenders, like credit unions and community banks, from fulfilling applications.  In addition, there are concerns that large banks prioritizing their existing customers could hurt small businesses, which are more likely to work with Main Street institutions like credit unions and community banks. This has barred some of the most vulnerable small businesses from being able to apply for PPP loans.”

For the latest information on COVID-19 from Congressman Cohen, please visit: