Media mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs announced the launch of Our Fair Share, a platform to help minority entrepreneurs and small businesses access funds needed from the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 is devastating our communities and without access to stimulus funding we risk losing critical businesses that create jobs and help build opportunities and wealth in our communities,” said Combs in a written statement. “I created Our Fair Share to help entrepreneurs play on an even playing field and give them a chance to survive with the hope to thrive.”
With the initial round of the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) dollars being disproportionately dispersed to those with the right connection, rather than the businesses with the greatest need, this initiative is meant to help minority-owned companies learn about the PPP.
It will also help get them connected to approved Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders that can process applications for these potentially business-saving loans.
Combs also announced a partnership with the National Bankers Association, the trade group representing minority-owned financial institutions, will connect minority-owned banks and financial technology companies to the Our Fair Share platform.
There are plans to enable these banks to originate PPP loans from applicants that utilize the site.
“It is inspiring to see a cultural icon like Sean Combs partnering with minority banks and others to ensure economic opportunity for minorities in this program”, says Kenneth Kelly, chairman of the National Bankers Association. “Our leaders in economics, politics, and culture must unite because the COVID-19 healthcare and economic impacts on our communities are interrelated. We can help our communities weather this storm if we work together.”
The applications are connected to these approved PPP lenders: The Harbor Bank of Maryland, based in Baltimore; Liberty Bank and Trust, based in New Orleans; Carver State Bank, based in Savannah, Georgia; and Lendistry, an online small business lender based in Los Angeles.
Combs has also extended an invitation for major financial institutions to partner with Our Fair Share.
“Minority businesses have always struggled to access the capital they need to thrive. Now is the time to show commitment to the communities being hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to working with the institutions that want to help,” said Combs.