Former state treasurer and national chair of the Democratic National Committee, Steve Grossman, is calling for all banks who dispersed loans to small businesses as part of the CARES Act to publicly disclose the location of the recipients.
Grossman said he’s concerned that the bill — which allocated $350 billion in loans for small businesses — did not go far enough in ensuring that minority owned businesses, and businesses in under resourced communities, will be able to obtain a loan.
“They did not use what I would call foundational principles of fairness, equity and inclusion [in writing the bill],” Grossman said during an interview with Boston Public Radio on Thursday. “They did not work, I think, as hard as they could have to make sure that inner city small businesses-businesses that are under resourced-got the money, and I think it’ll be proven in time that the people who have the banking relationships-have lawyers and accountants, and other key advisors-did very well, and that those businesses owned primarily by people of color, immigrants, women in those distressed communities did very poorly.”
Grossman said that without provisions to ensure loans are delivered to under-resourced communities, the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic will be worse than the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
“If we’re not fair, equitable and create a level playing field, what happened ten years ago in the last recession will look like a day at the beach compared to [this] economic devastation,” Grossman said.
Grossman is currently the CEO of Initiative for a Competitive Inner City.