FOX 17 News is digging into the numbers to see how PPP loans have been distributed in Nashville. Newly released data lists all of the PPP loans approved so far, but the numbers show a huge discrepancy when it comes to historically Black neighborhoods.
It’s a story we’ve told time and time again: the importance of protecting African American owned businesses in the historically black north Nashville neighborhood.
“We can have all of the paperwork in order and we’re still not able to get the funding or the PPP or SBA funding,” Joshua Mundy, owner of Music City Cleaners said in an interview with FOX 17 News on June 1st.
FOX 17 News went through the newly released PPP data by zip code, and found 37218, the Bordeaux area, received far fewer loans than any other Nashville zip code with just 128 approved PPP loans total.
Compare that to 669 in 37206, East Nashville, or 1,687 in 37203, the Gulch.
“It’s completely unfair. I would love to dig deeper into the data and see where that breakdown is because we can’t keep having these situations where black people and black owned businesses are disproportionately and negatively impacted by programs that are supposed to help everyone,” District 2 Councilwoman Kyonzte Toombs said.
Councilwoman Toombs represents that North Nashville district and wasn’t surprised by the numbers.
“Some didn’t understand the process. Some felt that they didn’t have equal access to the process, that they couldn’t find banks that would work with them, some business owners said they applied when it was first announced and they still didn’t get it,” Councilwoman Toombs said.
When we totaled the loans under $150,000, East Nashville (37206) had a total around $17.8 million. The Gulch had almost $60 million. Bordeaux had just $2.7 million.
We reached out to the mayor's office to see if they had any response to the disparity in these numbers. We got no response.
“I think that it’s incumbent on all of us to be watchful when you have programs like this that are neutral on their face, it’s incumbent on folks that are administering the program to keep a watchful eye to look at who is getting approved,” Councilwoman Toombs said.
Showing it’s essential to take a hard look at where resources are going to make sure all communities have a fighting chance.
For a look at all of the state’s data click here: https://sba.app.box.com/s/tvb0v5i57oa8gc6b5dcm9cyw7y2ms6pp