Loans – Magic Johnson Supplies Monetary ‘Life Raft’ for Native Small Enterprise – NBC Los Angeles
With COVID-19 social restrictions ramping up once more, Mark Webster says his catering truck enterprise is “up against the wall.” Attempting to plan however not panic, Webster gave up his house and despatched his younger household again to Minneapolis whereas he tried to save lots of his enterprise, getting an help from Lakers legend and neighborhood activist Magic Johnson.
On a brilliant November afternoon, earlier than the latest spherical of restrictions, Mark Webster served up Fatburgers in entrance of an house advanced in downtown LA. It was his first catering gig in months.
“Man it’s great to be out here working again,” Webster mentioned as he organized orders and stacked burgers excessive with lettuce, tomatoes and relish.
In the course of a day rush, Webster informed his prepare dinner “teamwork makes the dream work,” and when clients mentioned “have a good day,” he rapidly replied, “you have a better one!”
A number of years in the past, Webster moved to LA from Minnesota chasing “bigger opportunities” and “warmer weather.” He picked up work as a manufacturing and logistics coordinator in actuality TV.
“The last show I worked on was ‘Undercover Boss’ and Fatburger had done an episode of Undercover Boss,” he mentioned.
Webster now owns a “Fatmobile,” the meals truck and catering arm of the LA based mostly burger chain, Fatburger.
When COVID-19 restrictions started, his enterprise immediately suffered.
“My business revolves around large groups of people coming together. Basically within one week everything that I had booked was canceled,” Webster mentioned.
LA County began the Hold LA Eating Grant Program, providing as much as $30,000 to small non-corporate eating places, many individuals tried to use Wednesday evening however the software web site rapidly crashed. Kim Baldonado stories for NBC4 Information at four p.m. on Dec. 3, 2020.
With a lot uncertainty, Webster gave discover to his house. His spouse, two younger sons and toddler daughter returned to Minneapolis to reside with household. Webster stayed in LA, hoping issues would get higher.
“I can’t give up yet,” he mentioned.
In April, Congress handed a $2 trillion stimulus bundle, that included $60 billion for small companies. The Paycheck Safety Program, recognized extra informally as “PPP loans,” had been administered by massive banks, however Webster felt disregarded of the chance.
“As a small kind of minority business owner a lot of getting access to that stuff has always been challenging” Webster mentioned.
Many black and brown owned small companies had been disregarded of PPP funding, as a result of they didn’t have “lending relationships” with the massive banks administering the loans.
Webster didn’t even apply. He solely started to trust that he may be capable of safe a loan, when Magic “Eavin” Johnson introduced that his Equitrust Life Insurance coverage Firm was investing $100 million in PPP loans, particularly for minority and ladies owned companies.
“Just knowing his track record, just knowing what he’s about — what he stands for — specifically in Los Angeles,” Webster mentioned about Johnson.
Johnson, a former Laker and 5 time N(BA) champion, has spent a busy submit basketball profession targeted on financial empowerment in underserved communities. Equitrust partnered with MBE Capital Companions and Carver Federal Financial savings. These three minority owned establishments have funded over $300 million in loans, together with greater than 3,000 loans in California.
“I’ve never seen this much capital come into our communities,” mentioned Carra Wallace, President of MBE.
Wallace says the common loan was $20,730, however they funded loans as little as $1,500. Many of those loans went to companies with sole proprietors, together with hair stylists, tow truck drivers and development crews that haul waste.
Wallace says the affect of this cash goes past the enterprise itself.
“Seventy percent of minorities are hired by minority owned businesses, so we understood that unless you grow and scale minority businesses you will never change the economic outcomes in these communities.”
The mayor warmed that 3,000 folks may die because of COVID-19 in LA County in December alone, which might match town’s murders for a decade. Robert Kovacik reported on NBC4 Information on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020.
Webster obtained his loan in August.
“It literally was a life raft for me,” he mentioned.
Webster mentioned the loan allowed him to carry onto his enterprise, and hopes that he’ll quickly maintain the folks he’s working so arduous for.
“Just to hold my daughter and you know — play with my boys. That’s what’s really driving me — is my family,” Webster mentioned.