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SBA regional administrator Ashley Bell hosts call to action with minority entrepreneurs on May 20

by Paula Anderson

COVID-19 has amplified many of the ills that have impacted black-business owners - economic justice, health disparities and access to capital just to name a few.

Entrepreneurs, community activists, pastors, business advocates, rappers and entertainers exchanged ideas on May 20 with Attorney Ashley Bell, SBA Regional Administrator and White House Policy Advisor for a call to action to address issues in the South.

According to a press release, they reached over 109,000 callers and millions via social media outlets.

Tip, “T.I.” Harris, rapper, entertainer and entrepreneur said, “This call was important to do because I believe it’s critical for us to be informed and get better educated on what we can do, how to do it and where to go to get it done, especially during times of crisis. I simply did what I do best and that is connect the people with the information.”

One the issues facing black-business owners is access to capital during this pandemic. The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) was designed to help cover expenses such as payroll, rent, utilities and business related expenses.


Minority entrepreneurs faced challenges during the loan process. Traditionally black-owned businesses don’t have lending relationships with large banks and this created some issues.

“Fifty-percent of black business owners have 0-10 days of working capital, but do not have access to traditional banking facilities. Without this critical link to funding and opportunities and amidst the COVID-19 crisis, an entire generation of minority entrepreneurs could be lost,” said Bell.

Other leaders on the call were John Hope Bryant, founder of Operation Hope, and Eddie George, Wealth Management Specialist and retired NFL player.

To listen to the call, click here.

To learn more about the SBA and its programs, visit

Paula Anderson is a freelance journalist. She can be reached at

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