North Carolina House Representative Alma Adams has won an important victory for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by incorporating her bill, the HBCU Capital Finance Debt Relief Act, in the 2021 Omnibus Spending Act which was signed into law on December 27th 2021. Representative Adams chairs the bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus, which she co-founded in 2015. Her legislation will discharge $1.34 billion in loans to HBCU’s across the country accrued under the HBCU Capital Loan Financing Program. The relief will be a boon for HBCUs which have historically been underfunded.
To give an idea of how much this bill will help, the total endowments for all of the United States HBCUs is $2.1 billion, by comparison UNC Chapel Hill has the 29th largest endowment for colleges and Universities in the United States of 3.7 billion. The relief represents over half of HBCUs’ total endowments and will help alleviate some of the disparities between HBCUs and comparable Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). According to a 2018 study by the Government Accountability Office HBCUs have a median endowment of $15,000 per student compared with matched non-HBCU schools that had a median endowment of $410,000 per student.
HBCUs help drive the economic development of the United States. According to a study by UNCF HBCUs generate $14.8 billion in economic impact annually. Investment in HBCUs provides an excellent return on investment in which for each dollar of initial spending generates $1.44 dollars in subsequent spending for the regional economies in which they reside. Since HBCUs are often located in economically struggling regions, the health and wealth these institutions provide are often essential to the economic wellbeing of the locations they reside in. Representative Adam’s bill also expands Pell grant eligibility, which will help all college students but particularly those that attend HBCUs. Over 75% of HBCU undergraduate students rely on Pell grants to pay for college expenses, compared to 39.1 of all US undergraduate students who use Pell grants to fund their education. Representative Adam’s bill expands the number of people eligible to receive aid and increases the maximum grant amount. The bill will help HBCUs and their students to continue to help grow and expand the economies in their surrounding communities.
The data from the Treasury department shows that loan averages for the first window of PPP loans, between April 3rd and April 16th, before the money ran out were much higher than the loans paid out the months following. All of the PPP loan data shows that male owned businesses received a larger loan amounts than female owned businesses and at a higher rate compared to the number of male owned businesses in the nation. According to 2017 Census data, women owned businesses made up 39% of employer and non-employer firms in the United States (https://data.census.gov/cedsci/all?q=AB1700CSA01; https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/abs/data/nesd.html). In the first window of the PPP program women owned businesses made up only 22% of the firms that responded to the gender demographic question for PPP loans. From April 27th 2020 to January 31st, 2021 women owned businesses made up 27% of the firms that responded to the gender demographic question for PPP loans. Therefore, women owned businesses received loans at a rate between 12-18% less than there overall make up as business owners in the nation.
There is also evidence for both periods PPP loans were made available the percentage of women owned businesses receiving loans and the average amount they received is even lower than the data indicates. For both time periods female owned businesses received lower average loan amounts than male owned businesses and loan applicants that did not respond to the gender question on the application.
Simple regressions which omitted unanswered responses, and controlled for the number of employees a business, whether the loan was made to a rural or urban business, whether the firm was a nonprofit and whether the business was located in an area defined by the SBA as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) showed that women owned businesses received significantly lower loan amounts than male owned businesses (P-Values less than .1%) for the time periods represented in the charts below. From April 3rd to April 27th 2020, women owned businesses received an average of $21,848 dollars less than male owned businesses. From April 27th 2020 to January 31st 2021, women owned businesses received an average of $11,215 dollars less than male owned businesses.
In the first period that PPP loans were available, businesses that did not respond to the gender demographic question in their loan application received higher average loan amounts than the respondents that did respond to the gender demographic question. Given that women owned businesses received significantly lower loan amounts than male owned businesses in both time periods the unanswered loan amount category should fall in the upper-middle range of the average loan amounts for male and female owned businesses if it comprises the same ratio of male to female owned businesses as the firms that responded to the demographic question on their loan applications. The higher loan averages for the unanswered category between April 3rd to the 16th suggests two things.
Female business owners were likely even more underrepresented than the data suggests.
The discrepancy of average loan amounts between male and female owners is even higher than the data suggests for the first time period PPP loans were given.
PPP loan data on race reveals disparities in the number of loans for the first time period PPP loans were given and amount of loans given to minority and non-minority owned businesses for both time periods. According to 2017 Census data minority owned businesses made up 31% of employer and non-employer firms, non-minority owned businesses made up 68% of total businesses in the U.S., and businesses equally minority and non-minority owned made up less than 1%. According to loan data in which respondents answered the demographic question on race, non-minority applicants received 83% of loans and minority businesses only received 17% of loans for the first period PPP loans were available. Black owned businesses fared the worst compared to their overall make-up of businesses owners in the first window of opportunity. Black owned businesses only received 1.6% of loans when they made up 10% of U.S. businesses owners according to U.S. Census data.
“This neighborhood houses the large negro population living in Evanston. It is somewhat better than the average negro district in that the bulk of the houses are one family detached units in anything but a congested district for this class of population. Here live the servants for many of the families all along the north shore. There is not a vacant house in the territory, and occupancy, moreover, is about 150 percent for most houses have more than one family living in them. Sales have been very good where liberal financing terms are available, but on other sales mortgage financing is virtually impossible to obtain. This concentration of negroes in Evanston is quite a serious problem for the town as they seem to be growing steadily and encroaching into adjoining neighborhoods. The two family structures are in most cases converted singles and they likewise are overflowing with occupants; these buildings are rented as unheated units. The number of persons on relief in this district is probably heavier than in any other area along the north shore. Although this area is unattractive to other than the class of occupants already here, it is difficult to say that the section is declining, for it is in constant demand because of the limited number of areas available for negro occupancy in the north shore towns.
Location: Evanston, Ill. Security Grade: D Area No: 2 Date: Jan. 1940
Evanston, IL will be the first city in the United States to make good on their promise to offer a reparations program to its black residents that have suffered economic devastation from discriminatory lending practice (https://www.cityofevanston.org/government/city-council/reparations). In 2019, the city council voted to provide $10 million towards a housing program for black residents, and on March 1st the Council approved a $400,000 initiative to be doled out in $25,000 grants for home improvement or down payments. The grants will be made to qualifying residents who can show they lived in Evanston from 1919-1969 or were a direct descendant of an individual that lived in the area and suffered from discriminatory lending practices.
Evanston’s focus on housing is an excellent way to bring reparations to communities of color, who have suffered decades of discrimination and should be used as a blueprint for cities across the country. Too often the call for reparations begins and ends with reparations for slavery. While reparations for slavery are necessary to address the inequities in American society, they are only a beginning. Focusing on slavery ignores the century of institutionalized discriminatory practices that kept black and other minority Americans from achieving the most important source of wealth accumulation: home ownership (https://www.huduser.gov/publications/pdf/wealthaccumulationandhomeownership.pdf ) The Post-WW2 economic boom was helped in large part by the G.I. Bill which promised low-rate mortgages, low interest loans and education to those who fought in WW2. But black veterans who fought to end a holocaust in Europe faced their own holocaust when they returned home in the form of lynching and red lining when they tried to cash in on the benefits of the GI Bill (https://www.history.com/news/gi-bill-black-wwii-veterans-benefits). The newly minted Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC), began rating neighborhood with four grades A: “Best”, B: “Still Desirable”, C: “Definitely Declining”, and D: “Hazardous”
The model showed that with all the variables being held equal for every one percent increase in uninsured rates an average 1.4 more people will die of COVID per 100,000, which is statistically significant at the 1% level. In 2019, North Carolina had the 9th highest uninsured rate in the U.S. of 11.4% compared to the national average of 9.2% (https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/total-population/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Uninsured%22,%22sort%22:%22desc%22%7D). According to the dataset Medicaid expansion states have uninsured rates an average 4.95% lower than non-Medicaid expansion states, which is statistically significant at the .001 level. This falls right in line with the estimated 400,000-620,000 people currently in North Carolina’s coverage gap who could benefit from Medicaid expansion and represents 3.8-5.9% of North Carolina’s population (https://www.ncchca.org/community-resources/policy-advocacy/nc-insurance-gap/ ) If North Carolina was a Medicaid expansion state our uninsured rate would be about 5% lower than it is now. According to our model 5 percent lower uninsured rate would have resulted in an average of 7.1 fewer COVID-19 deaths per 100,000, which extrapolated to North Carolina’s population of 10.49 million means that expanding Medicaid could have saved the lives of close to 745 North Carolinians.