Dodgers News: Magic Johnson steps up to help struggling businesses

Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Dodgers owner. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Dodgers owner. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images) /

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Magic Johnson is using his company to help minority business owners.

Magic Johnson has done a lot during his life. He’s been a Hall of Fame basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s been an entrepreneur and savvy businessman. Now he’s an owner of one of the most successful teams in MLB, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

You can add philanthropist to that list of accomplishments.

According to Scott Gleeson at USA Today, Johnson and his company EquiTrust Life Insurance Co. are making a $100 million donation to help minority and women business owners get the funding they need to stay afloat after the coronavirus pandemic swept the nation. The money will be distributed through MBE Capital Partners and qualifications will follow the guidelines of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

According to the report, Johnson’s funding will specifically help those in communities that have been unable to secure the PPP funding due to poor relationships with big banks. Specifically, these are meant for the mom and pop shops that are key figures in minority communities.

"“We have to remember that these businesses have been in urban communities for a long time.” Johnson told MSNBC. “They’ve been doing great things, and they probably didn’t have a relationship with the banks when the stimulus package went out. So now, we’re able to say, ‘Hey, you can have a relationship with us.’”"

With the injection of funds, Johnson’s donation can help an estimated 100,000 businesses in urban communities, according to partner Rafael Martinez at MBE Capital.

After a 13-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers that included five NBA titles, three Finals MVP awards, and three league MVP awards, Johnson was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2012, Johnson joined the Guggenheim Partners when they purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt for a record $2.15 billion.

The Dodgers have won seven-consecutive division titles and made two World Series appearances since Magic Johnson came on as an owner of the team.