This past week, Unity National Bank’s Atlanta Branch held a roundtable discussion featuring Vice President Mike Pence, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and local recipients of the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP).

While stating that PPP has been a great start to helping some small businesses, Unity’s Board Chair, Dr. Kase Lawal noted that more is needed to be done.

“Unity was founded during uncertain times and challenging circumstances and has served as a beacon of light and source of strength for its communities for six decades,” said Dr. Lawal. “Relative to its size, Unity has more customers than many large financial institutions. Currently, Unity has more than 11,000 deposit accounts (70% with balances less than $250.00.) Unity’s leadership remains committed to the vision of providing banking services to historically underserved businesses and individuals and serving a diverse customer base. During these unprecedented difficult times, we can only continue to do so with the Administration’s support and assistance.”

Dr. Lawal urged the administration to consider the following additional steps, such as:

  • Simplify the forgiveness process for customers
  • Create a COVID-19 Reserve so defaulted loans would not impact Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs)
  • Facilitate the growth and expansion of MDIs by making additional capital available

Dr. Lawal said getting America restarted will require the collaboration of the private and government sector. Unity has aided small businesses in saving more than 3,000 jobs during this pandemic and is looking forward to working with the administration to help more small businesses reopen and thrive.