COLORADO SPRINGS — Minority owned businesses fell at the end of the line to receive Paycheck Protection Program loans from the federal government, according to a new study conducted by The Associated Press.
"I am a super minority. I am black, a woman, a veteran, and disabled," said Dr. Lauren Penn, Pinpoint Chiropractic owner.
Dr. Penn says while other minority businesses were at the bottom of the list, hers was denied altogether.
"My business is very important because I see sick people. It's not a fair enough trade to say that I don't have a fair enough relationship with the banker," said Dr. Penn.
One of the main points the AP report showed in denying PPP funding, was that many minority business owners struggled to find banks that would accept their applications, because they didn't have an established relationship with the lenders.
"Am I surprised? No, historically we have had the short end of the stick," said Rodney Gullatte, Colorado Springs Black Business Network president.
Gullatte says this has been a constant struggle for people of color.
"Some of them didn't have access and relationships with banks. A lot of these banks were helping their members first. So if you don't have a relationship with them then that is one way of you not knowing," said Gullatte.
It's one of the reasons he started the local network, to help build the community and offer resources.
Dr. Penn says her business is still growing and believes on paper it may not have looked like she needed help.
"My expenses increased because I had gotten more patients, but even now my expenses increased because I actually had to move because I had more patients!"
Dr. Penn worries about the disparities, and missed opportunities for small business owners like her struggling through these tough times.