Coronavirus: Multi-Million Dollar Firms Receive Federal Loan, Small Businesses File for Bankruptcy
Several multi-million dollar companies, elite private and charter schools, and celebrity-owned businesses received loans from the administration.
The Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, aimed to help small businesses who were heavily affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdowns.
Federal data released on Monday showed that billionaire property developer Joe Farrel, a fancy sushi restaurant at a Trump hotel, and Kanye West's clothing and sneaker brand Yeezy received federal aid worth between $2 million and $5 million, the CBS News reported.
Yeezy, which is known for its $250 sneakers, recently closed a deal with Gap. The partnership will see the rapper designing apparel that will be sold in more than a thousand stores worldwide. The PPP loan allegedly supported 106 jobs.
A Hamptons beachfront community developer, Farrell, claimed his loan went to retain 41 jobs. According to NBC News, Farrell rented out a 17,000-square-foot estate for nearly $2 million to a wealthy Manhattan family.
Soho House, an exclusive membership club, received over $23 million after it applied for seven loans through its multiple locations.
Who else benefitted from the loan?
Kasowitz Benson Torres, a firm founded and run by President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, received a loan between $5 million and $10 million. The firm began representing the president more than a decade before he was elected into position.
Marc E. Kasowitz, the lawyer, helped keep Trump's divorce records sealed. He also represented the president when he was under investigation for allegedly having the Russians interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
Dozens of tenants at buildings owned by the president or managed by his companies were also revealed to have benefited from the government's coronavirus relief package.
Several loan recipients had connections with the president's senior adviser, Jared Kushner, as reported by The New York Times. A Kushner family entity in Livingston received between $350,000 and $1 million.
Princeton Forrestal, a real estate entity owned by members of the Kushner family, also received a loan of up to $2 million.
Car dealerships connected to multimillionaire Representative Mike Kelly received three loans, each amounting between $150,000 and $350,000.
Businesses associated with other members of Congress also received federal aid. They included both Democrats and Republicans.
A farm and other businesses owned by Missouri Representative Vicky Hazler and a New York shipping business owned by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao received at least $350,000 from the PPP.
How do you qualify for PPP?
To legally qualify for the PPP, businesses must self-certify that the loan request is necessary to support their operations amid the COVID-19 economic crisis.
In the borrower application form, applicants are required to check a box that says the loan must go towards retaining workers. They are also required to ensure that the funding would be used to make mortgage, lease, or utility payments.
A report by the Small Business Administration claimed the taxpayer-funded relief reached over eighty percent of all small-business employees.
Twenty-seven percent of low and moderate-income communities were also granted the emergency payroll relief effort.
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