WASHINGTON, D.C. – While one in five small businesses say they are two months or less away from closing for good as thousands continue running into bureaucratic barriers to the Trump administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), large companies keep coasting through the process. Last week’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings show at least 27 additional publicly-traded companies secured over $40 million in PPP funds meant for struggling small businesses. The figure includes at least one foreign-based company and at least two companies that have more than 500 employees.
“Week after week, the Trump administration serves up millions in PPP taxpayer money to big businesses and at least one foreign company while truly small businesses continue to struggle,” said Derek Martin, spokesperson for Accountable.US. “The President may be ready to declare ‘Mission Accomplished’ on efforts to fix the pandemic economy, but with 100,000 small businesses already gone, and 13.3% unemployment, this is no time for celebration.”
Thus far, at least 722 publicly-traded firms or conflicted companies —some worth more than $100 million —have secured over $1.85 billion in forgivable PPP loans. Several previous PPP recipients have since raised eyebrows about whether they truly needed federal aid before so many actual struggling small businesses that were turned away. Joining them is RumbleOn, Inc. a company that secured a more than $5.1 million PPP loan last month and then quietly revealed in recent days that the money is an excuse to reverse plans to cut back its executive compensation packages. Their CEO made $560,000 last year alone.
While the PPP program is designed to help mom-and-pops impacted by the health crisis, the latest PPP winners included China-based Xynomic Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc., which secured a $177,000 loan. In addition, Gordon Pointe Acquisition Corp. took home a $390,000 loan after announcing a $390 million partnership deal last year to create a “premier sports, entertainment and media enterprise surrounding the prestigious Pro Football Hall of Fame.” And Christopher & Banks Corporation received $10 million in PPP money meant for small businesses despite employing 3,800 people and paying out a $3.5 million dividend to shareholders last year.
These filings were compiled as part of an ongoing tracking project by government watchdog Accountable.US. TrumpBailouts.org documents the billion-dollar corporations and other large companies that have received taxpayer assistance under the CARES Act, and what advantages and assets they had going into the COVID-19 crisis that most small businesses could never access.
LAST WEEK’S PUBLICLY TRADED PPP BENEFICIARIES:
Previously controversial PPP grantees include a foreign-owned uranium mining corporation with ties to the Trump administration, at least two companies that market their ability to ship U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas, major luxury hotel chains, a fashion model agency, and even the L.A. Lakers.
SMALL BUSINESS LEFT BEHIND: The Trump SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program has been bungled since day one, offering red tape and rejection to struggling small business owners while rolling out the red carpet for large publicly-traded companies that have resources average shops do not. A shocking recent report estimates over 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed since the pandemic took off in March while another showed small businesses let go 11 million workers in April alone. And a recent survey found only 12 percent of Black and Latino small business owners got the PPP loans they asked for, and nearly half say they expect to close for good in the next six months. Meanwhile, well over 700 publicly-traded firms or conflicted companies – some worth more than $100 million – have walked away with over a billion and a half dollars in taxpayer money. It’s no wonder the Trump administration has shied away from transparency in this process.