WASHINGTON, D.C. – An international modeling and talent agency that has represented celebrities including Nicki Minaj and even Donald Trump Jr’s ex-wife, Vanessa Trump is the latest beneficiary of the flailing Trump SBA Paycheck Protection Program that was allegedly designed to help small businesses struggling to stay afloat amid the health crisis.
Wilhelmina International, Ltd., a subsidiary of Wilhelmina International, received nearly $1.85 million in forgivable PPP loans, according to Securities and Exchange Commission records. The disclosure follows reports that major restaurant chains including Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Potbelly’s secured tens of millions of dollars in grants before the PPP program exhausted funding last Thursday and as thousands of Mom-and-Pop small businesses have been unable to navigate the program’s bureaucracy.
Reaction from Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Accountable.US:
“We know Donald Trump places a high priority on the fashion modeling industry, but to see a company like this get assistance meant for Mom-and-Pop small businesses is a slap in the face to main street America. It may come as little consolation for small businesses that were turned away in this process and forced to close their doors that these fashion models and wealthy celebrities will not need to seek out new representation. The second round of PPP funding needs to address these systemic problems and make sure the entire economy can bounce back, not just the parts that are most connected.”