WASHINGTON, D.C. – A luxury hotel brand whose portfolio boasts a dozen “full-service, primarily upscale and upper-upscale hotels” is among the latest beneficiaries of the Trump Small Business Administration’s ‘Paycheck Protection Program’ that is supposed to help struggling small businesses survive the ongoing economic crisis. Sotherly Hotels, a real estate investment trust, received over $10.7 million in forgivable loans after reporting over $1.9 million in net income last year and paying its executives nearly $2 million.
View the records HERE, 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 CODID-19 crisis that most small businesses could never access.
“No matter how much controversy has surrounded its mishandling of this program, the Trump administration can’t help but continue prioritizing taxpayer aid for wealthy, well-connected companies over struggling small businesses on the brink of bankruptcy,” said Derek Martin, spokesman for Accountable.US. “Congress must step in and require more fairness and transparency in this process.”
Sotherly Hotels joins previously controversial PPP grantees like a foreign-owned uranium mining corporation with ties to the Trump administration, a company that markets its ability to ship U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas, at least two other major luxury hotel chains, a fashion model agency, and even the L.A. Lakers.
BACKGROUND: The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program has been plagued with reports of legitimate small businesses unable to access the help the President claimed would come in “record time”. They have faced a bureaucratic maze often ending in delays and rejection as banks reportedly prioritized those “with the best relationships — not the neediest or most deserving.” A recent survey of small businesses found only 13% of the 45% who applied for a PPP loan were ever approved. Meanwhile, CEOs of large companies have managed to coast through the process. Well over 300 publicly-traded firms or conflicted companies, some worth more than $100 million, have received over a billion dollars in taxpayer money. It’s no wonder the Trump administration has shied away from transparency in this process.