The government's small business loan program has helped millions of businesses to minimize the number of layoffs that Americans have suffered in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the recipients include many that you probably would not have expected.
Kanye West's clothing line. The sculptor Jeff Koons. President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Law firms and high dollar hedge funds. The girl scouts. Political groups left and right.
In total, the Treasury's Paycheck Protection Program approved $ 520 billion for nearly 5 million, mainly small businesses and nonprofits. On Monday, the government released the names and some other details of recipients approved for $ 150,000 or more.
That was less than 15% of all borrowers. The Associated Press and other news organizations are suing the government for the names of the remaining recipients.
Economists generally attribute the program to preventing the collapse of the labor market from worsening this spring. More than 22 million jobs were lost in March and April. However, around a third of them were recovered in May and June – a faster recovery than many analysts had expected.
The government acted quickly in early April, and the Treasury lent the first $ 349 billion in just two weeks. The program got off to a rocky start that was confused and difficult for many companies looking for credit.
"The process was messy and they couldn't target it exactly," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at accounting firm Grant Thornton, about the Treasury Department.
Here are some of the unlikely recipients of PPP loans:
KANYE WEST & # 39; S CLOTHING LINE
Kanye West's clothing and sneaker brand Yeezy received a loan of between $ 2 million and $ 5 million, according to the Treasury Department. The company employed 106 people in mid-February before the pandemic broke out.
Yeezy, known for his $ 250 sneakers, has just announced an important contract with Gap that will see the rap superstar design hoodies and t-shirts to be sold in the chain's 1,100 stores around the world. (A representative from Yeezy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
Last weekend, West, a notable fan of President Donald Trump, tweeted that he was running for president.
Some other well-known fashion and retail names, whose businesses have been affected by shop closures, have also been approved for credit. The list included high-end designers Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang and suit manufacturer Hickey Freeman. All of their loans ranged from $ 2 to $ 5 million.
The federal government has supported loans totaling $ 150 million for Planned Parenthood subsidiaries in recent weeks. This comes from data from the Federal Paycheck Protection Program, which was released on Monday by the Small Business Administration.
These loans infuriated conservatives against abortion, who cheered last year when President Donald Trump successfully prevented the organization from accessing the federal government's main family planning fund, reports NBC News.
Koons, a modernist sculptor, is best known for his work with large, metallic balloon-like animals. His "Rabbit" sculpture fetched $ 91 million at an auction last year.
Koons' studio was approved for $ 1 to $ 2 million, government data shows. (The data only shows areas for the amount of approved loans.) His studio said it had 53 employees before the pandemic. PPP loans can be given when employers use the most money to keep their workers on the payroll.
WALL STREET AND PRIVATE EQUITY
According to the government, nearly 600 wealth management companies and private equity firms have been approved for money by the PPP.
The corona virus pandemic generally did not seriously injure financial companies. Most of their employees were able to continue working and were not among the industries that had to be closed due to government orders. In addition, investment managers and private equity employees tend to be extremely well-paid occupations.
According to the data, these 583 companies indicated that they would support a total of around 14,800 jobs with the money from the program. That is an average of 25 employees per company.
Another notable financial company that borrowed from the program: Rosenblatt Securities, which has one of the largest physical presences on the New York Stock Exchange. Rosenblatt has borrowed between $ 1 and $ 2 million.
The Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, New Jersey, which has been supported by the Kushner family for many years, was approved for a $ 1 to $ 2 million loan only eight days after the program was created.
The Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, the nonprofit of the Americans for Tax Reform anti-tax lobby group, has been approved for a loan of up to $ 350,000. ATR, led by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, who has long supported a smaller federal government, said it was not against the PPP. It described the program "as compensation for a government that takes place during the shutdown".
The Center for Law and Social Policy, a research and advocacy group focused on measures to support low-income Americans, has been approved for a loan of up to $ 1 million, according to the government.
THE GIRLS SCOUTS
The Treasury said that more than 30 chapters across the country received PPP loans. The Montana and Wyoming Girl Scouts have been approved for $ 350,000 to $ 1 million.
JIM JUSTICE, BILLIONAIRE GOVERNOR
The family businesses of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice received at least $ 6.3 million from the program.
Republican Justice is said to be the richest person in West Virginia because he owns dozens of coal and agricultural companies, many of whom have been sued for unpaid debt. At least six Justice family businesses have been approved for loans, including The Greenbrier Sporting Club, an exclusive club attached to a lavish resort called The Greenbrier that Justice owns.
Justice, a billionaire, admitted last week that his private companies had received money from the program, but said he didn't know the dollar amounts. A representative of the governor's family businesses did not immediately return emails asking for a comment.
TGI Fridays and P.F. Chang's China Bistro was one of the major restaurant chains approved for credit.
Dallas-based TGI Fridays, which has around 500 restaurants nationwide, has received $ 5 to $ 10 million in loans from the program. In 2014, TGI Fridays was bought by the New York private equity firm TriArtisan Capital Advisors. This company also owns P.F. Chang's China Bistro, which has also been approved for a loan.
Although the PPP program was intended to help small businesses, large hotel and restaurant chains were also allowed to apply. A message looking for a comment was left on TGI on Fridays.
P.F. According to Chang's China Bistro, a PPP loan has helped keep 12,000 workers employed and restaurants have been converted to "run-only" during the coronavirus pandemic. P.F. from Scottsdale, Arizona. According to the government, Chang’s has been approved with more than 210 restaurants across the country for $ 5 to $ 10 million under the PPP program.