Donald Trump and Jared Kushner capitalised from the federal government’s PPP loan program with their own companies
(AFP via Getty Images)
Tenants in real estate properties owned by President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner received $3.65m of loan money through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), according to an analysis by NBC News.
The news organisation analysed what businesses benefited from pandemic relief programs put in place by the federal government. Data from the Small Business Administration (SBA) found that companies linked to the Trump Organisation as well as the Kushner Companies, which is owned by Mr Kushner’s family, received funding.
More than 25 PPP loans were given to businesses located in properties owned by Trump Organisation or Kushner Companies, and paying rent to those landlords, NBC News reports.
The SBA released data on Tuesday night about every small business that received either PPP loans or Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) loans after months of litigation.
These loans, created by the federal government, were intended to give small businesses emergency relief in order to pay employees, rent, and mortgage expenses.
The loans to the president and his family’s tenants included one to Triomphe Restaurant Corp., at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York City for the sum of $2.14m. Additionally, two tenants in Trump Tower in NYC received $100,000 each but only kept three jobs, which went against the requirements of receiving a PPP loan.
Four tenants at a Manhattan building owned by Mr Kushner each received more than $204,000, but they only kept six jobs.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and her family also benefited from the program. Her parent’s Florida roofing company received $2m from the program. It was previously disclosed in July that the company was one of the PPP recipients.
The SBA argued that 87 per cent of loans went to small businesses prior to the data release, but a majority of the loans actually went to larger corporations, The Washington Post reports.
More than half of the $522bn given out went to large businesses and corporations, and only 28 per cent of toast funds issued to businesses were for $150,000 or less. About 600 large corporations, including the parent company of Boston Market and dozens of other large chains, received the maximum loan amount of $10m from the program.
Also, more than 100 loans given out to were made with no business name listed. Instead the information showed up as “no name available” or as a potential data entry error, NBC News reports.
“Many months and broken promises later, the court-ordered release of this crucial data while the Trump administration is one foot out the door is a shameful dereliction of duty and flagrant mismanagement of a program that millions of workers and small businesses needed to get through this pandemic,” Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, an accountability watchdog, said in a statement to the news organisation.
The initial premise of the PPP loans were to provide financial relief to small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. Companies with 500 employees or fewer were allowed to apply, but that requirement was loosened for restaurants and hotel establishments.
This program drew criticism from the start when it was revealed that large organisations like Harvard University and Shake Shack, among others, applied for the funding. Both companies returned the money under the scrutiny.
But now further information from the program shows many other large corporations benefited, including ones owned by the president.
The SBA was required to disclose the data after several news organisations filed a federal lawsuit against the organisation over its refusal to follow the Freedom of Information Act. A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that SBA had to release the data, and the organisation did not appeal the ruling.
This article was amended on 15 December, 2020. The previous version said that 25 businesses owned by the Trump Organisation or Kushner Companies received PPP loans, whereas the NBC report did not claim this but claimed instead that loans were paid to 25 businesses with addresses at Trump and Kushner real estate properties, paying rent to those owners. The headline was subsequently amended to reflect this.
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