WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump government on Monday released the names of hundreds of thousands of companies that took money from a high-profile $ 660 billion pandemic aid program, allowing the public to see for the first time how He spent most of the cash and did help save jobs.
FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past the Charging Bull sculpture in the Financial District as the streets remain less busy due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Manhattan district of New York, United States. , May 5, 2020 at 6:42 PM. REUTERS / Lucas Jackson
The United States Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) said the $ 521.4 billion approved so far has supported employers for some 51.1 million jobs, or 84% of all small business employees.
The colossal dataset on the Paycheck Protection Program, released by the Trump administration after some initial resistance, provides transparency for the first-come, first-served program that has been haunted by technology, paperwork and equity issues.
The data could make life uncomfortable for borrowers who broke the spirit or letter of the program’s rules, which aimed to help liquidity-strapped companies keep workers employed, and for banks that dumped the money out the door.
The Treasury and SBA released data on more than half a million loans of $ 150,000 or more, including the recipient’s name, address, type of business, jobs admitted, and certain demographic information. That represents roughly 73% of the dollars awarded, but only 14% of the 4.9 million loans, according to SBA data as of June 30.
While the data does not say exactly how much money each borrower received, it does place them in a band of different loan ranges.
Loans were limited to $ 10 million, although the average loan amount was $ 107,000, the data shows. The Treasury also released aggregate data on loans below $ 150,000, but did not name the recipients.
The funds reached a wide swath of beneficiaries: more than $ 67 billion for the healthcare and social assistance sector, more than $ 64 billion for construction companies, $ 54 billion for manufacturing, and, on the smaller end , more than $ 7 billion for religious organizations.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had initially declined to name recipients, saying he could expose borrowers’ private business information, especially if they are sole proprietors and independent contractors. Under pressure from lawmakers, he agreed to shed light on large borrowers.
Launched in April, the unprecedented program allows pandemic-affected small businesses to apply for a government-backed loan from a bank.
In the fight to distribute funds, technology issues, documentation issues, and disclosures were plagued by the fact that some banks prioritized their most profitable customers, leading some wealthy companies to receive funds, while the least wealthy borrowers were lost.
There have been persistent questions about whether those most in need benefited.
Report by Michelle Price; Editing by Tom Lasseter and Andrea Ricci