More than half of emergency small-business funds went to larger businesses, new data shows

The Washington Post
December 2, 2020

More than half of the money from the Treasury Department’s coronavirus emergency fund for small businesses went to just 5 percent of the recipients, according to data on more than 5 million loans….

…Officials from the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have argued the program primarily benefited smaller businesses because a vast majority of the loans ― more than 87 percent ― were for less than $150,000, as of August. But the new data shows more than half of the $522 billion in the same time frame went to bigger businesses, and only 28 percent of the money was distributed in amounts less than $150,000.

Liz Hempowicz, director of public policy for the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight, said the new data shows how the Trump administration chose to focus its coronavirus relief efforts on helping wealthy organizations at the expense of truly small firms.

“The data shows that this program primarily benefited the well banked and well lawyered at the expense of the small businesses it was supposed to benefit,” Hempowicz said….

…“Businesses in that top 5 percent likely have access to other capital,” she said. “These are not the ones you would traditionally think of as a small business. It really raises questions about what the priorities of this SBA are. … Is it to help small business or is it to return money to the top segment of the economy?”

Paycheck Protection Program data released by Small Business Administration after lawsuit shows largest borrowers – The Washington Post

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