After legal disputes over the data, the Trump Administration published the names of the 10 million companies and individuals who received pandemic aid under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The programs were the primary sources of federal government support for small businesses damaged by the COVID 19 pandemic and were the centerpiece of the $2.2 trillion CARES bill passed by Congress in March.
The Small Business Administration (SBA), which was charged with approving and processing the funds, had processed more than 5.2 million PPP loans to individuals, which totaled $525 billion in November. It also processed $195 billion in EIDL loans.
New data showed that more than half of the money from the Treasury Department’s fund went to about 5 percent of recipients. In addition, the top 1 percent of loans accounted for more than a quarter of the total loan value.
The PPP data showed that about 600 companies absorbed the maximum $10 million allowed under the program. These were mostly larger companies.
In August, more than 87 percent of the loans were for less than $150,000, prompting the Treasury Department and the SBA to claim that smaller companies were the primary beneficiaries of the program.
However, new data shows that more than half of the $552 billion in loans during this period went to larger companies. The latest data shows that only 28 percent of the money spent was less than $150,000.
Among the companies that received the maximum $10 million support were restaurant chains, law firms, churches and professional staffing services.
Washington Newsday has approached the SBA with a request for comments.
Watchdogs have also warned that several billion dollars may have gone to non-eligible companies and fraudsters, Reuters reported.
In September, Calvin Shivers, deputy director of the FBI’s criminal investigation division, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the total $3 trillion in funding related to the coronavirus had been a popular target for potential $126 million of potential schemers.
The PPP fraud identified came from 116 probes conducted by the FBI, the Department of Justice and the Small Business Administration, Shivers said. Officials who spoke to lawmakers declined to say whether any individuals had been convicted at the time.
The Inspector General’s Office of the SBA also said it had received tens of thousands of fraud reports and hundreds of investigations had been launched.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has begun circulating plans for a new round of incentives worth a further $332.7 billion to support small businesses, including $257.7 billion earmarked for the Paycheck Protection Program, Axios reported.
The data released last night could play a crucial role in shaping future funding policy and will shed light on problems with previous programs.