PPP Program Details Reveal Surprising Recipients

16 Public Companies Kept Small Biz Loans Worth At Least $10 Million Each

  • 4.9 million PPP loans worth a total of $521 billion have been approved
  • Recipients include venture capital/private equity backed and public companies, firms with ties to government officials
  • 440 public companies approved for PPP loans worth a total of $1.39 billion

Loans worth $521 billion were approved for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program through the end of June, government data released yesterday showed. Close to 40% of the total amount is accounted for by three sectors – Health Care and Social Assistance, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services and Construction. In three months, 4.9 million loans have been approved with the average size of $107,000. $131 billion in funds is still available and the deadline has been extended into August.

The administration also released details of loans above $150,000, which account for nearly 75% of the total amount, after facing calls for more transparency. "The PPP is providing much-needed relief to millions of American small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs and over 80% of all small business employees, who are the drivers of economic growth in our country," said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.   

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The data dump was followed by criticism when it revealed that funds didn't just go to struggling mom and pop businesses, but also to large publicly traded firms, hedge funds, companies backed by venture capital, private equity firms or government officials, companies with multiple subsidiaries each claiming individual loans, and companies owned by billionaires like Kanye West's Yeezy. Remember, these are forgivable loans which means tax payers' money is involved. It also looks like some businesses got approved for loans they never applied for.

Some of the other surprises in the release include:

  • Nearly 90,000 companies took the loan without promising to rehire workers
  • 48,972 cited “zero” as the number of jobs they would retain
  • 40,506 applicants left that answer blank
  • Restaurant chains owned by private equity firms took in tens of millions in loans
  • Non U.S. companies, including foreign airlines, took millions of dollars in loans
  • Powerful law firms and businesses owned by members of Congress also took big loans

According to analysis by FactSquared, 440 public companies were approved for PPP loans worth a total of $1.39 billion, out of which $436 million has been returned by 69 recipients. The public companies that have received $10 million and over and kept it are the following:

  1. The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. - $18.3 million
  2. Good Times Restaurants Inc. - $11.6 million
  3. Christopher & Banks Corporation - $10 million
  4. Staffing 360 Solutions, Inc. - $10 million
  5. Independence Contract Drilling, Inc. - $10 million
  6. A.M. Castle & Co. - $10 million
  7. GSE Systems, Inc. - $10 million
  8. EVO Transportation & Energy Services, Inc. - $10 million
  9. Rhino Resource Partners LP - $10 million
  10. FreightCar America, Inc. - $10 million
  11. Harte Hanks, Inc. - $10 million
  12. Luby's, Inc. - $10 million
  13. Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc. - $10 million
  14. Gulf Island Fabrication, Inc. - $10 million
  15. Hallador Energy Company - $10 million
  16. Quantum Corporation - $10 million

Public companies that returned loans worth at least $10 million include Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc, Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc, Braemar Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Shake Shack Inc., IDT Corporation and Potbelly Corporation.