Some of the nation’s most wealthy and well-connected received huge PPP loans, nearly all forgiven: report

Myriads of wealthy businesspeople and celebrities received millions in Payment Protection Program loans during the COVID pandemic, despite the loans being designed to aid those desperate for financial help.

In addition, the majority of these same wealthy businesspeople and celebrities reportedly saw their PPP loans be forgiven, despite them all possessing more than enough money to reimburse the federal government.

The list of wealthy businesspeople and celebrities includes but isn’t limited to businessmen Paul Pelosi and Jared Kushner; rappers Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Diddy; socialite Khloe Kardashian; artist Jeff Koons; actress Reese Witherspoon; and athlete Tom Brady.

The case probably most interesting to conservatives is that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul.

According to the Daily Mail, he boasts an 8.1 percent share in EDI Associates, a restaurant business based out of California.

Data tabulated by ProPublica shows that EDI Associates is comprised of two offices — one in San Rafael, and another in Sonoma.

The data further shows that combined, the two offices collected $1.708 million in PPP loans during the pandemic, all of which was forgiven.

(Source: ProPublica)

Former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also collected PPP loans.

“The Kushner family’s newspaper publisher Observer Holdings, LLC was approved in the first round of loans on April 27, 2020. The company got a $800,407 loan used toward payroll, utilities, rent and saved 41 jobs. The loan, including interest, was forgiven in full,” according to the Daily Mail.

“The Kushner family hotel business Princeton Forrestal, LLC was approved for a $1,569,977 loan also in April 2020. The funds went to payroll, saving 196 jobs. The loan, including interest, was cleared. Esplanade Livingston, LLC, which owns the land housing Kushner’s family’s Westminster Hotel in New Jersey, was granted a $630,735 loan, which went to paying 56 employees. The entire loan was forgiven.”

That’s a lot of money.

Moving on to rappers, Kanye West, who’s reportedly worth roughly $2 billion, collected $2.36 million for his fashion company Yeezy, and this despite the company reportedly being highly profitable in 2020 and 2021. Rapper Jay-Z meanwhile collected roughly $2.1 million for his business, and rapper Diddy collected $1.9 million.

These high-value loans — most of them forgiven — stand in stark contrast to the low-value loans regular Americans were granted, assuming they were granted a loan at all.

“Many small businesses were denied Paycheck Protection Program loans that have helped other companies stay afloat during the Covid pandemic,” according to a CNBC report filed this past January.

Some of the examples can be seen on Twitter:

Unlike the majority of wealthy businesspeople and celebrities, many small business owners were also denied loan forgiveness.

“Almost 350,000 loans made to small businesses in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic haven’t been forgiven … and most of them are for less than $25,000,” Bloomberg reported in February, citing its own analysis of PPP data.

“That lingering debt — about $28 billion, the analysis shows — is creating a burden for the smallest businesses, including many run by minority entrepreneurs, say advocacy groups, community leaders and business owners. Many are struggling with the process of seeking forgiveness under terms of the loan program that distributed more than $800 billion over two years.”

Again, examples can be found on Twitter:

These findings suggest there’s some legitimacy to the claim that America suffers from an epidemic of inequality — one in which the rich keep getting richer, while the poor keep getting poorer …

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Vivek Saxena

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