More than five million companies received loans under the federal government’s signature relief program for small businesses, but a tiny fraction of those companies gobbled up vast sums of money, newly released data shows.
Detailed loan information released by the Small Business Administration showed that about 600 businesses received loans of $10 million, the largest available under the $523 billion Paycheck Protection Program. And a mere 1 percent of borrowers received more than a quarter of the total amount of money disbursed, The New York Times’s Stacy Cowley and Ella Koeze report.
The data is the first full accounting of how federal money was spent through the P.P.P., which offered struggling small companies forgivable loans to help them retain workers and keep up with bills.
The companies that received the maximum $10 million loan include dozens of restaurant chains including Black Angus Steakhouses, P.F. Chang’s, Legal Sea Foods and TGI Friday’s, which took advantage of an exception the restaurant industry lobbied for.
Prominent law firms like Boies Schiller Flexner, the high-priced firm run by David Boies, and Kasowitz Benson Torres, founded and run by President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, also collected loans for $10 million.
The data also shows how inconsistently the S.B.A. disbursed money through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, a still-running aid effort that offers companies and nonprofits low-interest loans directly from the government to help them rebuild their battered operations.
Two organizations received loans in early April for more than $500,000, the cap the agency set on the program later that month. The Jewish Community Center in Stamford, Conn., received $900,000 and the CWC Group, a chiropractic clinic in Bellevue, Wash., received $713,900.
More than 8,000 organizations got loans for $500,000, a limit that was later lowered to $150,000, where it has remained since May. The E.I.D.L. program, has distributed 3.6 million loans, totaling $194 billion, since the coronavirus crisis began — far more than the program had given out in its entire 67-year history.
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