Data Raises Questions About Who Benefited From PPP Loans The government's Paycheck Protection Program was intended to help small businesses during the pandemic keep workers on staff. But a lot of the recipients weren't exactly small businesses.
NPR logo

Data Raises Questions About Who Benefited From PPP Loans

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/888846288/888846289" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Data Raises Questions About Who Benefited From PPP Loans

Data Raises Questions About Who Benefited From PPP Loans

Data Raises Questions About Who Benefited From PPP Loans

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/888846288/888846289" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Gov. Jim Justice, W.Va., waves to the crowd at his annual State of the State speech on Jan. 9, 2019, in Charleston, W.Va. Tyler Evert/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Tyler Evert/AP

Gov. Jim Justice, W.Va., waves to the crowd at his annual State of the State speech on Jan. 9, 2019, in Charleston, W.Va.

Tyler Evert/AP

Many of the companies and organizations getting loans from the Paycheck Protection Program – billed by the SBA as a lifeline for struggling, small companies — aren't what anyone would think of as small businesses.

Among them:

Large restaurant chains, including Applebee's, P.F. Chang's, Ruby Tuesday and TGI Fridays, got loans between $5 million and $10 million.

The Greenbrier Hotel Corporation, a luxury resort owned by West Virginia's billionaire governor James Justice, got a loan between $5 million and $10 million.

Musician and fashion designer Kanye West's company, Yeezy LLC, got a loan for at least $2 million.

Religious organizations, including Roman Catholic dioceses in several states, the Church of Scientology and megachurch Willow Creek received loans ranging from $150,000 to several million dollars.

A long list of well-connected Washington think tanks, law firms and lobbyists got loans, including Americans for Tax Reform, founded by Grover Norquist, a longtime opponent of federal spending. The organization got a loan between $150,000 and $300,000. Also on the list were businesses connected to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband and President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.