Loans Of More Than $2 Million Under PPP Will Now Undergo Full Audit

(RightWingAmericans.Com)- The Paycheck Protection Program has been a very popular part of the federal government’s massive economic stimulus package.
But it’s also been highly criticized for allowing loopholes to exist that have rewarded large corporations with forgivable loans in lieu of putting money into the hands of the people who need it most — small business owners.
Some of these large corporations that took out huge loans through the program have since returned the money, but that hasn’t stopped the Treasury Department from announcing some changes. Any loan of more than $2 million will now be subject to a full review by the SBA.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced this change Monday, after it was revealed that the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team took a $4.6 million loan through the Paycheck Protection Program. The team, which is valued at $4.4 billion, has since returned the loan.
In announcing the changes, Mnuchin said:
“I never expected in a million years that the Los Angeles Lakers, which, I’m a big fan of the team, but I’m not a big fan of the fact that they took a $4.6 million loan. I think that’s outrageous, and I’m glad they returned it or they would have had liability.
“And let me just say I’m going to be putting out an announcement this morning that for any loan over $2 million, the SBA will be doing a full review of that loan before there is loan forgiveness, so we will make sure that what was the intent for taxpayers is fulfilled here.”
Mnuchin said the review would be a “full audit of every loan over $2 million,” and that “certification was very clear in saying that if people had other sources of liquidity, they could not take this loan.”
Mnuchin also called it “unfortunate” that a “small number of companies … created a lot of [negative] publicity” about the PPP.
In recent weeks, it was revealed that some large corporations received substantial loans through the PPP, which ran out of the money it was originally appropriated in less than two weeks. Among those companies were:
• Potbelly Sandwich Shop: $10 million
• Shake Shack: $10 million
• Fiesta Restaurant Group: $10 million
• Kura Sushi USA: $6 million
• Ruth’s Chris steakhouse: $20 million
• J. Alexander’s restaurants: $15.1 million
Other large companies outside the restaurant industry also received large loans, such as a $10 million one taken by Hallador Energy. Some of these companies have announced they will return the loans, which were intended to go to small businesses that desperately needed the funding.
“I think it was inappropriate for most of these companies to take the loans,” Mnuchin said. “It was clear that there was a certification.”
According to the SBA, it approved more than 1.66 million loans as of April 16, and 4,412 of those were for $5 million or more.
In the time since the PPP ran out of money, Congress passed a fourth coronavirus economic stimulus bill, which appropriated another $320 billion to the program, which originally received $350 billion.