The Trump Administration’s US Small Business Administration (SBA) gave loans to millionaires like Kanye West, artist Jeff Koons, director Francis Ford Coppola, and the Church of Scientology as real small businesses around the country shuttered and were often precluded from receiving the very funds dedicated to their survival during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Independent, “the coronavirus bill set-aside more than $320 billion in government money to assist small businesses who were expected to struggle amid the pandemic.”
“PPP was sold to the American people as a program to help Mom-and-Pop shops keep their lights on during the pandemic,” said Accountable.US watchdog president Kyle Herrig to NBC News. “The reality is that the Trump administration created a program that helped the well connected cut to the front of the line to get these loans.”
PPP applicants also included multimillionaire pop artist Jeff Koons, Hollywood producer Francis Ford Coppola, Hamptons property developer Joe Farrell and the Church of Scientology, which is reported to be worth at least $1 billion.
Those businesses needed to prove in their application that “current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant”.