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Tuesday, 05 May 2020 22:58

Schumer Joins Call for Probe of Paycheck Protection Program Loans

Written by Todd DeFeo, The Center Square
In this image from video, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, speaks on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March 25. In this image from video, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, speaks on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March 25. Senate TV/Via AP

Index

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, has signed a letter calling for an investigation into reports some Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lenders are prioritizing “larger and wealthier clients.”

Schumer, along with U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, and Ben Cardin, D-MD, sent the letter to Small Business Administration (SBA) Inspector General Hannibal “Mike” Ware calling for the inquiry.

 

In their letter, the senators allege some lenders “have prioritized the applications of their larger and wealthier clients to the detriment of smaller business adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.”

 

Additionally, “some private and commercial banking customers received special treatment from their banks when applying for [the] Paycheck Protection Program,” including “concierge” services, they wrote.

 

“At the same time, many retail customers, including smaller business that are at greater risk because of the pandemic, have struggled to receive timely assistance from their banks to help complete their applications and receive these much-needed funds.”

 

The Payroll Protection Program, created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, initially authorized up to $349 billion in forgivable loans for small businesses, which they could use to pay employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The program ran out of money and drew criticism from some quarters after reports surfaced that publicly traded companies applied for help.

 

It “supported more than 1.66 million small businesses and protected over 30 million jobs for hardworking Americans,” SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a joint statement.

 

Last week, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which sent an additional $310 billion to the program.


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